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Asahikawa
旭川市
Top: Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture, Asahiyama Animal Park Middle: Asahikawa Ramen noodle, Kamuy Kotan Bottom: Panoramic view of Asahi Bridge and Taisetsu Mountain Range, (all item of left to right)
Top: Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture, Asahiyama Animal Park
Middle: Asahikawa Ramen noodle, Kamuy Kotan
Bottom: Panoramic view of Asahi Bridge and Taisetsu Mountain Range, (all item of left to right)
Flag of Asahikawa
Official seal of Asahikawa
Location of Asahikawa in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido
Location of Asahikawa in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido
Location of Kamikawa Subprefecture in Hokkaido
Location of Kamikawa Subprefecture in Hokkaido
Asahikawa is located in Japan
Asahikawa
Asahikawa
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 43°46′N 142°22′E / 43.767°N 142.367°E / 43.767; 142.367Coordinates: 43°46′N 142°22′E / 43.767°N 142.367°E / 43.767; 142.367
CountryJapan
RegionHokkaido
PrefectureHokkaido
First official recorded1877
City SettledAugust 1, 1922
Government
 • MayorHirosuke Imazu
Area
 • Total747.6 km2 (288.6 sq mi)
Population
 (March 1, 2020)
 • Total333,530
 • Density470.98/km2 (1,219.8/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address9-46 Rokujō-dōri, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido
070-8525
Websitewww.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp
Symbols
BirdBohemian waxwing
FlowerAzalea
TreeJapanese rowan
MascotAsappy (あさっぴー) and Yukkirin (ゆっきりん)

Asahikawa (旭川市, Asahikawa-shi) is a city in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the capital of the subprefecture, and the second-largest city in Hokkaido, after Sapporo.[1][2] It has been a core city since April 1, 2000. The city is currently well known for the Asahiyama Zoo and Asahikawa ramen. On July 31, 2011, the city had an estimated population of 352,105, with 173,961 households, and a population density of 470.96 persons per km² (1,219.8 persons per sq. mi.). The total area is 747.6 km2 (288.6 sq mi).[2]

Asahikawa joined UNESCO's Network of Creative Cities as a Design City on October 31, 2019 on the occasion of World Cities’ Day.[3]

Overview

Asahibashi Bridge
Asahibashi Bridge

On August 1, 1922, Asahikawa was founded as Asahikawa City. As the central city in northern Hokkaido, Asahikawa has been influential in industry and commerce. There are about 130 rivers and streams including the Ishikari River and Chūbetsu River, and over 740 bridges in the city.[4] Asahibashi, a bridge over Ishikari River, has been one of the symbols of Asahikawa since its completion in 1932, and it was also registered as one of the Hokkaido Heritage sites on October 22, 2001.[5]

Every winter, the Asahikawa Winter Festival is held on the bank of the Ishikari River, making use of Asahikawa's cold climate and snow. On January 25, 1902, a weather station recorded −41 °C (−41.8 °F), the lowest temperature in Japanese history.[6] Due to its climate and location surrounded by mountains, there are some ski resorts in the outskirts of the city.

Name

The Ainu called the Asahi River Chiu Pet meaning "River of Waves", but it was misunderstood as Chup Pet, meaning "Sun River", and so it came to be called Asahi River in Japanese (Asahi meaning "morning sun").

History

View of Asahikawa, circa 1920
View of Asahikawa, circa 1920

Asahikawa was populated by the mainland Japanese in the Meiji period (1868 – July 1912) as a tondenhei, or state-sponsored farmer-militia settlement.[1]

Kamikawa District set up under Ishikari Province with the villages of Asahikawa, Nagayama and Kamui in 1890.

Asahikawa was elevated to city status in 1922.[2]

Asahikawa thrived as a military city before World War II, when the IJA 7th Division was posted there. During the closing stages of the war, Asahikawa was bombed by American naval aircraft in July 1945.[7] Today, the 2nd Division of the Northern Army of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is headquartered in Asahikawa.

