Hyōgo Prefecture

Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県, Hyōgo-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu.[1] Hyōgo Prefecture has a population of 5,469,762 (as of 1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 8,400 square kilometres (3,200 sq mi). Hyōgo Prefecture borders Kyoto Prefecture to the east, Osaka Prefecture to the southeast, and Okayama Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture to the west.

Hyōgo Prefecture
兵庫県
Japanese transcription(s)
  Japanese兵庫県
  RōmajiHyōgo-ken
Rokkō Island and Higashinada District, Kobe City, Hyōgo Prefecture at night, view from Maya Peak
Anthem: Hyōgo Kenminka[note 1]
Coordinates: 34°41′26.94″N 135°10′59.08″E
Country Japan
RegionKansai
IslandHonshu
CapitalKobe
SubdivisionsDistricts: 8, Municipalities: 41
Government
  GovernorMotohiko Saitō (from August 2021)
Area
  Total8,400.94 km2 (3,243.62 sq mi)
  Rank12th
Population
 (1 June 2019)
  Total5,469,762
  Rank7th
  Density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-28
Websiteweb.pref.hyogo.lg.jp/fl/english/
Symbols
BirdOriental white stork (Ciconia boyciana)
FlowerNojigiku (Chrysanthemum japonense)
TreeCamphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)

Kōbe is the capital and largest city of Hyōgo Prefecture, and the seventh-largest city in Japan, with other major cities including Himeji, Nishinomiya, and Amagasaki.[2] Hyōgo Prefecture's mainland stretches from the Sea of Japan to the Seto Inland Sea, where Awaji Island and a small archipelago of islands belonging to the prefecture are located. Hyōgo Prefecture is a major economic center, transportation hub, and tourist destination in western Japan, with 20% of the prefecture's land area designated as Natural Parks. Hyōgo Prefecture forms part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, the second-most-populated urban region in Japan after the Greater Tokyo area and one of the world's most productive regions by GDP.

History

Map of Hyogo Prefecture with former provincial boundaries and current prefectural offices.
1.Kobe city (divided between Harima and Settsu)
2.Settsu (Hanshin South office)
3.Settsu (Hanshin North office)
4.Harima East office
5.Harima North office
6.Harima Central office
7.Harima West office
9.Tanba office
8.Tajima office
10.Awaji office
Areas beyond Harima West belonged to Mimasaka (north) and Bizen (south)

Present-day Hyōgo Prefecture includes the former provinces of Harima, Tajima, Awaji, and parts of Tanba and Settsu.[3]

In 1180, near the end of the Heian period, Emperor Antoku, Taira no Kiyomori, and the Imperial court moved briefly to Fukuhara, in what is now the city of Kobe. There the capital remained for five months.

Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in the city of Himeji.

Southern Hyōgo Prefecture was severely devastated by the 6.9 Mw Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, which destroyed major parts of Kobe and Awaji, as well as Takarazuka and neighboring Osaka Prefecture, killing nearly 6,500 people.

Geography

Kobe
Takarazuka
Sumoto
Tatsuno
Shiso
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
18901,551,367    
19031,833,957+1.30%
19132,143,791+1.57%
19202,301,799+1.02%
19252,454,679+1.29%
19302,646,301+1.51%
19352,923,249+2.01%
19403,221,232+1.96%
19452,821,892−2.61%
19503,309,935+3.24%
19553,620,947+1.81%
19603,906,487+1.53%
19654,309,944+1.99%
19704,667,928+1.61%
19754,992,140+1.35%
19805,144,892+0.60%
19855,278,050+0.51%
19905,405,040+0.48%
19955,401,877−0.01%
20005,550,574+0.54%
20055,590,601+0.14%
20105,588,133−0.01%
20155,536,989−0.18%
source:[4]

Hyōgo has coastlines on two seas: to the north, the Sea of Japan, to the south, the Seto Inland Sea. On Awaji Island, Hyōgo borders the Pacific Ocean coastline in the Kii Channel. The northern portion is sparsely populated, except for the city of Toyooka, and the central highlands are only populated by tiny villages. Most of Hyōgo's population lives on the southern coast, which is part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area. Awaji is an island that separates the Inland Sea and Osaka Bay, lying between Honshu and Shikoku.

