Wakayama Prefecture
和歌山県
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese和歌山県
 • RōmajiWakayama-ken
Cherry blossoms bloom in the courtyard of Negoro-ji Temple in Iwade City, Wakayama Prefecture
Cherry blossoms bloom in the courtyard of Negoro-ji Temple in Iwade City, Wakayama Prefecture
Flag of Wakayama Prefecture
Official logo of Wakayama Prefecture
Anthem: Wakayama kenminka
Location of Wakayama Prefecture
CountryJapan
RegionKansai
IslandHonshū
CapitalWakayama (city)
SubdivisionsDistricts: 6, Municipalities: 30
Government
 • GovernorShūhei Kishimoto (since December 17, 2022)
Area
 • Total4,724.69 km2 (1,824.21 sq mi)
 • Rank30th
Population
 (1 October 2017)
 • Total944,320
 • Rank39th
 • Density199.87/km2 (517.7/sq mi)
 • Dialects
Kishū
ISO 3166 codeJP-30
Websitewww.wakayama.lg.jp/
english/
Symbols of Japan
BirdJapanese white-eye (Zosterops japonica)
FlowerUme blossom (Prunus mume)
TreeUbame oak (Quercus phillyraeoides)

Wakayama Prefecture (和歌山, Wakayama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu.[1]: 1026  Wakayama Prefecture has a population of 944,320 (as of 1 October 2017) and has a geographic area of 4,724 square kilometres (1,824 sq mi). Wakayama Prefecture borders Osaka Prefecture to the north, and Mie Prefecture and Nara Prefecture to the northeast.

Wakayama is the capital and largest city of Wakayama Prefecture, with other major cities including Tanabe, Hashimoto, and Kinokawa.[2]: 1025  Wakayama Prefecture is located on the western coast of the Kii Peninsula on the Kii Channel, connecting the Pacific Ocean and Seto Inland Sea, across from Tokushima Prefecture on the island of Shikoku.

History

See also: Historic Sites of Wakayama Prefecture

Present-day Wakayama is mostly the western part of the province of Kii.[3]

1953 flood disaster

On July 17–18, 1953, a torrential heavy rain occurred, followed by collapse of levees, river flooding and landslides in a wide area. Many bridges and houses were destroyed. According to an officially confirmed report by the Government of Japan, 1,015 people died, with 5,709 injured and 7,115 houses lost.[citation needed]

Geography

Map of Wakayama Prefecture.     City      Town      Village
Map of Wakayama Prefecture.
     City      Town      Village

As of 31 March 2020, 13 percent of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Setonaikai and Yoshino-Kumano National Parks; Kongō-Ikoma-Kisen and Kōya-Ryūjin Quasi-National Parks; and Enju Kaigan, Hatenashi Sanmyaku, Hikigawa, Jōgamori Hokodai, Kōyasanchō Ishimichi-Tamagawakyō, Kozagawa, Nishiarida, Oishi Kōgen, Ōtōsan, Ryūmonzan, Shiramisan-Wadagawakyō, and Shirasaki Kaigan Prefectural Natural Parks.[4]

Cities

See also: List of cities in Wakayama Prefecture by population

Nine cities are in Wakayama Prefecture:

Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Arida, Wakayama.svg
Arida
有田市 36.91 27,963
Arida in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Gobo Wakayama.JPG
Gobō
御坊市 43.78 27,483
Gobo in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Hashimoto, Wakayama.svg
Hashimoto
橋本市 130.31 62,941
Hashimoto in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Iwade, Wakayama.svg
Iwade
岩出市 38.5 53,280
Iwade in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kainan, Wakayama.svg
Kainan
海南市 101.18 51,112
Kainan in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kinokawa Wakayama.JPG
Kinokawa
紀の川市 228.24 61,850
Kinokawa in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Shingu, Wakayama.svg
Shingū
新宮市 255.43 26,815
Shingu in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tanabe, Wakayama.svg
Tanabe
田辺市 1,026.91 70,410
Tanabe in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Wakayama, Wakayama.svg
Wakayama (capital)
和歌山市 210.25 360,664
Wakayama in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Type Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Aridagawa, Wakayama.svg
Aridagawa
有田川町 351.77 26,245 Arida District Town
Aridagawa in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Hidaka Wakayama.JPG
Hidaka
日高町 46.42 7,666 Hidaka District Town
Hidaka in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Hidakagawa, Wakayama.svg
Hidakagawa
日高川町 331.61 9,615 Hidaka District Town
Hidakagawa in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Hirogawa Wakayama.JPG
Hirogawa
広川町 65.35 7,059 Arida District Town
Hirogawa in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Inami Wakayama.svg
Inami
印南町 113.63 7,949 Hidaka District Town
Inami in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kamitonda Wakayama.svg
Kamitonda
上富田町 57.49 15,047 Nishimuro District Town
Kamitonda in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Katsuragi Wakayama.JPG
Katsuragi
かつらぎ町 151.73 16,686 Ito District Town
Katsuragi in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kimino Wakayama.svg
Kimino
紀美野町 128.31 8,989 Kaisō District Town
Kimino in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kitayama Wakayama.svg
Kitayama
北山村 48.21 432 Higashimuro District Village
Kitayama in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Koya Wakayama.JPG
Kōya
高野町 137.08 3,279 Ito District Town
Koya in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kozagawa Wakayama.JPG
Kozagawa
古座川町 294.52 2,749 Higashimuro District Town
Kozagawa in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kudoyama, Wakayama.svg
Kudoyama
九度山町 44.19 4,295 Ito District Town
Kudoyama in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kushimoto Wakayama.JPG
Kushimoto
串本町 135.78 16,243 Higashimuro District Town
Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Mihama Wakayama.JPG
Mihama
美浜町 12.79 7,391 Hidaka District Town
Mihama in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Minabe, Wakayama.svg
Minabe
みなべ町 120.26 12,561 Hidaka District Town
Minabe in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Nachikatsuura, Wakayama.svg
Nachikatsuura
那智勝浦町 183.45 17,261 Higashimuro District Town
Nachikatsuura in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Shirahama Wakayama.svg
Shirahama
白浜町 201.04 23,325 Nishimuro District Town
Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Susami Wakayama.JPG
Susami
すさみ町 174.71 4,011 Nishimuro District Town
Susami in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Taiji Wakayama.JPG
Taiji
太地町 5.96 3,428 Higashimuro District Town
Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Yuasa Wakayama.JPG
Yuasa
湯浅町 20.8 11,960 Arida District Town
Yuasa in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Yura Wakayama.JPG
Yura
由良町 30.74 5,738 Hidaka District Town
Yura in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg

Mergers

Main article: List of mergers in Wakayama Prefecture

Demographics

Wakayama prefecture population pyramid in 2020
Wakayama prefecture population pyramid in 2020

Since 1996, population of Wakayama Prefecture has kept declining, and since 2010, it has been the only prefecture in Kansai region with population below 1,000,000. In 2017, Wakayama is ranked 40th by population in Japan with a population of 944,320. In the 2020 census, close to 32% of the population was over 65 years of age - the highest percentage in Japan and one of the highest for national subdivisions worldwide.[5]

Politics

See also: 1999 Wakayama gubernatorial election and Wakayama gubernatorial election, 2006

List of governors of Wakayama

State-appointed governors:

Publicly-elected governors:

Culture

Mount Kōya (高野山, Kōya-san) in the Ito District is the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is home to one of the first Japanese style Buddhist temples in Japan and remains a pilgrimage site and an increasingly popular tourist destination as people flock to see its ancient temples set amidst the towering cedar trees at the top of the mountain. The Sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the Kii Mountain Range extend for miles throughout the prefecture and together have been recognized as Japan's 11th UNESCO World Heritage Site.[6]

The Kumano Shrines are on the southern tip of the prefecture. Tomogashima (a cluster of four islands) is part of the prefecture.

Agriculture

Orange

Wakayama Prefecture ranks first in the production of oranges in Japan. Wakayama has its own brand of oranges, which is produced in Arida District and called 'Arida-Orange'. Arida District, where oranges have been produced for more than 400 years,[7] yields about half of the orange crops in Wakayama today.[8] Furthermore, the yield of Arida-Oranges accounts for about 10 percent of Japanese domestic production of oranges.[9]

Japanese apricot (Ume)

According to the survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, Wakayama stands first in the production of Japanese apricots (, Ume) in Japan. As of 2016, Wakayama made up about 70 percent of Japanese domestic production of Japanese apricots.[10]

Sister relationships

Wakayama Prefecture has friendship and sister relationships with six places outside Japan:[11]

Tourism

Wakayama Prefecture has hot springs such as Shirahama, Kawayu, and Yunomine Onsen.

Transportation

Rail

Road

Expressway

National Highway

Ferry

Airport

Education

Universities

Notes

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Wakayama prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1026, p. 1026, at Google Books; "Kansai" in p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Wakayama" in p. 1025, p. 1025, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^ 自然公園都道府県別面積総括 [General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  5. ^ 2020 population census of Japan. https://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/kokusei/2020/summary.html
  6. ^ UNESCO.org
  7. ^ 今月の旬 Wakayama Prefecture website, accessed May 31, 2017
  8. ^ 農林水産 特産品 Wakayama Prefecture website, accessed May 31, 2017
  9. ^ 有田みかんについて JA Arida website, accessed May 31, 2017
  10. ^ 作況調査(果樹): 農林水産省 The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries website, accessed June 1, 2017
  11. ^ 友好・姉妹提携 Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine Wakayama Prefecture website, retrieved May 16, 2008

References

34°3′N 135°21′E / 34.050°N 135.350°E / 34.050; 135.350