Shirakawa, Fukushima

Shirakawa, Fukushima

Infobox City Japan
Name= Shirakawa City
JapaneseName= 白河市

Region= Tōhoku
Prefecture= Fukushima
Population= 65,707
PopDate= 2005
Density_km2= 215.2
Tree= Japanese Red Pine
Flower= Ume
Bird= "Emberiza cioides"

Mayor=Hideo Narui
CityHallAddress= Fukushima-ken, Shirakawa-shi, Hachimankōji 7-1
CityHallLink= [ Shirakawa City]

Shirakawa (白河市; Shirakawa-shi) is a city in Fukushima, Japan. It is located in the southern portion of the prefecture.

The 2003 estimated population was 48,297 and the density in that year was 410.44 persons per km². The total area was 117.67 km². However, on November 7th, 2005, after including neighbouring villages in its territory (see "History" section below), the population count was raised to about 66,000.


Shirakawa is known for a long time as the main entryway for the old Mutsu Province of Japan. Up to the Edo Period it had prospered under the control of the Shirakawa Clan as a castle town. In the Heian Period, a monk and waka poet Nōin composed the following short poem about the region:

cquote|"都をば霞とともに立ちしかど秋風ぞ吹く白河の関""Miyako wo ba kasumi to tomo ni tachishikado akikaze zo fuku Shirakawa no seki."

(English: I left the capital with the spring haze, but at the barrier of Shirakawa the autumn wind blows.)

During the Meiji Period in 1889, the area was classified as the town of Shirakawa nihongo|白河町|-machi . In more recent times, on April 1, 1949, Shirakawa was considered as a city after merging with nihongo|Ōnuma Village|大沼村|-mura .

Subsequent merges happened in 1954 and 1955, with the inclusion of the villages of nihongo|Shirasaka|白坂村|-mura, nihongo|Odagawa|小田川村|-mura, nihongo|Goka|五箇村|-mura and a part of nihongo|Omotegou|表郷村|-mura in the territory of Shirakawa. Also, on November 7, 2005, Shirakawa-shi incorporated the neighbouring villages of nihongo|Taishin|大信村|-mura , nihongo|Higashi|東村|-mura and the whole nihongo|Omotegou|表郷村|-mura.

City Services and Access

Shirakawa has four High Schools, eight Junior High Schools and fifteen Elementary Schools.

There are also nineteen Post Offices [ [] - ja icon "List of Post Offices in Shirakawa"] (including minor ones) within the boundaries of the city.

The city can be easily reached through the Tōhoku Main Line, where Shinkansen bullet trains stop frequently in the nearby station of Shinshirakawa nihongo|新白河駅|"Shinshirakawa Eki", located in the neighbouring nihongo|Nishigō Village|西郷村|-mura

Also, Shirakawa can be accessed by the nearby Tohoku Expressway and routes 289 and 294.

Claims to fame

Residents point to the local variation of rāmen as the town's main claim to fame, and some assert that it is the most famous in all of Japan. The main attractions of the town, aside from the restaurants, include Kominejō (literally "Small Peak Castle") and Nankō ("South Lake") Park.

Festivals held in Shirakawa include "Daruma Ichi", a festival celebrating the traditional "Daruma" doll, wherein the cty streets are packed with stalls selling Daruma, a variety of festival foods and charms, and "Chouchin Matsuri" (Lantern Festival), which is held each summer, with a special three-day celebration held once every three years.


*Compiègne, Oise, France, since 1988

External links

* [ Shirakawa website]
* [ Shirakawa website]


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