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ASAHIKAWA (旭川市, Asahikawa-shi) is a city in Kamikawa Subprefecture , Hokkaido
Hokkaido
, Japan
Japan
. It is the capital of the subprefecture, and the second-largest city in Hokkaido, after Sapporo . It has been a core city since April 1, 2000. The city is currently well known for the Asahiyama Zoo
Asahiyama Zoo
and Asahikawa ramen .

On July 31, 2011, the city had an estimated population of 352,105, with 173,961 households , and a population density of 470.96 persons per km² (1,219.8 persons per sq. mi.). The total area is 747.6 km2 (288.6 sq mi).

CONTENTS

* 1 Name * 2 Overview * 3 History * 4 Climate * 5 Economy

* 6 Education

* 6.1 Universities

* 6.1.1 National * 6.1.2 Private

* 6.2 Colleges

* 6.3 High schools

* 6.3.1 Public * 6.3.2 Private

* 7 Transportation

* 7.1 Airport * 7.2 Rail * 7.3 Bus

* 8 Specialties * 9 Sightseeing

* 10 Sister and friendship cities

* 10.1 Sister cities * 10.2 Friendship cities

* 11 Notable people * 12 References * 13 External links

NAME

The Ainu called the Asahi River Chiu Pet meaning "River of Waves", but it was misunderstood as Chup Pet, meaning "Sun River", and so it came to be called Asahi River in Japanese (Asahi meaning "morning sun").

OVERVIEW

On August 1, 1922, Asahikawa was founded as Asahikawa City. As the central city in northern Hokkaido, Asahikawa has been influential in industry and commerce. There are about 130 rivers and streams including the Ishikari River
Ishikari River
and Chūbetsu River, and over 740 bridges in the city. Asahibashi , a bridge over Ishikari River, has been one of the symbols of Asahikawa since its completion in 1932, and it was also registered as one of the Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Heritage sites on October 22, 2001. Heiwa Street in Asahikawa

Every winter, the Asahikawa Winter Festival is held on the bank of the Ishikari River, making use of Asahikawa's cold climate and snow. On January 25, 1902, a weather station recorded −41 °C (−41.8 °F), the lowest temperature in Japanese history. Due to its climate and location surrounded by mountains, there are some ski resorts in the outskirts of the city. Asahibashi Bridge

HISTORY

Asahikawa was populated by mainland Japanese in the Meiji period (1868 – July 1912) as a tondenhei , or state-sponsored farmer-militia settlement.

Kamikawa District set up under Ishikari Province with the villages of Asahikawa, Nagayama and Kamui in 1890.

* 1900 Asahikawa Village becomes Asahikawa town * 1914 Asahikawa Town becomes Asahikawa-ku

Asahikawa was elevated to city status in 1922.

Asahikawa thrived as a military city before World War II
World War II
, when the IJA 7th Division was posted there. Today, the 2nd Division of the Northern Army of the Japan
Japan
Ground Self-Defense Force is headquartered in Asahikawa.

* 1955 Kamui Village and Etanbetsu Village merge with Asahikawa * 1961 Nagayama Town merged * 1963 Higashi-Asahikawa Town merged * 1967 Asahiyama Zoo
Asahiyama Zoo
opened * 1968 Kagura Town merged * 1971 Higashi-Takasu Town merged * 1972 Japan's first permanent pedestrian mall Heiwadōri Shopping Park opened * April 1, 2000 Asahikawa becomes a Core city
Core city

CLIMATE

According to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
, Asahikawa features a humid continental climate (Dfb) with warm summers and cold and snowy winters. Asahikawa winters are long and cold, with average monthly temperatures from December through March failing to transcend the freezing point. The city also sees an extraordinary amount of snowfall, averaging just under 7.6 m (25 ft) of snow per year. Summers are generally warm and humid in Asahikawa, with average high temperatures in the warmest months hovering around 26 °C (79 °F). Spring and fall are generally short and transitional in the city. Japan's lowest temperature ever (−41 °C (−42 °F)) was recorded here.

