Chitose River
千歳川
ChitoseGawa2004-5-18.jpg
View from the southern bank on Chūō Grand Avenue in Chitose, Japan (May 2004)
Native nameChitose-gawa  (Japanese)
Location
CountryJapan
StateHokkaidō
RegionIshikari Subprefecture, Sorachi Subprefecture
DistrictSorachi District, Kabato District
MunicipalitiesNanporo, Chitose, Ebetsu, Kitahiroshima, Eniwa, Naganuma
Physical characteristics
SourceLake Shikotsu
 • locationChitose, Hokkaidō, Japan
 • coordinates42°46′16″N 141°24′11″E / 42.77111°N 141.40306°E / 42.77111; 141.40306
 • elevation248 m (814 ft)
MouthIshikari River
 • location
Ebetsu, Hokkaidō, Japan
 • coordinates
43°07′05″N 141°33′24″E / 43.11806°N 141.55667°E / 43.11806; 141.55667Coordinates: 43°07′05″N 141°33′24″E / 43.11806°N 141.55667°E / 43.11806; 141.55667
 • elevation
3 m (9.8 ft)
Length108 km (67 mi)
Basin size1,244 km2 (480 sq mi)
Basin features
Tributaries 
 • leftHoromuiunga (幌向運河, Horomuiunga), Kyūyūbari River (旧夕張川, Kyūyūbari-gawa), South Number 6 River (南六号川, Minami-Roku-Gou-gawa), Kenefuchi River (嶮淵川, Kenefuchi-gawa), University Drainage (大学排水, Daigaku Haisu), Shukubai River (祝梅川, Shukubai-gawa), Mamachi River
 • rightSanaebetsu River (早苗別川, Sanaebetsu-gawa), Sanaebetsu River Canal, Tomasubetsu River (登満別川, Tomasubetsu-gawa), Shimonbetsu River (志文別川, Shimonbetsu-gawa), Ura No Sawa River (裏no沢川, Ura no Sawa-gawa), Wattsu River (輪厚川, Wattsu-gawa), Shimamatsu River (島松川, Shimamatsu-gawa), Izari River (漁川, Izari-gawa), Osatsu River (長都川, Osatsu-gawa), Naibetsu River (内別川, Naibetsu-gawa), Yuunai River, Monbetsu River (紋別川, Mombetsu-gawa)

Chitose River (千歳川, Chitose-gawa) is a river in Hokkaidō, Japan. The river is a class A river. In the city of Ebetsu, the river is sometimes known as Ebetsu River (江別川, Ebetsu-gawa).

In the Ainu language Chitose was originally called shikot, meaning big depression or hollow, like Lake Shikotsu a caldera lake. To the Japanese, this sounded too much like dead bones (死骨, shikotsu), so it was changed to Chitose.[1] The name of the river was changed in 1805.[2]

Course

Chitose river lake Shikotsu
Chitose river lake Shikotsu

The Chitose River is the outflow of Lake Shikotsu. From the lake the river flows through a series of power plants owned by the Oji Paper Company. The Chitose River flows through the center of the city of Chitose, before entering the Ishikari Plain. On the plain, the river feeds and is fed by numerous irrigation canals. Here the Chitose River forms part of the border between Ishikari and Sorachi Subprefectures. Finally, the river passes through the city of Ebetsu before it flows into the Ishikari River.

Flooding

The Chitose River causes flooding damage about every two years, widening to as many as 40 kilometres (25 mi). The last major flood was in 1981, where the river flooded 2700 homes and 20,000 hectares (77 sq mi) of land. National, prefectural, and local governments have been adopting numerous measures to try to reduce the severity of the flooding.[3]

References

  1. ^ Akagi Sanpei (赤木 三兵), Journey of Hokkaidō Place Names—Notes on Ainu Language Place Names (北海道 地名の旅—アイヌ語地名解, Hokkaidō Chimei no Tabi — Ainugo Chimei Kai), pp 60 and 79
  2. ^ "幅広水路". Ishikarigawa Development and Construction Department. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  3. ^ "Anti-flood Control and River Improvement". Hokkaido Bureau. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. 2008–2009. Retrieved 2009-05-03.