Summertime weather throughout Hyōgo is hot and humid. As for winter conditions in Hyōgo, the north of Hyōgo tends to receive abundant snow, whilst the south receives only the occasional flurry.

Hyōgo borders on Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture.

As of 31 March 2008, 20% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Sanin Kaigan and Setonaikai National Parks; Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park; and Asago Gunzan, Harima Chūbu Kyūryō, Inagawa Keikoku, Izushi-Itoi, Kasagatayama-Sengamine, Kiyomizu-Tōjōko-Tachikui, Onzui-Chikusa, Seiban Kyūryō, Seppiko-Mineyama, Tajima Sangaku, and Taki Renzan Prefectural Natural Parks.[5]

Current municipalities

Aioi相生市
Akashi明石市
Akō赤穂市
Amagasaki尼崎市
Asago朝来市
Ashiya芦屋市
Awaji淡路市
Himeji姫路市
Itami伊丹市
Kakogawa加古川市
Kasai加西市
Katō加東市
Kawanishi川西市
Kobe (capital)神戸市
Miki三木市
Minamiawaji南あわじ市
Nishinomiya西宮市
Nishiwaki西脇市
Ono小野市
Sanda三田市
Shisō宍粟市
Sumoto洲本市
Takarazuka宝塚市
Takasago高砂市
Tamba-Sasayama丹波篠山市
Tanba丹波市
Tatsunoたつの市
Toyooka豊岡市
Yabu養父市
Fukusaki福崎町
Harima播磨町
Ichikawa市川町
Inagawa猪名川町
Inami稲美町
Kami香美町
Kamigōri上郡町
Kamikawa神河町
Sayō佐用町
Shin'onsen新温泉町
Taishi太子町
Taka多可町
Municipalities in Hyōgo Prefecture      Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town

Islands

Two major artificial islands are located Hyōgo Prefecture:

National parks

Future mergers

The city of Akō and the only town in Akō District (Kamigōri), were scheduled to merge and the city would still retain the name Akō. Akō District would be defunct if the merger was successful.[6] However, the merger hasn't taken place.

Economy

Hyogo prefecture population pyramid in 2020

As in all prefectures nationwide, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries play a big role in the economy of Hyogo Prefecture.[7] Hyōgo Prefecture also has an IT industry, many heavy industries, metal and medical, Kobe Port being one of the largest ports in Japan. Kobe Port also hosts one of the world's fastest supercomputers,[8] and Hyogo Prefecture passed laws to keep Kobe Port free of nuclear weapons (a nuclear-free zone) since the year 1975.

Hyōgo is a part of the Hanshin Industrial Region. There are two research institutes of Riken, natural sciences research institute in Japan, in Kobe and Harima. "SPring-8", a synchrotron radiation facility, is in Harima.

Culture

National Treasures of Japan

Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan

  • Kitano-chō Yamamoto-dōri
  • Izushi
  • Sasayama

Museums

  • Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art in Nada Ward, Kobe.
  • Kobe City Museum in Chuo Ward, Kobe.
  • Kobe Maritime Museum in Chuo Ward, Kobe.
  • KOSETSU Museum of Art in Higashinada Ward, Kobe.
  • Hakutsuru Fine Art Museum in Higashinada Ward, Kobe.
  • Himeji City Museum of Art in Himeji.
  • Asago Art Village in Asago.
  • Ashiya City Museum of Art & History in Ashiya.
  • TEKISUI MUSEUM OF ART in Ashiya.
  • Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka.