CLIMATE DATA FOR ASAHIKAWA, HOKKAIDO (1981–2010)

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 11.7 (53.1) 12.2 (54) 18.8 (65.8) 29.6 (85.3) 32.8 (91) 35.9 (96.6) 35.0 (95) 36.0 (96.8) 32.9 (91.2) 25.0 (77) 22.0 (71.6) 14.7 (58.5) 36.0 (96.8)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) −3.5 (25.7) −2.1 (28.2) 2.6 (36.7) 11.7 (53.1) 17.7 (63.9) 22.9 (73.2) 25.8 (78.4) 26.3 (79.3) 21.6 (70.9) 14.8 (58.6) 5.8 (42.4) −0.8 (30.6) 11.9 (53.4)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) −7.5 (18.5) −6.5 (20.3) −1.8 (28.8) 5.6 (42.1) 11.8 (53.2) 16.5 (61.7) 20.2 (68.4) 21.1 (70) 15.9 (60.6) 9.2 (48.6) 1.9 (35.4) −4.3 (24.3) 6.84 (44.33)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) −13.3 (8.1) −12.7 (9.1) −6.3 (20.7) 0.0 (32) 5.4 (41.7) 11.6 (52.9) 15.9 (60.6) 16.8 (62.2) 11.2 (52.2) 3.9 (39) −2 (28) −7.9 (17.8) 2.0 (35.6)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) −41 (−42) −38.3 (−36.9) −34.1 (−29.4) −19 (−2) −7.1 (19.2) −1.2 (29.8) 1.0 (33.8) 2.4 (36.3) −1.8 (28.8) −8 (18) −25 (−13) −30 (−22) −41 (−42)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 69.6 (2.74) 51.3 (2.02) 54.0 (2.126) 47.6 (1.874) 64.8 (2.551) 63.6 (2.504) 108.7 (4.28) 133.5 (5.256) 130.9 (5.154) 104.3 (4.106) 117.2 (4.614) 96.6 (3.803) 1,042.1 (41.028)

AVERAGE SNOWFALL CM (INCHES) 174 (68.5) 131 (51.6) 111 (43.7) 23 (9.1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (1.2) 107 (42.1) 189 (74.4) 743 (292.5)

AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS 30.4 26.8 25.1 9.4 0.7 0 0 0 0 2.9 17.7 29.3 142.3

AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%) 80 79 69 67 66 74 78 79 77 78 81 82 76

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 73.8 105.8 149.6 167.1 197.6 189.3 161.8 147.3 142.2 132.0 64.0 60.3 1,590.8

Source #1: Japan
Japan
Meteorological Agency

Source #2: Japan
Japan
Meteorological Agency

ECONOMY

Asahikawa developed as an industrial center in Hokkaido
Hokkaido
after World War II . The city is noted for its lumber and brewing industries, as well as the production of furniture and paper pulp.

EDUCATION

UNIVERSITIES

National

* Asahikawa Medical University
Asahikawa Medical University
* Hokkaido
Hokkaido
University of Education , Asahikawa Campus

Private

* Asahikawa University * Tokai University
Tokai University
(Previously: the Asahikawa Campus of Hokkaido Tokai University
Tokai University
)

COLLEGES

* Asahikawa National College of Technology

HIGH SCHOOLS

Public

* Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Higashi High school * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Kita High School * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Nishi High School * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Minami High School * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Ryoun High School * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Toei High School * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Agricultural High School * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Commercial High School (Shogyo) * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Asahikawa Technical High School

Private

* Asahikawa Ryukoku High School * Asahikawa Fuji Girls' High School * Asahikawa Jitsugyo High School * Asahikawa Meisei High School * Asahikawa University High School * Ikegami Gakuen High School, Asahikawa Campus

