Hanamaki, Iwate

From Academic Kids

Hanamaki (花巻市; -shi) is a city located in Iwate, Japan. As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 72,926. Hanamaki is most famous as the birthplace of Miyazawa Kenji, and for its onsen. The city recently celebrated the 50th anniversary since its consolidation from six smaller towns in 1954.

Hanamaki is sister cities with Hot Springs, Arkansas, as well as with Towada-shi in Aomori Prefecture, and Hiratsuka-shi, in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Contents

History

Miyazawa Kenji was born in Hanamaki in 1896, where he spent most of his life (although he traveled often and spent a period of time living in Tokyo). Miyazawas invented Esperanto word Ihatov refers to Iwate prefecture in general, and is agreed to refer more specifically to Hanamaki itself.

On April 1, 1954 six towns consolidated into the present-day city of Hanamaki. Those seven towns (in rough order of size category) were: Hanamaki-cho, Yuguchi-mura, Yumoto-mura, Miyanome-mura, Yasawa-mura, and Ohta-mura. An additional seventh town, Sasama-mura, joined the following year. In January 2006 Hanamaki will again cosolidate with three neighboring towns, Towa-cho, Ohasama-machi, and Ishidoriya-cho.

Geography

Hanamaki is located in the southern half of Iwate prefecture, between two mountain ranges which run north-south through the length of the prefecture. The JR (Japan Rail) shinkansen (bullet train) line passes through Hanamaki. The total city area is 385.40 km.

Transportation

Train: Regular JR trains at Hanamaki Station; Tohoku Shinkansen at Shin Hanamaki Station, which is significantly removed from the town center.

Hanamaki Airport has flights to Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

A night bus travels between Hanamaki and Tokyo.

Demographics

As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 72,926 and a density of 189.22 persons per km².

Tourist Attractions

Onsen, Skiing.

One of Hanamaki's most notable events is the Hanamaki Matsuri, an annual festival which takes place in early to mid September and dates back to 1593. The three-day festivities include a dance of over one thousand synchronized dancers; the carrying of over one hundred small shrines; and the parading of a dozen or so large, hand-constructed floats depicting historical, fictional, or mythical scenes and accompanied by drummers, floutists, and lantern-carriers.

External links

Template:Iwateja:花巻市 pt:Hanamaki

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