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Saitama, Saitama

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Saitama さいたま市, Saitama-shi, Japanese: sáꜜìtàmà is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki It is a city designated by government ordinance Being in the Greater Tokyo Area and lying 15 to 30 kilometres north of central Tokyo, many of its residents commute into Tokyo As of 1 February 2016update, the city had an estimated population of 1,226,656 and a population density of 5830 persons per km² Its total area was 21743 square kilometres 8395 sq mi

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 11 Name
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Surrounding municipalities
  • 3 Climate
  • 4 Wards
  • 5 Economy
  • 6 Transportation
    • 61 Railway stations
    • 62 Highways
  • 7 Politics and government
    • 71 Elections
  • 8 Culture
    • 81 Education
      • 811 Universities
      • 812 Junior Colleges
      • 813 Professional Graduate School
    • 82 Sports
    • 83 Mass media
  • 9 Sister cities
  • 10 Visitor attractions
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links

Historyedit

The city was founded on May 1, 2001, and was designated on April 1, 2003 as a government ordinance For the histories of Urawa, Ōmiya and Yono before the merger, see:

  • Urawa-ku, Saitama
  • Ōmiya-ku, Saitama and
  • Yono, Saitama, respectively

On April 1, 2005, Saitama absorbed the city of Iwatsuki to its east, which became a new ward, Iwatsuki-ku

Nameedit

The name "Saitama" originally comes from the Sakitama 埼玉郡 district of what is now the city of Gyōda in the northern part of what is now known as Saitama Prefecture "Sakitama" has an ancient history and is mentioned in the famous 8th century poetry anthology Man'yōshū The pronunciation has changed from Sakitama to Saitama over the years

With the merger of Urawa, Ōmiya, and Yono it was decided that a new name, one fitting for this newly created prefectural capital, was needed The prefectural name "Saitama" 埼玉県 was changed from kanji into hiragana, thus Saitama City さいたま市 was born It is the only prefectural capital in Japan whose name is always written in hiragana, and belongs to the list of hiragana cities

However, Saitama written in hiragana さいたま市 actually finished in second place in public polling to Saitama written in kanji 埼玉市 Despite this, government officials decided to name the new city Saitama in hiragana, not kanji In third place in the poll was Ōmiya 大宮市 In fourth was Saitama 彩玉市, written with an alternative kanji for "sai" 彩 which means "colorful" The "sai" 埼 used in the prefectural name is a rare form of a common character 崎 that means cape or promontory

Geographyedit

The city is located 20 to 30 km north of central Tokyo, roughly at the center of the Kantō Plain Situated in approximately the center of Saitama Prefecture, the city is topographically comprised by lowlands and plateaus, at mostly less than 20 m above sea level, with no mountain ranges or hills within the city boundaries The western portion of the city lies on the lowland created by the Arakawa River along with those created by small rivers such as the Moto-Arakawa River, Shiba River, and Ayase River The rest of the area mostly resides on the Ōmiya Plateau lying in the north-south direction Dispersed in this region, major rivers flow southward, almost paralleling to one another

Surrounding municipalitiesedit

  • Saitama Prefecture
    • Ageo to the northwest
    • Hasuda to the north
    • Shiraoka to the north
    • Asaka to the south
    • Kawaguchi to the south
    • Toda to the south
    • Warabi to the south
    • Koshigaya to the east
    • Kasukabe to the northeast
    • Kawagoe to the west
    • Shiki to the west
    • Fujimi to the west

Climateedit

Climate data for Saitama City 1981 - 2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C °F 187
657
255
779
254
777
312
882
333
919
359
966
387
1017
379
1002
374
993
321
898
256
781
251
772
387
1017
Average high °C °F 92
486
99
498
131
556
190
662
232
738
260
788
298
856
315
887
271
808
216
709
162
612
117
531
199
678
Daily mean °C °F 36
385
44
399
78
46
134
561
180
644
215
707
251
772
266
799
227
729
169
624
110
518
59
426
148
586
Average low °C °F −15
293
−06
309
28
37
81
466
134
561
177
639
215
707
229
732
192
666
128
55
62
432
08
334
103
505
Record low °C °F −78
18
−87
163
−5
23
−2
28
48
406
115
527
147
585
171
628
95
491
36
385
−24
277
−67
199
−87
163
Average precipitation mm inches 374
1472
431
1697
909
3579
1023
4028
1173
4618
1424
5606
1481
5831
1763
6941
2018
7945
1649
6492
757
298
411
1618
1,346
52992
Average precipitation days ≥ 10 mm 39 52 95 98 103 116 121 87 115 96 67 39 1028
Mean monthly sunshine hours 1933 1799 1778 1857 1747 1282 1455 1730 1281 1370 1545 1829 1,9609
Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency
Source #2: 観測史上1〜10位の値(年間を通じての値)

Wardsedit

Saitama has ten wards ku, which were assigned official colours as of April 2005:

■1 - Chūō-ku 中央区 Rose red
■2 - Iwatsuki-ku 岩槻区 Ochre
■3 - Kita-ku 北区 Dark green
■4 - Midori-ku 緑区 Green
■5 - Minami-ku 南区 Lemon yellow
■6 - Minuma-ku 見沼区 Sky blue
■7 - Nishi-ku 西区 Blue
■8 - Ōmiya-ku 大宮区 Orange
■9 - Sakura-ku 桜区 Cherry blossom pink
■10 - Urawa-ku 浦和区 Red - administrative center

