Kakamigahara | Japan
Kakamigahara (各務原市 Kakamigahara-shi) is a city located in southern Gifu Prefecture. As of 1 December 2017, the city had an estimated population of 148,088, and a population density of 1700 persons per km2, in 58,818 households. The total area of the city was 87.81 square kilometres (33.90 sq mi).
Situated in the northern part of the Nōbi Plain, what is now Kakamigahara originally thrived as a post station on the Nakasendō highway connecting Edo withbKyoto, being called "Unuma-juku" at the time. In more recent history, the city developed thanks to the JASDF Gifu base. In addition, Kakamigahara grew as an industrial city and a commuter suburb of Gifu City and Nagoya.
The city of Kakamigahara has many large parks, the most notable among them being "Kakamigahara Ko-en", which was originally made from a vacant lot owned by Gifu University. A city planning policy of making Kakamigahara into a "park city" has been undertaken by the municipality, and in 2005, the city received the "Green City Prize" from the Prime Minister.
Although the city was officially named Kakamigahara, it is also called Kakamihara, Kagamihara, or Kagamigahara by tradition.
The city has a climate characterized by characterized by hot and humid summers, and mild winters (Köppen climate classification Cfa). The average annual temperature in Kakamigahara is 15.5 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1939 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 27.9 °C, and lowest in January, at around 3.9 °C.
Kakamigahara City is number two in Gifu Prefecture in terms of industrial production. The city has an aircraft factory operated by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Aerospace Company, located next to the JASDF Gifu. There is aircraft parts production related to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, auto-related factories such as parts makers, and metalworking industries. In Sue-cho in the north of Kakamigahara City, there is an industrial park called "Techno Plaza". Techno Plaza was established by the Gifu Prefectural government as a focal point for the research and development of robotics and virtual reality. With Waseda University’s WABOT-HOUSE laboratory and Gifu University’s Science and Technology Promotion Center as a nucleus, Techno Plaza is structured as an industrial and R&D center. Many ventures have moved into the park, including some companies which have made IPOs, such as Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
Gifu has many popular tourist attractions, bringing visitors to all parts of the prefecture. The most popular places are Gifu, Gero, Shirakawa and Takayama. Gero is known for its relaxing hot springs, which attract visitors throughout the year. Shirakawa's historic villages are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Takayama is famous for retaining its original appearance and is often referred to as Little Kyoto.
In addition to international tourists, Gifu also plays host to many international events. The World Event and Convention Complex Gifu is available for many types of events. Other areas of Gifu, too, bring international events. The World Rowing Championships were held in the city of Kaizu in 2005. The FIS Snowboard World Cup was held in the city of Gujo in 2008. The APEC Japan 2010 SME Ministerial Meetings were held in Gifu City.
Gifu's symbol comes from the first character gi (岐) of its Japanese name, written in a stylized script, surrounded by a circle, which represents the peace and harmony of the prefectural citizen. It was chosen by contest in 1932.
The prefectural logo (see right) expands from the red dot into the center to the outer two lines and, finally, the yellow plain. This symbol was chosen in 1991 for the development and expansion of the prefecture.
The prefecture also has two plants (the milk vetch and the Japanese yew) and two animals (the snow grouse and the ayu) as symbols. The milk vetch was chosen in 1954, because the prefecture is well known for its abundance of blooming milk vetch each spring. The yew was chosen in 1966, because it is the tree used to make ornamental sceptors for the emperor, many of which came from the Hida district. The snow grouse was chosen in 1961, as the birds live up in the Japanese alps and is a nationally protected species. Ayu were chosen in 1989, because the fish is found in many prefectural rivers and is prized for its sweet taste.
The Nakasendō (中山道 Central Mountain Route), also called the Kisokaidō (木曾街道), was one of the five routes of the Edo period, and one of the two that connected Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyoto in Japan. There were 69 stations (staging-posts) between Edo and Kyoto, crossing through Musashi, Kōzuke, Shinano, Mino and Ōmi provinces. In addition to Tokyo and Kyoto, the Nakasendō runs through the modern-day prefectures of Saitama, Gunma, Nagano, Gifu and Shiga, with a total distance of about 534 km (332 mi).
Unlike the coastal Tōkaidō, the Nakasendō traveled inland, hence its name, which can be translated as "中 = central; 山 = mountain; 道 = route" (as opposed to the Tōkaidō, which roughly meant "eastern sea route"). Because it was such a well-developed road, many famous persons, including the haiku master Matsuo Bashō, traveled the road. Many people preferred traveling along the Nakasendō because it did not require travelers to ford any rivers.