- Iida, Nagano
Infobox City Japan
August 1, 2006
CityHallAddress= 2534 Okubo-chō, Iida-shi, Nagano-ken
CityHallLink= [http://www.city.iida.nagano.jp/ City of Iida]
nihongo|Iida|飯田市|Iida-shi is a city located in southern
Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Located on the
Iida Line, an old local train line that runs through the valley of the Tenryū Riverin the southern Japan Alps, Iida lies 90 minutes northeast of the major city of Nagoyaby automobile via the Chūō Expressway. The same expressway also provides access to Tokyo, about four hours to the east.
An old castle town of strategic importance in the
Edo Period, Iida escaped the bombings that damaged many other Japanese cities during World War II; however, most of central Iida was destroyed by a massive fire that swept through the central section of the city two years after the end of the war, in 1947. Established as a city on April 1, 1937, Iida is now known for its streets lined with apple trees, which were part of a revitalization project initiated by its citizens after the fire.
Since 1979 the city of Iida has hosted the
Iida Puppetry Festival, a major event that is the largest of its kind in Japan, with over 200 traditional and contemporary troupes from all over Japan and abroad participating in the annual four-day festival in early August. In 2008 the city is scheduled to host a nine-day version of the festival with expanded international participation to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the puppetry festival. Iida's connection to the traditional Japanese puppet theater commonly known as "ningyō jōruri" or Bunrakugoes back more than 300 years. Four traditional puppet troupes are located in or near Iida: the Imada Puppet Troupe, Kuroda Puppet Troupe, the Furuta Puppets, and the Waseda Puppets.
Another important festival in Iida is Oneri Matsuri, which is held every seven years (the last being 2004), a massive four-day event, most famous for the shi-shi lion dance.
The nearest metropolis to Iida is Nagoya, easily accessible by bus. The larger cities of Matsumoto and Nagano in central and northern Nagano Prefecture are also accessible by bus and train.
Iida has adopted the apple as its symbol. One of the city's largest festivals is the Ringon Matsuri (Apple Festival), held every year in early August, and Iida's Ringo Namiki-dori (a street lined with apple trees) is tended by students of the city's Higashi Middle School. The area around Iida is well known for extensive peach and apple orchards, as well as the production of many other agricultural products.
**Kamiina District: Iijima
**Shimoina District: Matsukawa, Takamori, Achi, Seinaiji, Shimojo, Yasuoka, Tenryū, Takagi, Toyooka, Oshika
**Kiso District: Nagiso, Okuwa
**Haibara District: Kawanehon
*The city (April 1, 1937-September 30, 1956) was historically belonged to Shimoina District.
September 30, 1956-The current and the 2nd city of Iida was founded by merging with surrounding municipalities including the 1st city of Iida itself.
June 1, 1993-The town of Kamisato from Shimoina District merged into the expanded city of Iida.
October 1, 2005-The 2nd city (9/30/1956-9/30/2005) absorbed Kami and Minamishinano and the current Iida (10/1/2005-) was born without forming the new municipal organization.
April 6, 2006-The city teamed up with the Bungotakada ( Ōita Prefecture) based tourism company.
* [http://www.city.iida.nagano.jp/ Iida official website] in Japanese
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