Geography

A panoramic view of Asahikawa from Mt. Arashiyama, 2016

Climate

The climate is hemiboreal humid continental (Dfb, according to Köppen classification).[8] Asahikawa winters are long and cold, with below-freezing average monthly temperatures from November through March. The city also sees an extraordinary amount of snowfall, averaging just under 7.6 m (25 ft) of snow per year. Summers are generally warm and humid in Asahikawa, with average high temperatures in the warmest months hovering around 26 °C (79 °F). Spring and autumn are generally short and transitional in the city.[citation needed]

It is one of the coolest Japanese cities as well as one of the most "continental". Japan's lowest temperature ever (−41.0 °C (−41.8 °F)) was recorded in Asahikawa, colder than other cities registered in Hokkaido,[9][10][11] but warmer in absolute numbers than Mount Fuji.[12] On January 12, 1909 the temperature did not rise above −22.5 °C (−9 °F), being one of the coldest in history.[9] Some sources consider it the coldest city in Japan.[13][14][15]

Climate data for Asahikawa (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1888−present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.7
(53.1)
12.2
(54.0)
18.8
(65.8)
29.6
(85.3)
34.3
(93.7)
35.9
(96.6)
37.6
(99.7)
37.9
(100.2)
33.3
(91.9)
25.9
(78.6)
22.0
(71.6)
14.7
(58.5)
37.9
(100.2)
Average high °C (°F) −3.3
(26.1)
−1.7
(28.9)
3.0
(37.4)
11.2
(52.2)
18.8
(65.8)
22.8
(73.0)
26.2
(79.2)
26.6
(79.9)
21.9
(71.4)
14.9
(58.8)
6.2
(43.2)
−0.8
(30.6)
12.2
(54.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) −7.0
(19.4)
−6.0
(21.2)
−1.4
(29.5)
5.6
(42.1)
12.3
(54.1)
17.0
(62.6)
20.7
(69.3)
21.2
(70.2)
16.4
(61.5)
9.4
(48.9)
2.3
(36.1)
−4.2
(24.4)
7.2
(45.0)
Average low °C (°F) −11.7
(10.9)
−11.8
(10.8)
−6.1
(21.0)
0.2
(32.4)
6.1
(43.0)
12.0
(53.6)
16.4
(61.5)
16.9
(62.4)
11.7
(53.1)
4.4
(39.9)
−1.5
(29.3)
−8.0
(17.6)
2.4
(36.3)
Record low °C (°F) −41.0
(−41.8)
−38.3
(−36.9)
−34.1
(−29.4)
−19.0
(−2.2)
−7.1
(19.2)
−1.2
(29.8)
1.0
(33.8)
2.4
(36.3)
−1.8
(28.8)
−8.0
(17.6)
−25.0
(−13.0)
−30.0
(−22.0)
−41.0
(−41.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66.9
(2.63)
54.7
(2.15)
55.0
(2.17)
48.5
(1.91)
66.6
(2.62)
71.4
(2.81)
129.5
(5.10)
152.9
(6.02)
136.3
(5.37)
105.8
(4.17)
114.5
(4.51)
102.4
(4.03)
1,104.4
(43.48)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 125
(49)
97
(38)
80
(31)
15
(5.9)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
2
(0.8)
82
(32)
158
(62)
557
(219)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm) 22.2 18.6 18.6 14.2 12.1 10.8 11.6 11.9 14.2 16.9 21.4 25.1 197.6
Average relative humidity (%) 82 78 73 66 67 73 77 79 79 79 80 83 76
Mean monthly sunshine hours 75.3 96.1 141.3 169.5 197.4 176.5 159.8 154.6 144.7 125.9 67.3 58.1 1,566.5
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[16][17]

See or edit raw graph data.

