Maniwa
真庭市
View of Hiruzen Plateau
Location of Maniwa in Okayama Prefecture
Maniwa
Maniwa
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 35°4′33″N 133°45′9″E / 35.07583°N 133.75250°E / 35.07583; 133.75250Coordinates: 35°4′33″N 133°45′9″E / 35.07583°N 133.75250°E / 35.07583; 133.75250
CountryJapan
RegionChūgoku (San'yō)
PrefectureOkayama Prefecture
Government
 • MayorNoboru Ota (since April 2013)
Area
 • Total828.43 km2 (319.86 sq mi)
Population
 (April 1, 2018)
 • Total44,265
 • Density53/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address2927-2 Kuse, Maniwa-shi, Okayama-ken
719-3292
Websitewww.city.maniwa.lg.jp
Symbols
FlowerCherry blossom
TreeChamaecyparis obtusa

Maniwa (真庭市, Maniwa-shi) is a city located in north-central Okayama Prefecture, Japan. Its northernmost border meets that of Tottori Prefecture.

The modern city of Maniwa was established on March 31, 2005, from the merger of the town of Hokubō (from Jōbō District); the towns of Katsuyama, Ochiai, Yubara and Kuse, and the villages of Mikamo, Kawakami, Yatsuka and Chūka (all from Maniwa District), the latter three which make up the area of Hiruzen as a whole.

As of April 1, 2018, Maniwa has an area of 828.43 km², 11.6% of Okayama Prefecture, giving it the largest area of any municipality in the prefecture. It measures roughly 55 km from North to South, and 35 km from East to West. Its population was 44,265, with 17,828 households.[1] The city is known for Mount Hiruzen (1,202 m (3,944 ft)) and the Hiruzen Highlands. Mount Hiruzen (also known as the Hiruzen Sanza, for its 3 sloping peaks) is also the source of the Asahi River (142 kilometres (88 mi)), which flows through much of Okayama Prefecture.[2][3][4][5][6]

Maniwa is also currently known for its Biomass initiatives, and has been given the title of a "Biomass Town", alongside 317 other areas within Japan. It has a biomass electric power plant, which runs using woody biomass in the forms of by-products of the city's lumber industries and household waste. The plant products over 10,000 kW, and can power more than 22,000 of Maniwa's homes, of which it sells some of the energy back to the National Grid. The City Office in Kuse is also fueled by a biomass boiler, and also uses solar panels in an attempt to reduce its carbon footprint.

Geography

Maniwa is located in approximately the center of the Chūgoku Mountains. The mountainous part of the city to the north is dominated by Mount Hiruzen. The Asahi River, a Class 1 river under the Rivers Act of 1964, emerges from Mount Hiruzen in Maniwa, and its upper reaches are located within the town. The river has approximately 146 tributaries. Major tributaries of the Asahi in Maniwa include the Bitchū, Nakazui, Kōchi, Meki, and the Shinjō rivers.[6] The Hiruzen Highlands sit at an elevation of 500-600m above sea-level, and is part of the Daisen-Oki National Park, as of 1 February 1936.

80% of Maniwa's land is covered in forest, 60% of which was planted after World War Two. With thriving lumber industries, Maniwa is investing heavily in biomass and sustainable development of its resources.

With Maniwa being far from any major fault lines, the chance of an earthquake above 7.0 magnitude is less than 1%, small compared to other areas of Japan.

Adjoining municipalities

Climate

Maniwa's climate varies greatly from north to south. The Hiruzen Highlands up north, due to being at a higher elevation, tend to be much cooler in the summer, with heavy snow in the winter, and temperatures often dropping into the negatives. However, further down south in Kuse to Hokubo, snow may fall in the winter but rarely accumulates, but the summers are hotter in comparison to Hiruzen.

Maniwa is also situated far in land, which means that typhoons often do not affect it as badly as seaside towns in Okayama. The mountains throughout the town create a barrier from extremely heavy winds, and so often rain is the biggest side effect of any typhoons passing nearby.

Kuse (Maniwa)
Month Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg Highest Temp °C (°F) 7.2

(45)

8.3

(46.9)

12.5

(54.5)

19.5

(67.1)

24.3

(75.7)

27.5

(81.5)

30.9

(87.6)

32.4

(90.3)

27.7

(81.9)

21.8

(71.2)

15.5

(59.9)

9.8

(49.6)

19.78

(67.6)

Avg Low Temp °C (°F) −1.8

(28.8)

−1.6

(29.1)

0.8

(33.4)

5.5

(41.9)

10.7

(51.3)

16.2

(61.2)

20.9

(69.6)

21.6

(70.9)

17.3

(63.1)

10.3

(50.5)

4.6

(40.3)

0.2

(32.4)

8.73

(47.71)

Rainfall mm (inch) 52.2

(2.055)

67.5

(2.657)

109.0

(4.291)

116.0

(4.567)

151.6

(5.969)

193.6

(7.622)

248.2

(9.772)

114.8

(4.52)

168.6

(6.638)

91.0

(3.583)

65.6

(2.583)

53.4

(2.102)

1,431.5

(56.359)

Avg No Days it rains (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.2 11.1 12.2 10.3 11.2 11.7 12.9 9.2 10.6 8.0 8.4 8.9 124.7
Avg Sunlight hours p/month 87.4 99.7 133.5 169.9 179.6 145.6 141.0 166.3 135.1 135.4 101.9 90.2 1,585.6
Source: Japanese Meteorological Agency
Yatsuka (Hiruzen, Maniwa)
Month Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg Highest Temp °C (°F) 4.1