TRANSPORTATION

AIRPORT

Asahikawa Airport
Asahikawa Airport

Asahikawa is served by Asahikawa Airport
Asahikawa Airport
which stretches over the outskirts of Asahikawa City and Higashikagura , Hokkaido. The airport was first proposed by the Asahikawa City Council in 1955, opened in 1961, and daily flights to Tokyo
Tokyo
started in 1970. The present terminal of Asahikawa Airport
Asahikawa Airport
opened in 2000. It is a second class airport , and also a single-runway regional airport. It serves domestic destinations including Tokyo
Tokyo
, but some airlines offer destinations in South Korea
South Korea
. EVA Air added Asahikawa as a destination from Taipei on May 2, 2013.

RAIL

Asahikawa (old) railway station (replaced in 2011)

Asahikawa is one of the major rail hubs of Hokkaido. The Hakodate Main Line connects Asahikawa to Hakodate in the south of Hokkaido, and the Sōya Main Line connects Asahikawa with Wakkanai at the north of Hokkaido. The Sekihoku Main Line connects the city with Abashiri on the Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk
. The Furano Line connects Abashiri with nearby Furano .

* Hakodate Main Line : Asahikawa Chikabumi - Inō * Sōya Main Line : Asahikawa - Asahikawa-Yojō - Shin-Asahikawa - Nagayama - Kita-Nagayama * Sekihoku Main Line : Shin-Asahikawa - Minami-Nagayama - Higashi-Asahikawa - Kita-Hinode - Sakuraoka * Furano Line : Asahikawa - Kaguraoka - Midorigaoka - Nishi-Goryō - Nishi-Mizuho - Nishi-Kagura - Nishi-Seiwa - Chiyogaoka

BUS

Municipal buses also serve the city.

SPECIALTIES

* Asahikawa Ramen
Ramen
* Asahikawa furniture * Confectionery * Sake
Sake
(Otokoyama, Takasago, Taisetsunokura) * Cocktail
Cocktail
* Taisetsu Microbrew Beer "Taisetsu ji-beer" * Asahikawa mutton barbecue "Genghis Khan" * Pottery / Wooden handiwork (Arashiyama area)

SIGHTSEEING

Asahiyama Zoo
Asahiyama Zoo
Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture in Honor of Teijiro Nakahara

* Arashiyama Pottery village * Asahibashi Bridge * Asahikawa Furniture Center * Asahikawa Museum of Sculpture in Honor of Teijiro Nakahara * Asahikawa Winter Festival / Illuminations (February) * Asahikawa Youth Science Museum "Saiparu" * Asahiyama Zoo
Asahiyama Zoo
* Ayako Miura Memorial Literature Center * Hoppo Wild Flower Garden, famous for Erythronium japonicum (Dogtooth violet) that flower in May * Hokkaido
Hokkaido
Traditional Art Craft Village * Kita-no-Mori Ice Pavilion * Mount Tossho, also famous for Erythronium japonicum * Otokoyama Sake
Sake
Brewing Museum * Romantic Road (tree tunnel and churches) * Ski Resorts (Kamui Ski Links , Santa Present Park , Pippu Ski Area , Canmore Ski Village etc.) * Sugai Amusement Factory * Yasushi Inoue
Yasushi Inoue
Memorial Center

SISTER AND FRIENDSHIP CITIES

SISTER CITIES

* Bloomington , Illinois
Illinois
, United States
United States
* Normal, Illinois
Illinois
, United States * Suwon
Suwon
, South Korea

FRIENDSHIP CITIES

* Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
, Sakhalin Oblast
Sakhalin Oblast
, Russia * Harbin
Harbin
, Heilongjiang
Heilongjiang
, China

NOTABLE PEOPLE

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* Takeshi Aono , voice actor * Miura Ayako , author * Yuko Emoto , judo wrestler * Yasushi Inoue
Yasushi Inoue
, author * Kiyomi Kato , wrestler * Shigeo Nakata , wrestler * Ikumi Narita , volleyball player *