Ibaraki Prefecture

Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県, Ibaraki-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu.[1] Ibaraki Prefecture has a population of 2,871,199 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 6,097.19 km² (2,354.14 sq mi). Ibaraki Prefecture borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Tochigi Prefecture to the northwest, Saitama Prefecture to the southwest, and Chiba Prefecture to the south.

Ibaraki Prefecture

茨城県
Japanese transcription(s)
  Japanese茨城県
  RōmajiIbaraki-ken

Flag

Symbol
CountryJapan
RegionKantō
IslandHonshu
CapitalMito
SubdivisionsDistricts: 7, Municipalities: 44
Government
  GovernorKazuhiko Ōigawa
Area
  Total6,097.19 km2 (2,354.14 sq mi)
Area rank23rd
Population
 (June 1, 2019)
  Total2,871,199
  Rank11th
  Density470/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-08
Websitewww.pref.ibaraki.jp
Symbols
BirdEurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
FlowerRose (Rosa)
TreeUme tree (Prunus mume)

Mito is the capital and largest city of Ibaraki Prefecture, with other major cities including Hitachi, Hitachinaka, and Tsukuba.[2] Ibaraki Prefecture is located on Japan's eastern Pacific coast to the northeast of Tokyo, and is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Ibaraki Prefecture features Lake Kasumigaura, the second-largest lake in Japan, and Mount Tsukuba, one of the most famous mountains in Japan. Ibaraki Prefecture is home to Kairaku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and is an important center for the martial art of Aikido.

History

Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province. In 1871, the name of the province became Ibaraki.

Geography

Ibaraki Prefecture is the northeastern part of the Kantō region, stretching between Tochigi Prefecture and the Pacific Ocean and bounded on the north and south by Fukushima Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture. It also has a border on the southwest with Saitama Prefecture. The northernmost part of the prefecture is mountainous, but most of the prefecture is a flat plain with many lakes.

As of 1 April 2012, 15% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Suigo-Tsukuba Quasi-National Park and nine Prefectural Natural Parks.[3]

Cities

Thirty-two (32) cities are located in Ibaraki Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:

Mergers

Economy

Ibaraki's industries include energy production, particularly nuclear energy, as well as chemical and precision machining industries. Hitachi is a world wide company as well as a city name where the company was founded.

Ibaraki is an agricultural prefecture contributing more or less to Japanese dining tables. As of March 2011, the prefecture produced 25% of Japan's bell peppers and Chinese cabbage.[4]

Demographics

Ibaraki's population is decreasing more rapidly than any other prefecture.[5]

Culture

Ibaraki is known for nattō, or fermented soybeans, in Mito, watermelons in Kyōwa (recently merged into Chikusei), and chestnuts in the Nishiibaraki region.

Ibaraki is famous for the martial art of Aikido founded by Ueshiba Morihei, also known as Osensei. Ueshiba spent the latter part of his life in the town of Iwama, now part of Kasama, and the Aiki Shrine and dojo he created still remain.[6]

There are castle ruins in many cities, including Mito, Kasama, and Yūki.

Kasama is famous for Shinto, art culture and pottery.

The capital Mito is home to Kairakuen, one of Japan's three most celebrated gardens, and famous for its over 3,000 Japanese plum trees of over 100 varieties.

Education

University

Sports

The sports teams listed below are based in Ibaraki.

Football (soccer)

Volleyball

Rugby

  • Kashima Rugby Football Club RFC

Baseball

Wrestling

  • Hitachi Pro Wrestling (Regional group)

Basketball

Tourism

Transportation and access

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
18901,025,497    
19031,200,475+1.22%
19131,328,329+1.02%
19201,350,400+0.24%
19251,409,092+0.85%
19301,487,097+1.08%
19351,548,991+0.82%
19401,620,000+0.90%
19451,944,344+3.72%
19502,039,418+0.96%
19552,064,037+0.24%
19602,047,024−0.17%
19652,056,154+0.09%
19702,143,551+0.84%
19752,342,198+1.79%
19802,558,007+1.78%
19852,725,005+1.27%
19902,845,382+0.87%
19952,955,530+0.76%
20002,985,676+0.20%
20052,975,167−0.07%
20102,969,770−0.04%
20152,917,857−0.35%
source:[7]

Railways

Cable cars

Roads

Expressways

National highways

Ports

  • Kashima Port

Airports


Pronunciation

The prefecture is often alternatively pronounced "Ibaragi" by those who speak the regional dialect known as Ibaraki-ben. However, the standard pronunciation is "Ibaraki". According to the author of "Not Ibaragi, Ibaraki",[8] this is most likely due to a mishearing of the softening of the "k" sound in Ibaraki dialect.

See also

Notes

  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ibaraki-ken" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 367, at Google Books; "Kantō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 479, at Google Books.
  2. Nussbaum, "Mito" at Japan Encyclopedia, p. 642, at Google Books.
  3. "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  4. Schreiber, Mark, "Japan's food crisis goes beyond recent panic buying", The Japan Times, 17 April 2011, p. 9.
  5. "Gov't data show exodus to Tokyo from other parts of Japan continues". Japan Today. 1 February 2019. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019.
  6. Aikikai Foundation Ibaraki Branch Dojo " Founder and Iwama", Retrieved August 25, 2017
  7. Statistics Bureau of Japan
  8. いばらぎじゃなくていばらき [Ibaragi ja Nakute Ibaraki]

References

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