(39.4)

4.8

(40.6)

9.1

(48.4)

16.4

(61.5)

21.1

(70)

24.1

(75.4)

27.6

(81.7)

28.9

(84)

24.3

(75.7)

18.9

(66)

13.3

(55.9)

7.5

(45.5)

16.68

(62.01)

Avg Low Temp °C (°F) −3.9

(25)

−4.1

(24.6)

−1.5

(29.3)

2.8

(37)

8.2

(46.8)

13.8

(56.8)

18.8

(65.8)

19.4

(66.9)

14.9

(58.8)

7.6

(45.7)

2.3

(36.1)

−1.7

(28.9)

6.38

(43.48)

Rainfall mm (inch) 162.3

(6.39)

156.9

(6.177)

156.6

(6.165)

119.5

(4.705)

143.5

(5.65)

191.1

(7.524)

270.1

(10.634)

144.4

(5.685)

245.4

(9.661)

159.8

(6.291)

142.5

(5.61)

140.9

(5.547)

2,033

(80.039)

Avg Snowfall (≥ 1.0 mm) 188

(74)

179

(70.5)

69

(27.2)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

0

(0)

2

(0.8)

89

(35)

527

(207.5)

Avg No Days it rains (≥ 1.0 mm) 19.8 17.5 16.6 12.3 11.9 12.5 15.0 11.1 13.7 12.2 14.2 17.0 173.8
Avg Sunlight hours p/month 53.7 68.7 112.3 157.5 174.4 139.1 135.2 155.6 111.4 113.8 82.8 66.9 1,371.4
Source: Japanese Meteorological Agency

Transport

Railways

The main station is Chūgoku-Katsuyama.

Although there is no direct train line to Maniwa from Okayama, travelers can take either the Tsuyama Line to Tsuyama, or the Hakubi Line to Niimi, and transfer to the Kishin Line at either of those stations.

Road

Bus

Sister and Friendship cities

Tourism in Maniwa

Due to its lack of infrastructure regarding public transport, most who visit Maniwa come by car.

Hiruzen

80% of tourists visit the Hiruzen Highlands, which are known as one of the more popular resort areas in Western Japan. Due to its high elevation above sea-level, the highlands remain cool in the summer, whilst gains heavy snow in the winter, making it popular with local skiers. Hiruzen also is home to the largest Jersey Cow Farm in Japan, with the "Jersey Land" facilities giving tourists the ability to see the cows up close, milk them, and eat foods made from the Jersey milk. The highlands are also known for their "Cycling Road", a 30 km loop of well-maintained cycling paths, with various rental shops along the route.

Yubara

Yubara Onsen is also a popular resort, with its numerous hot springs (onsen), and close proximity to Hiruzen. Its most well-known onsen, "Sunayu", has been designated one of the representative hot springs of West Japan, and sits at the base of Yubara Dam. It is a rare mixed-sex onsen, and is also free and open 24/7.

Katsuyama

Maniwa is also home to one of Japan's Top 100 waterfalls, Kanba Waterfall. Standing at 110 meters tall and 20 meters wide, it is the largest waterfall in West Japan. It is also home to groups of Japanese monkeys, most often seen during the winter as they come to the valley floor in search of food.

Katsuyama is also an old castle town, which prospered as a stop along the Izumo Kaido, a trade route stretching from Izumo to Kyoto and Osaka. It was also a port, as the river stretches down to Okayama City, and would only take a day or so to reach on the shallow boats they used at the time. Natsume Soseki also stayed here during a war for a few weeks. The town dedicated a 600m stretch of streets to preserve as it would have been in the Edo Period, including the burying of powerlines and reduction of street lights. Currently, the town is known for its Noren curtains, which hang 24/7 outside most homes and shops, and are all made by Yoko Kano, a local artist.

Kuse

Kuse, home to the main city office, is also known for the "Former Senkyo Elementary School." Built in a Western style in 1907, the school is no longer used day-to-day, and has become a tourist attraction. With certain dramas such as "Always" having been filmed here, it is often popular with fans of those dramas. Free to the public, the school also provides Japanese school uniforms you can try at no cost.

Ochiai

Further down south, Ochiai is most famous for the "Daigo-Sakura", a 1000+ year old cherry tree. Sat at the top of a hill deep in the mountains, this cherry blossom tree tends to bloom between mid-late April. A smaller tree, birthed from the original, sits close by on the hilltop. The name "Daigo-Sakura" came from former Emperor Daigo, who, when on his way to exile in the Oki Islands, stopped by this tree and apparently was most impressed by it.

Ochiai is also known for its yōkan, a Japanese sweet made from red beans (anko). In the shape of the narrow boats that used to carry goods down the river to Okayama, and with a light crust of sugar, these sweets are very popular as souvenirs from the city.

Hokubo

At the southernmost tip of Maniwa, Hokubo is most well known for its fireflies in June. One of the best breeding grounds in the prefecture, many tourists visit during this time to see the fireflies during their mating season.

Notable places and events

Festivals

Onsens

References

  1. ^ "Official website of Maniwa city" (in Japanese). Japan: Maniwa City. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b "真庭" [Maniwa]. Dijitaru Daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  3. ^ "Asahi-gawa". Dijitaru daijisen (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
  4. ^ "Hiruzen". Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  5. ^ "真庭" [Maniwa]. Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  6. ^ a b "真庭" [Maniwa]. Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 153301537. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  7. ^ 路線バス 高速・勝山線. www.chutetsu-bus.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-08-07.