Hikone
彦根市
City central, Lake Biwa and Hikone castle viewed from Sawayama castle ruin
City central, Lake Biwa and Hikone castle viewed from Sawayama castle ruin
Flag of Hikone
Official seal of Hikone
Location of Hikone in Shiga Prefecture
Location of Hikone in Shiga Prefecture
Hikone is located in Japan
Hikone
Hikone
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 35°16′N 136°16′E / 35.267°N 136.267°E / 35.267; 136.267Coordinates: 35°16′N 136°16′E / 35.267°N 136.267°E / 35.267; 136.267
CountryJapan
RegionKansai
PrefectureShiga
Government
 • MayorHiroyuki Wada (since May 2021)
Area
 • Total196.84 km2 (76.00 sq mi)
Population
 (August 31, 2021)
 • Total111,958
 • Density570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address4-2 Motomachi, Hikone-shi, Shiga-ken 522-8501
Phone number0749-30-6111
ClimateCfa
WebsiteOfficial website
Symbols
FlowerIris
TreeTachibana Orange
Hikone City Hall
Hikone City Hall

Hikone (彦根市, Hikone-shi) is a city located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 August 2021, the city had an estimated population of 111,958 in 49066 households and a population density of 570 persons per km².[1] The total area of the city is 196.84 square kilometres (76.00 sq mi).

Geography

Hikone is located in central Shiga Prefecture, on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa, and extending inland to the Ibuki Mountains. Parts of the city are within the borders of the Biwako Quasi-National Park.

Neighboring municipalities

Shiga Prefecture

Climate

Hikone has a Humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cool winters with light to no snowfall. The average annual temperature in Hikone is 14.6 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1810 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 26.4 °C, and lowest in January, at around 3.6 °C.[2] The highest recorded temperature was 37.7 °C (July 26, 2014) and the lowest was -11.3 °C (January 23, 1904).

Climate data for Hikone (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1893−present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.2
(63.0)
19.9
(67.8)
24.5
(76.1)
28.7
(83.7)
31.6
(88.9)
35.2
(95.4)
37.7
(99.9)
37.5
(99.5)
35.7
(96.3)
32.1
(89.8)
26.1
(79.0)
21.4
(70.5)
37.7
(99.9)
Average high °C (°F) 7.1
(44.8)
7.7
(45.9)
11.6
(52.9)
17.4
(63.3)
22.6
(72.7)
26.0
(78.8)
30.2
(86.4)
32.1
(89.8)
27.6
(81.7)
21.8
(71.2)
15.6
(60.1)
9.8
(49.6)
19.1
(66.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.9
(39.0)
4.2
(39.6)
7.2
(45.0)
12.4
(54.3)
17.6
(63.7)
21.8
(71.2)
26.1
(79.0)
27.5
(81.5)
23.6
(74.5)
17.7
(63.9)
11.7
(53.1)
6.5
(43.7)
15.0
(59.0)
Average low °C (°F) 1.0
(33.8)
1.0
(33.8)
3.5
(38.3)
8.1
(46.6)
13.5
(56.3)
18.4
(65.1)
22.9
(73.2)
24.1
(75.4)
20.2
(68.4)
14.0
(57.2)
8.0
(46.4)
3.2
(37.8)
11.5
(52.7)
Record low °C (°F) −11.3
(11.7)
−8.9
(16.0)
−7.9
(17.8)
−2.1
(28.2)
0.9
(33.6)
6.9
(44.4)
12.8
(55.0)
14.0
(57.2)
8.3
(46.9)
1.5
(34.7)
−2.4
(27.7)
−8.7
(16.3)
−11.3
(11.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 112.0
(4.41)
99.6
(3.92)
114.9
(4.52)
117.3
(4.62)
146.9
(5.78)
175.6
(6.91)
219.0
(8.62)
124.6
(4.91)
167.7
(6.60)
140.7
(5.54)
85.8
(3.38)
105.9
(4.17)
1,610
(63.39)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 36
(14)
29
(11)
6
(2.4)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
11
(4.3)
81
(32)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 14.1 12.1 12.2 10.6 9.8 11.6 12.0 8.0 10.3 9.0 8.6 13.2 131.5
Average snowy days (≥ 3 cm) 5.3 4.8 0.9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.8 12.8
Average relative humidity (%) 75 74 72 70 71 76 77 73 75 74 74 75 74
Mean monthly sunshine hours 99.8 115.6 162.6 183.8 197.3 154.4 169.8 213.0 162.9 163.0 134.6 106.4 1,863.3
Source: JMA[3][4]

