Watari, Miyagi

Watari (亘理町, Watari-chō) is a town located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. As of 31 March 2020, the town had an estimated population of 33,459, and a population density of 450 persons per km² in 12,643 households.[1] The total area of the town is 73.60 square kilometres (28.42 sq mi).

Watari Town hall
Watari Town hall
Flag of Watari
Official seal of Watari
Location of Watari in Miyagi Prefecture
Location of Watari in Miyagi Prefecture
Watari is located in Japan
Coordinates: 38°02′16″N 140°51′9.3″E / 38.03778°N 140.852583°E / 38.03778; 140.852583Coordinates: 38°02′16″N 140°51′9.3″E / 38.03778°N 140.852583°E / 38.03778; 140.852583
 • Total73.60 km2 (28.42 sq mi)
 (May 31, 2020)
 • Total33,459
 • Density450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreePinus thunbergii
- FlowerCamellia sasanqua
Phone number0223-34-0502
Address7-4 Shimokoji, Watari-chō, Watari-gun, Miyagi-ken 989-2393
WebsiteOfficial website


Watari is located in the Tōhoku region of northern Japan, in the southeastern Miyagi Prefecture, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east. The Abukuma River flows through the town, forming its western border.

Neighboring municipalitiesEdit

Miyagi Prefecture


Watari has a humid climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) characterized by mild summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature in Watari is 12.7 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1249 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 24.9 °C, and lowest in January, at around 1.7 °C.[2]


Per Japanese census data,[3] the population of Watari has steadily increased over the past 40 years.

Historical population
1920 17,791—    
1930 20,606+15.8%
1940 21,262+3.2%
1950 28,939+36.1%
1960 27,277−5.7%
1970 25,141−7.8%
1980 27,822+10.7%
1990 30,301+8.9%
2000 34,770+14.7%
2010 34,854+0.2%


The area of present-day Watari was part of ancient Mutsu Province, and the place name of “Watari” appears in the Shoku Nihongi chronicles dated 718 AD. It was part of the holdings of Sendai Domain under the Edo period Tokugawa shogunate.

Watari Town was established on April 1, 1889 with the establishment of the post-Meiji restoration modern municipalities system. It merged with the neighboring town of Arahama and villages of Yoshida and Õkuma on February 1, 1955.

Watari was severely damaged by a tsunami caused by an earthquake on 11 March 2011.[4] Hundreds of people were stranded in a school but were airlifted from the roof by Japanese military helicopters.[5] The tsunami covered 47% of the town's area and 305 residents were reported killed or missing.


Watari has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral town council of 18 members. Watari contributes one seat to the Miyagi Prefectural legislature. In terms of national politics, the town is part of Miyagi 3rd district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.


The economy of Watari is largely based on agriculture (strawberries) and commercial fishing and fish processing.


Watari has six public elementary schools and four public middle schools operated by the town government, and one public high school operated by the Miyagi Prefectural Board of Education.



  East Japan Railway Company (JR East) - Jōban Line


Local attractionsEdit


  1. ^ Watari Town official statistics (in Japanese)
  2. ^ Watari climate data
  3. ^ Watari population statistics
  4. ^ Grossman, Cathy Lynn (15 March 2011). "Japanese look to ancient traditions for strength". USA Today. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  5. ^ Zeitvogel, Karin (19 March 2011). "Japan quake: live report". AFP/Google. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  6. ^ "三十三間堂官衙遺跡". Cultural Heritage Online (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 25 December 2016.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Watari, Miyagi at Wikimedia Commons