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|— Designated city —|
|岡山市 · Okayama City|
|Okayama Kōraku-en Garden, The Main Hall of Kibitsu jinja, Statue of Momotarō|
|• Mayor||Shigeo Takaya|
|• Total||789.88 km2 (304.97 sq mi)|
|Population (August 2010)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Address||1-1-1 Daiku, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
The city is the site of Kōraku-en, known as one of the top three traditional gardens in Japan, and the black Okayama Castle, which is ranked among the best 100 Japanese castles. The city is famous as the setting of the Japanese fable "Momotarō".
Sengoku period to Tensho era
Before the Muromachi period, Okayama was one corner of a farm region and included a small castle built by the Kanemitsu. In the Sengoku period, Ukita Naoie attacked Okayama and attacked the castle for the transportation resources and extensive farmland in the region. Naoie remodeled the castle, built the old Sanyo road to the central part of the castle town, and called in tradesmen both from inside and outside of Bizen province. Okayama became the political and economical capital of Bizen province.
In 1600, Ukita Hideie, who was the son of Naoie and the lord of Okayama, lost at the Battle of Sekigahara. The next year, Kobayakawa Hideaki came to Okayama and became the feudal lord of Okayama Domain. Hideaki died in 1602, however, ending the Kobayakawa line. Ikeda Tadatugu, who was the feudal lord of Himeji Domain, became the next lord of Okayama. After this time, Okayama was ruled by the Ikedas until the latter part of the 19th century. Continuing its economic development, Okayama became one of the ten best large castle towns in Japan in the 18th century. The Korakuen Garden was developed by the fourth feudal lord, Ikeda Tsunamasa.
Meiji Restoration to World War II
On August 29, 1871, the new Meiji government of the Empire of Japan replaced the traditional feudal domain system with centralized government authority (Prefectures of Japan). Okayama became the capital of Okayama Prefecture. In 1889, Okayama city was founded. In the Meiji period, a railroad was built in Okayama city that greatly enhanced the development of the city. For example, the Sixth Higher Middle School (第六高等学校 Dairoku Kōtōgakkō ) and Okayama Medical College (岡山医科大学 Okayama Ika-daigaku ) were established in Okayama city. Okayama became one of the most important places in western Japan for transportation and education. When World War II began, Okayama city had a Japanese Army base camp. On June 29, 1945, the city was attacked by the US Army with incendiary bombs. Almost all the city was burned, and more than 1700 people were killed. Okayama suffered terrible damage in the war, losing more than 12000 households.
Since World War II
During Japan's economic miracle of the 1960s, Okayama developed rapidly as one of the most important cities in the Chūgoku and Shikoku regions. In 1972, the Sanyō Shinkansen began service between Shin-Ōsaka and Okayama stations. Two years later, Shinkansen service was extended to Hakata.
In 1988, the Seto-Ōhashi Bridge was opened, and connected Okayama with Shikoku directly by rail and road.
The city of Okayama is located in the southern part of Okayama Prefecture, which in turn is located in western part of the island of Honshū. The city is bounded on the south by the Inland Sea. Asahi River crosses Okayama.
|Population as of October 1, 2005|
- On March 22, 2005, the town of Mitsu, from Mitsu District, and the town of Nadasaki, from Kojima District, merged into the city of Okayama.
- On January 22, 2007, the town of Takebe, from Mitsu District, and the town of Seto, from Akaiwa District, merged into the city of Okayama.
Kojima, Mitsu, and Akaiwa districts have all since been dissolved.
Okayama has a mild climate in comparison to most of Japan. The city is ranked as the second driest and the fourth sunniest city in the Chūgoku region. The climate is classified under the Köppen climate classification as humid subtropical Cfa.
|Climate data for Okayama|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.6
|Average low °C (°F)||0.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||30.6
|Snowfall cm (inches)||3
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||153.6||136.4||159.4||193.5||210.3||176.3||172.6||231.3||152.0||178.1||158.3||160.9||2,082.7|
|Source: NOAA (1961-1990) |
The city is located in the Okayama Plain, where rice, eggplant, and white Chinese chives are notable products. White peaches and grapes are cultivated in the mountainous, northern part of the city.
In 2005, the city's gross domestic product was 800 billion yen, nearly 10% of the GDP of Okayama Prefecture. The main industries are machine tools, chemicals, foodstuffs and printing. Kōnan, a district in the southern part of the city, is the most developed industrial zone.
Okayama is the core of the Okayama metropolitan area, which includes the cities of Kurashiki and Sōja. The main commercial district is Omotechō, near Okayama Castle and Kōraku-en, and the area surrounding Okayama Station. Omotechō has many covered shopping arcades.
Okayama Castle (nicknamed Ujō (烏城), meaning "crow castle") was constructed in 1597 by Ukita Naoie, a Japanese feudal lord. It was destroyed by bombing in 1945 during World War II but reconstructed in 1966.
Music and the arts
There are many museums in the city, including the Okayama Prefectural Museum, the Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, the Hayashibara Museum of Art, the Okayama Orient Museum, the Yumeji Art Museum, and the Okayama Digital Museum.
Okayama has several traditional dishes. Barazushi (ばらずし), a dish made with sushi rice, contains fresh fish from the Seto Inland Sea. Kibidango (吉備団子), gel-like balls made from a powder of millet and rice, are a well-known sweets from the area.
The Sanyo Shimbun and the Okayama Nichinichi Shimbun are the local newspapers serving the greater Okayama area. The former publishes morning and evening editions while the latter publishes an evening edition only. There are six television stations serving the Okayama area and part of Kagawa Prefecture. Three FM and three AM radio stations also serve the region.