Demographics

Per Japanese census data,[5] the population of Hikone has increased steadily over the past 50 years.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1920 55,280—    
1930 62,877+13.7%
1940 64,264+2.2%
1950 77,606+20.8%
1960 72,931−6.0%
1970 78,753+8.0%
1980 89,701+13.9%
1990 99,519+10.9%
2000 107,860+8.4%
2010 111,915+3.8%

History

Hikone Castle
Nakasendo

Hikone is part of ancient Ōmi Province and was originally a market town that developed around a Buddhist temple called Hogon-ji which was founded in the Heian period.[6] The site was a natural bottleneck on the route of the Tōsandō (later the Nakasendō) highway connecting Heian-kyō with the eastern provinces. Hikone is home to two former post stations, Toriimoto-juku and Takamiya-juku on the Nakasendō and the Chōsenjin Kaidō also passed through the area. Strategically, it was a vital point in projecting the capital from attack from the east. In the Sengoku period, this area was controlled by the Azai clan, who were based in northern Ōmi, and who built a castle called Sawayama Castle. The Azai were defeated by Oda Nobunaga, who assigned Sawayama Castle to his general Niwa Nagahide. Under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, this closest advisor, Ishida Mitsunari was entrusted with the castle. After Ishida Mitsunari was defeated at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1601, Tokugawa Ieyasu appointed his general Ii Naomasa as daimyō of a new domain centered at Sawayama Castle. Ii Naomasa began the construction of Hikone Castle, which was completed by his son Ii Naokatsu in 1622. The area remained under the control of Hikone Domain through the end of the Edo Period.[7]

The town of Hikone was established on April 1, 1889 within Inukami District, Shiga with the creation of the modern municipalities system. It was raised to city status on February 11, 1937 by merging with the neighboring villages of Matsubara, Aonami, Kitaaoyagi, Fukumitsu and Chimoto. The city escaped major damage in World War II.

In 2003, meetings were held to discuss the merger of Hikone with the towns of Toyosato, Kōra, and Taga (all from Inukami District). However, a survey conducted by the city in February 2004, revealed that most citizens opposed the merger, leading the city government to shelve the proposal.[citation needed].

Government

Hikone has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 24 members. Hikone, collectively with the towns of Inukami District, contributes four members to the Shiga Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Shiga 2nd district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.

Economy

The key industries of Hikone are the manufacturing of butsudan, textiles, and valves. Bridgestone has a tire manufacturing plant here. Fujitec, Ohmi Railway, and Heiwadō (the largest supermarket chain in Shiga) are headquartered in Hikone.[6]

In 1999, a small area south of the castle, called the Yume Kyōbashi Castle Road, was built in the old style and attracts visitors keen to see modern construction fused with traditional looks. Even the Kansai Urban Bank in this district has remodeled itself to fit in with the surrounding structures.

Education

Shiga University
Shiga University

There are three universities in Hikone: Seisen University, Shiga University, and The University of Shiga Prefecture (USP).

Hikone is also the home of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU), a facility operated jointly by a consortium of the fifteen public universities in the State of Michigan and the government of Shiga Prefecture (in coordination with USP) that offers programs for American university students and scholars for the study of Japanese language and culture, as well as courses in English for the citizens of Shiga Prefecture. The Michigan Center, as it is known, was founded in 1989, under the auspices of the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Agreement, the oldest such relationship between a US state and Japanese prefectures.

Hikone has 17 public elementary schools and seven public middle schools operated by the city government and one middle school operated by the Shiga Prefectural Department of Education. The prefecture also operates six public high schools and two special education schools for the handicapped. There are also two private high schools.

Transportation

Railway

JR logo (west).svg
JR WestBiwako Line

Ohtetsu Logomark.svg
Ohmi RailwayMain Line

Highway

Sister cities

Hikone is twinned with the following two cities.[8]

Local attractions

Noted people from Hikone

References

  1. ^ "Hikone city official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. ^ Hikone climate data
  3. ^ 観測史上1~10位の値(年間を通じての値). JMA. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  4. ^ 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). JMA. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Hikone population statistics
  6. ^ a b Schellinger, Paul; Salkin, Robert, eds. (1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places, Volume 5: Asia and Oceania. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. pp. 338, 339. ISBN 1-884964-04-4.
  7. ^ Isomura, Yukio; Sakai, Hideya (2012). (国指定史跡事典) National Historic Site Encyclopedia. 学生社. ISBN 4311750404.(in Japanese)
  8. ^ International relations Archived 2012-12-14 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 7 November 2012