Hata, Nagano

Infobox City Japan
Name= Hata
JapaneseName= 波田町

Region= Chūbu
Prefecture= Nagano
District= Higashichikuma District
Area_km2= 59.42
PopDate= 2007
Population= 15,256
Density_km2= 256.75
Coords= coord|36|12|N|137|51|E|region:JP_type:city
Tree= Japanese Red Pine Tree
Flower= Azalea

SymbolDescription= The symbol represents the Northern Japan Alps and the peaceful development of the town
Mayor= Ōta Norio (Since April, 2007)
CityHallPostalCode= 390-1492
CityHallAddress= Nagano Prefecture, Higashichikuma District, Hata Town 4417-1
CityHallPhone= 0263-92-3001
CityHallLink= [http://www.town.hata.nagano.jp/ Hata Town]
nihongo|Hata|波田町|Hata-machi is a town located in Higashichikuma District, Nagano, Japan and was incorporated as a village in 1874. Previously, it was three villages, Kami-Hata (上波多), Shimo-Hata (下波多), and Samizo (三溝).

In 1973, Hata changed from a village into a town under the enforcement of the town system.

Originally, Hata was written as 波多 (Hata) in kanji. 波 means ‘wave’ and 多 means ‘much’. The name meant “Many waves”, reflecting the abundance of clean water the town had. In 1932, the name was changed from 波多 to the current 波田. 田 means ‘rice paddies’ and reflected the town’s hope for limpid water and rice cultivation.

Hata is considered the gateway to Kamikochi and the Northern-Japan-Alps because of Shin-Shimashima Station, which is used by tourists to access the park.

Hata’s main industry is farming and is a source for various vegetables and fruits, including watermelons, corn, apples, peaches, and so on.


The town sits on the left bank of the Azusa River on a river terrace, 700 meters above sea level next to the city of Matsumoto. Hata has a beautiful natural setting and is surrounded by green mountains and the Azusa River.


Hata was made up of small communities in the Jōmon period. Many artifacts from stone masks to remains of houses from that period have been found in archaeological digs in Hata and have been displayed in the Tokyo National Museum

In the beginning of the Meiji Period, some students from Nyakutakuji helped start the Industrial Revolution in Japan. They also helped Hata become a modern town by constructing an irrigation channel and inventing a spinning machine. After that, Hata started rice production and other agriculture as well as a silk industry.

Nyakutakuji Temple

Nyakutakuji Temple, built in the Nara period, ; even the famous author, Jippensha Ikku, stopped there. The temple prospered and was considered the Nikko of the Hida District.

A small sub-temple, Tamura Temple, was built in the Muromachi period and enshrined the famous conquest of the Ezo by Shōgun Sakanoue no Tamuramaro.

The temple was destroyed in 1871 by the central government as a result of Buddhism being banned leaving only the small sub-temple.


Health care: Hata is served by one general hospital, Hata Sogo Hospital. The hospital also serves patients from the surrounding area.

Senior services: Chikumano is the local senior care home and also houses a welfare office. The home offers health examinations and other care services.

Preschools: Hata has 4 nursery schools that enroll preschool age children.

Community events: Hata has two community events facilities. The first is Chuou Kouminkan (Community center) for culture and study. 60 culture clubs covering art, history, cooking, language, etc. meet there. The second is Jouhou Bunka Center, which houses Hata’s media center and public library. The center also houses Act Hall, the local stage space for dramas, lectures and music concerts.

Recreation: Hata has a number of parks, a sports gym, tennis courts, and an indoor pool. Hata also offers Ryujima Onsen.


Hata has one elementary school, Hata Elementary School (波田町立波田小学校), one junior high school, Hata Junior High School (波田町立波田中学校), and one high school, Azusagawa High School (長野県立梓川高校).

Industry and Agriculture

Hata mainly serves as a bedroom community to the nearby city of Matsumoto; however, it does have a few precision factories including Miyaji Iron Works, which contributed iron frames to structures such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and the Great Seto Bridge.

Hata's agriculture consists of many temperate climate fruits including apples, pears, and peaches.


The watermelons of Hata have been rated the best in Japan due to their sweetness, size, and juiciness by Japan Agricultural Cooperatives. Highly prized, the watermelons are the subject of three different town festivals and are shipped throughout Japan during late July/early August each year where they command a high price.


Hatakoshi Rokuza (波多腰六左) (1839-1900) was the headman of Hata Village. He constructed an irrigation channel, “Hata Segi” in Hata in 1871. It was built with great difficulty. The success of the irrigation channel allowed agriculture in Hata to flourish.

Gaun Tacchi (臥雲辰致) (1842-1900)was born in the Edo period, he invented the “Gara Bouki” in 1876. Gara Bouki is a cotton spinning machine. This was the greatest invention at the start of the modern cotton fabrics industry in Japan and is said to have started the Industrial Revolution in Japan. Gaun and his invention was supported by Hatakoshi Rokuza and others.


Passing between the Deva King’s legs festival: Children crawl between the legs of a Deva King statue for health on the third Saturday and Sunday of April. According to legend, a child who goes between the Deva King’s legs was cured of measles. The festival honors that event. Some children cry due to the carved image of the Deva King. Parents usually help out by encouraging their children.

Dogtooth Violets Festival: At Kami-Gaito, in the west of Hata, there is a large dogtooth violet garden. The garden has about 30,000 flowers and about 20 kinds of wild grasses. In April, they all bloom together.

Hata Sai Sai-Sai: Hata Sai Sai-Sai is the town’s summer festival (Natsumatsuri) and most of the town’s people participate in it.

During the daytime there are food stalls, a flea market, and children’s games and sports. In the evening there are various live performances by the brass band club from Hata Elementary School, Japanese taiko drumming, ocarina club, and the young men’s music club.

The festival is famous for the free watermelon that is handed out. People can eat as much watermelon as they want free of charge.

At 8:00 PM, there is a fireworks display. In 2006, the fireworks included designs done by school children in Hata.

Autumn Festivals: In September, three shines in Hata (San-Shrine, Suwa-Shrine, and Hata-Shrine) have their fall festivals. Festive floats that are decorated with lanterns are paraded through the streets to each shrine.

Winter Story, Lighting Up Hata: From December to January, the Hata Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with volunteers from the people of Hata decorate the area around Hata Station with a Christmas tree made from plastic bottles and Christmas lights.


Lovers’ Hill Salad Market is named after Lovers’ Cape in the town of Toi, Shizuoka Prefecture, which is Hata’s sister town.

Hata is built on a river terrace. The town’s slogan is “A Fascinating town on a river terrace” reflects this.

The town library has an interlibrary loan agreement with the Matsumoto City Library (as of April 2007) to allow lending between the two libraries.

A large flood caused enormous damage to Hata 300 years ago. During the clean up, snake bones were found in the mud. The bones were enshrined to give thanks that the flood had killed all the snakes.

In 1935, Nakata Yoshikazu, a practical science teacher at Hata Secondary School planted the first apple trees in Hata in the school’s garden. Because the cultivation of apples went well, it spawned a large apple industry in Hata.

External links

* [http://www.town.hata.nagano.jp/ Hata's official website] in Japanese

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