Education

Amagasaki

  • Sonoda Women's University
  • St. Thomas University (ex-Eichi University) – closed in 2015

Takarazuka

  • Takarazuka University
  • Koshien University

Sanda

Nishinomiya

  • Kobe College
  • Kwansei Gakuin University
  • Otemae University
  • Mukogawa Women's University

Ashiya

  • Ashiya University

Kobe

  • Kobe University
  • Kobe University of Commerce
  • Kobe Gakuin University
  • Kobe City University of Foreign Studies
  • Kobe Women's University
  • Kobe Shukugawa Gakuin University
  • Kobe Institute of Computing
  • Konan University
  • University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences
  • University of Hyogo

Kato

  • Hyogo University of Teacher Education

Akashi

  • University of Hyogo

Kakogawa

  • Hyogo University

Himeji

  • Himeji Institute of Technology
  • Himeji Dokkyo University
  • Himeji Kinki University
  • University of Hyogo

Akō

  • University of Hyogo

High schools

There are 163 public and 52 private high schools within Hyogo prefecture. Of the public high schools, some are administered by the Hyogo prefectural government, whilst the others are administered by local municipalities.

  • Ashiya International Secondary School, founded 2003

Sports

The sports teams listed below are based in Hyōgo.

Football (soccer)

Baseball

Volleyball

Rugby

Basketball

Tourism

A popular troupe of Takarazuka Revue plays in Takarazuka.

Arima Onsen in the south of the province in Kita-ku, Kobe is one of the Three Ancient Springs in Japan. The north of Hyogo Prefecture has sightseeing spots such as Kinosaki Onsen, Izushi, and Yumura Onsen. Takeda Castle in Asago is often referred to locally as the "Machu Picchu of Japan". The matsuba crab and Tajima beef are both national delicacies.[9]

Festivals and events

Dekansho Bon Dancing Festival
Castle Festival in Himeji
  • Miyuki Street New Year's midnight traditional sale, Himeji
  • Nishinomiya Shrine's Ebisu Festival in January
  • Yanagihara Ebisu Festival in January, Kobe
  • Tada Shrine's Genji Festival in April, Kawanishi
  • Kobe Festival and Parade in May
  • Aioi Peron Festival in May
  • Himeji Yukata Festival in June
  • Dekansho Bon Dancing Festival in August, Sasayama
  • Nada Fighting Festival, Himeji
  • Kobe Luminarie in December
  • Ako Chushingura Parade

Transportation

Rail

People movers

Expressways

National highways

  • Route 2
  • Route 9
  • Route 28
  • Route 29
  • Route 43
  • Route 171
  • Route 173
  • Route 174 (Sannomiya-Kobe Port)
  • Route 175
  • Route 176
  • Route 178
  • Route 179
  • Route 250
  • Route 312
  • Route 372
  • Route 373
  • Route 426
  • Route 427
  • Route 428
  • Route 429
  • Route 436
  • Route 477
  • Route 482
  • Route 483

Ports

  • Kobe Port – Mainly international container hub port
  • Akashi Port
  • Shikama Port – Mainly Shōdo Island route ferry

Airport

Notable people

Sister regions

Hyogo entered a sister state relationship with Washington state in the United States on October 22, 1963, the first such arrangement between Japan and the United States.[10][11]

In 1981, a sister state agreement was drawn up between Hyogo and the state of Western Australia in Australia.[12] To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this agreement in 1992, the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre was established in Perth.[13]

See also

Notes

  1. The Hyōgo Prefectural Government has expressed the view that the "Prefectural song does not exist" and denied the fact that currently, this song has been enacted in 1947.

Citations

  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Hyōgo prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 363-365, p. 363, at Google Books; "Kansai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books.
  2. Nussbaum, "Kobe" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 537, p. 537, at Google Books.
  3. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. Statistics Bureau of Japan
  5. "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  6. City.ako.hyogo.jp Archived 2006-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "XII Income of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries" (PDF). Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  8. "RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science". Archived from the original on 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  9. "JAL Guide to Japan – Matsuba Crab". Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2015-04-02.
  10. Camden, Jim (August 20, 2013). "Washington, Japan celebrate 50 years". Spokesman-Review. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  11. "Celebrating 50 years with Hyogo, Japan". Washington State Library. August 19, 2013. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  12. "Sister Cities – City of Perth". Archived from the original on 2015-05-30.
  13. Hyogo.com.au Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine

General references

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