Economyedit

Saitama's economy is principally constituted by commercial business The city is one of many commercial centers of the Greater Tokyo area and serves Saitama Prefecture, North Kanto, and northeast Honshu

Saitama is also home to various manufacturers, exporting automotive Honda manufactures the Honda Legend at Sayama Plant, food, optical, precision and pharmaceutical products Calsonic Kansei, a global automotive company is headquartered in the city1 Iwatsuki is famous for manufacturing of hinamatsuri dolls and ornate kabuto samurai helmets

Transportationedit

Omiya Station, a major railway hub in Saitama Further information: Transportation in Greater Tokyo


Representative station is Urawa Station Saitama is a regional transportation hub for both passengers and freight train lines Ōmiya Station, part of the Shinkansen high-speed train network, serves as the biggest railway hub in the prefecture

The closest major airports are Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport, both about two hours away2 Honda Airport in Okegawa is for general aviation and offers no scheduled transport services Commuter helicopter flights to Narita Airport are offered from Kawajima3

Railway stationsedit

■ East Japan Railway Company ■ Tōhoku, Akita, Yamagata, Jōetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen
  • Ōmiya
■ Utsunomiya Line
  • Urawa - Saitama-Shintoshin - Ōmiya - Toro - Higashi-Ōmiya
■ Takasaki Line
  • Urawa - Saitama-Shintoshin - Ōmiya - Miyahara
■ Keihin-Tōhoku Line
  • Minami-Urawa - Urawa - Kita-Urawa - Yono - Saitama-Shintoshin - Ōmiya
■ Saikyō Line
  • Musashi-Urawa - Naka-Urawa - Minami-Yono - Yonohommachi - Kita-Yono - Ōmiya
■ Musashino Line
  • Nishi-Urawa - Musashi-Urawa - Minami-Urawa - Higashi-Urawa
■ Kawagoe Line
  • Ōmiya - Nisshin - Nishi-Ōmiya - Sashiōgi
■ Saitama Rapid Railway Line
  • Urawa Misono
■ Tobu Urban Park Line
  • Ōmiya - Kita-Ōmiya - Ōmiya-kōen - Ōwada - Nanasato - Iwatsuki - Higashi-Iwatsuki
■ Saitama New Urban Transit "New Shuttle"
  • Ōmiya - Tetsudō-Hakubutsukan - Kamonomiya - Higashi-Miyahara - Konba - Yoshinohara

Highwaysedit

  • Tohoku Expressway
  • Tokyo Gaikan Expressway
  • Shuto Expressway
  • National Route 16
  • National Route 17
  • National Route 122
  • National Route 293
  • National Route 463

Politics and governmentedit

The executive mayor, who is directly elected, is Sōichi Aikawa, an independent backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito On May 24, 2009, Aikawa lost his bid for reelection against Hayato Shimizu, who was backed by the opposition DPJ4 The city assembly of Saitama has 64 elected members

Electionsedit

  • Saitama mayoral election, 2005

Cultureedit

Educationedit

Universitiesedit

  • Mejiro University
  • Nihon University Faculty of Law
  • The Open University of Japan Omiya Study Center
  • Saitama University
  • Shibaura Institute of Technology
  • University of Human Arts and Sciences
  • Urawa University
  • Nippon Institute of Technology

Junior Collegesedit

  • Kokusai Gakuin Saitama Junior College
  • Urawa University Junior College

Professional Graduate Schooledit

  • Omiya Law School

Sportsedit

Saitama was one of the host cities for the playoffs and the final of the official 2006 Basketball World Championship

It is home to two J League football soccer teams: the Urawa Red Diamonds, formerly owned by Mitsubishi, and Omiya Ardija, formerly owned by NTT

The city and Tokorozawa are home to the Japan Professional Basketball League team the Saitama Broncos

  • Urawa Red Diamonds - J League football soccer
  • Omiya Ardija - J League football soccer
  • Saitama Broncos - bj league basketball The base is Saitama Prefecture, main is Saitama, Tokorozawa
  • Saitama Seibu Lions - NPB baseball
  • NJPW Dojo - NJPW professional wrestling

Since 2013, the city has hosted the Saitama Criterium cycling race sponsored by the Tour de France, held at the end of October

Mass mediaedit

Most of Saitama Prefecture's mass media presence is concentrated in this city See Mass media in Saitama Prefecture for details

Sister citiesedit

Saitama has seven sister cities5

  • Toluca, Mexico 1979
  • Zhengzhou, China 1981
  • Hamilton, New Zealand 1984
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States 1994
  • Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada 1996
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States 1998
  • Balzers, Liechtenstein 2000

Visitor attractionsedit

Saitama Museum of Modern Art
  • Akigase Park
  • Besshonuma Park
  • Hikawa Shrine
  • John Lennon Museum
  • Minuma Rice Paddies
  • Minuma Tsūsen-bori
  • Ōmiya Bonsai Village
  • Railway Museum
  • Saitama New Urban Center
  • Saitama Stadium 2002
  • Saitama Super Arena
  • Saitama Museum of Modern Art

Referencesedit

  1. ^ "Company Profile" Calsonic Kansei Retrieved on January 29, 2015
  2. ^ Haneda bus and Narita bus
  3. ^ Connecting TOKYO and Narita Int'l Airport - NARITA HELI EXPRESS
  4. ^ "DPJ Triumphs in Saitama Election", The Japan Times, 25 May 2009
  5. ^ 姉妹友好都市 Sister Cities in Japanese Saitama Tourism and International Relations Bureau Retrieved 12 May 2013 

External linksedit

  • Official website in Japanese

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