Economy

Asahikawa developed as an industrial center in Hokkaido after World War II. The city is noted for its lumber and brewing industries, as well as the production of furniture and paper pulp.[1]

Education

Universities

National

Private

Colleges

High schools

Public

Private

Transportation

Asahikawa Airport
Asahikawa Airport
Asahikawa Station-North-Entrance
Asahikawa Station-North-Entrance

Airport

Asahikawa is served by Asahikawa Airport which stretches over the outskirts of Asahikawa City and Higashikagura, Hokkaido. The airport was first proposed by the Asahikawa City Council in 1955, opened in 1961, and daily flights to Tokyo started in 1970. The present terminal of Asahikawa Airport opened in 2000. It is a second class airport, and also a single-runway regional airport. It serves domestic destinations including Tokyo, but some airlines offer destinations in South Korea.[19] EVA Air added Asahikawa as a destination from Taipei on May 2, 2013.

Rail

Asahikawa is one of the major rail hubs of Hokkaido. The Hakodate Main Line connects Asahikawa to Hakodate in the south of Hokkaido, and the Sōya Main Line connects Asahikawa with Wakkanai at the north of Hokkaido. The Sekihoku Main Line connects the city with Abashiri on the Sea of Okhotsk. The Furano Line connects Abashiri with nearby Furano.[2]

JR Hokkaido

Bus

Municipal buses also serve the city.

Specialties

Sightseeing

Asahiyama Zoo
Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture in Honor of Teijiro Nakahara

Mascots

Asappy and Yukkirin, the town's mascots

Asahikawa's mascots are Asappy (あさっぴー, Asa~tsupi) and Yukkirin (ゆっきりん).

Sister and friendship cities

Sister cities

Friendship cities

Notable people

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References

  1. ^ a b c "Asahikawa". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  2. ^ a b c d 旭川市 [Asahikawa]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  3. ^ "UNESCO celebrates World Cities Day designating 66 new Creative Cities". UNESCO. 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  4. ^ Asahikawa 8 Scenes (in Japanese)
  5. ^ Hokkaido Heritage Website: 6, Asahibashi Bridge (in Japanese)
  6. ^ Asahikawa City 7th General Scheme Gist[permanent dead link] (in Japanese)
  7. ^ The Asahi Shimbun. "朝日新聞デジタル:空襲の記憶 風化させぬ - 北海道 - 地域". www.asahi.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 13 April 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
  8. ^ "Asahikawa, Japan Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  9. ^ a b "Asahikawa Fact File - Location, Weather, Population and other information". www.asahikawa-tourism.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  10. ^ "Enjoying an Extremely Cold City – Asahikawa, Hokkaido | Welcome to Amazing Japan! | NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN". NHK WORLD. Retrieved 2019-03-10.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ nbakki. "Top 10 Coldest Temperature Records in Japan". How much is it in Tokyo?. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  12. ^ "Seasons come and go - but when? - Wild Watch | Japan Nature Guides". www.japannatureguides.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  13. ^ "Hokkaido's cities". www.hisgo.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  14. ^ "日本で一番寒い場所はどこ? - 日本の最低気温ランキング". www.tabi2ikitai.com. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  15. ^ "日本一寒い町!陸別町ってどんなところ!?". NAVER まとめ. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  16. ^ 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  17. ^ 観測史上1~10位の値(年間を通じての値. Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  18. ^ "DIRECTIONS TO HOKKAIDO TOKAI UNIVERSITY (HTU)" (). Hokkaido Tokai University. November 20, 2005. Retrieved on April 10, 2015. "5-1-1-1 Minami-sawa, Minami-ku, Sapporo 005-8601, Japan" and "224 Chuwa, Kamui-Cho, Asahikawa 070-8601, Hokkaido, Japan"
  19. ^ 旭川空港 [Asahikawa Airport]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  20. ^ "あさっぴーのプロフィール". Asahikawa.
  21. ^ "ゆっきりんのプロフィール". Asahikawa.
  22. ^ "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  23. ^ Dubreuil, Chisato O. (2004). From the Playground of the Gods: The Life and Art of Bikky Sunazawa. Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 9780967342986. Retrieved 22 April 2019.