- TV Stations
|Channel ID||Name||Network||Established year||Call sign|
|1||NHK General TV Okayama||NHK General TV||1957||JOKK-(D)TV|
|2||NHK Educational TV Okayama||NHK Educational TV||1963||JOKB-(D)TV|
|4||Nishinippon Broadcasting Co.,Ltd.(RNC)||NNN||1958||JOKF-(D)TV|
|5||Setonaikai Broadcasting Co.,Ltd.(KSB)||ANN||1969||JOVH-(D)TV|
|6||Sanyo Broadcasting Co.,Ltd.(RSK)||JNN||1958||JOYR-(D)TV|
|7||TV Setouchi Broadcasting Co.,Ltd.(TSC)||TXN||1985||JOPH-(D)TV|
|8||Okayama Broadcasting Co.,Ltd.(OHK)||FNN||1969||JOOH-(D)TV|
- Radio Stations
|Channel||Name||Network||Established year||Call sign|
|AM 603 kHz||NHK Radio Daiichi Okayama||NHK Radio Daiichi||1931||JOKK|
|AM 1386 kHz||NHK Radio Daini Okayama||NHK Radio Daini||1946||JOKB|
|AM 1494 kHz||Sanyo Broadcasting Co,Ltd.Radio (RSK)||JRN, NRN||1958||JOYR|
|FM 88.7 MHz||NHK FM Okayama||NHK FM||1964||JOKK-FM|
|FM 76.8 MHz||FM Okayama||JFN||1999||JOVV-FM|
|FM 79.0 MHz||Radio MOMO (Okayama City FM)||J-WAVE||1997||JOZZ8AD-FM|
Okayama has many sports teams. In recent years, volleyball team Okayama Seagulls and football club Fagiano Okayama have been established. In 2009, Fagiano Okayama FC gained promotion to the J. League, the highest football league in Japan.
|Fagiano Okayama FC||Football||J. League Division 2||Momotaro Stadium (Okayama Prefectural Multipurpose Athletic Stadium)||2004|
|Okayama Seagulls||Volleyball||V.League||Momotaro Arena (Okayama Prefectural Multipurpose Grounds Gym)||1999|
|Serio Standing Bears||American football||X-League||Momotaro Stadium (Okayama Prefectural Multipurpose Athletic Stadium)||?|
|Citylight Okayama Baseball Team||Baseball||Semi-professional baseball||2008|
Okayama University, founded as a medical school in 1870 and established in 1949 as a national university, is in the city. Today, Okayama University is one of Okayama's largest universities, with 11 faculties and six graduate schools.
There are seven private universities, three junior colleges, 24 high schools (16 public, eight private), seven combined junior high/high schools (two public, five private), 37 junior high schools (36 municipal, one national) and 93 elementary schools (91 municipal, two private) in the city.
- Okayama University (national)
- Notre Dame Seishin University (private)
- Okayama University of Science (private)
- Okayama Shoka University (private)
- Sanyo Gakuen University (private)
- Shujitsu University (private)
- Chugoku Gakuen University (private)
- International Pacific University (private)
Okayama is one of few Japanese cities to have kept an operational tram system since the Meiji period. It is managed by Okayama Electric Tramway and offers two lines: the Higashiyama Main Line and the Seikibashi Line.
Seven bus companies provide service within the city limits:
- Bihoku Bus (備北バス)
- Chūtetsu Bus (中鉄バス)
- Okaden Bus (岡電バス)
- Ryōbi Bus (両備バス)
- Shimoden Bus (下電バス)
- Tōbi Bus (東備バス)
- Uno Bus (宇野バス)
Okayama Airport, located in the northern part of the city, provides domestic service to Tokyo-Haneda, Sapporo-Chitose, Okinawa-Naha, and Kagoshima. International air service is provided to Seoul-Incheon, Guam, Beijing, Shanghai-Pudong, and Dalian.
- Shin Koyamada (Hollywood/Japanese actor, Entrepreneur) - Born and raised in Okayama co-starred in the Warner Bros' epic feature film The Last Samurai as Nobutada and starring in Disney Channel Original Movie Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior as Shen.
- Akihiko Kumashiro - three-time member of the House of Representatives of Japan
- Masashi Kishimoto - manga artist and creator of Naruto.
- Masaki Kajishima - creator of Tenchi Muyo!
- Taiyo Sugiura - Japanese actor
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2010)|
Okayama has 6 sister cities around the world.
- San Jose, California, United States (1957)
- San José, Costa Rica (1969)
- Plovdiv, Bulgaria (1972)
- Luoyang, China (1981)
- Bucheon, South Korea (2002)
- Hsinchu City, Taiwan (2003)
- Kanpur, India (2005)
Points of interest
- Korakuen Garden
- Tokoen Garden
- Omizuen Garden
- Handayama Botanical Garden
- RSK Rose Garden
- Okayama Castle
- Okayama Prefectural Museum
- Okayama Orient Museum
- Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art
- Hayashibara Museum of Art
- Yumeji Art Museum
- Ikeda Zoo
- Kibiji District Cycling Road
- Ashimori Clan Samurai Residence
- Saijo Inari
- Kibitsu Shrine
- Kibitsuhiko Shrine
- Tsukuriyama Kofun
- Saidaiji Temple (Okayama)
- Sogenji Temple
- Okayama Symphony Hall
- Okayama University
- "Overview of Okayama City/Okayama city (Okayama-shi) is the capital of Okayama Prefecture".
- "Castles / List of Japanese Castles at Japan-Guide.com".
- "“Momotaro,” a folk tale and Kibiji District at Japan-Okayama.jp".
- http://www.kokudo.or.jp/marge/c_okayama.html (Japanese)
- "Okayama Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Aeon Corporate Structure
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