Kitakami, Iwate


Kitakami City Hall



Location of Kitakami in Iwate Prefecture


Coordinates: 39°17′12.3″N 141°6′47.5″E / 39.286750°N 141.113194°E / 39.286750; 141.113194Coordinates: 39°17′12.3″N 141°6′47.5″E / 39.286750°N 141.113194°E / 39.286750; 141.113194
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Iwate
  -Mayor Toshihiko Takahashi (since May 2011)
  Total 437.55 km2 (168.94 sq mi)
Population (September 2015)
  Total 93,345
  Density 213/km2 (550/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
• Tree Sakura
• Flower White lily
• Bird Grey wagtail
Phone number 0197-64-2111
Address 1-1 Yoshi-cho, Kitakami-shi, Iwate-ken 024-8501
Website Official website
Tenshochi Park in Kitakami City

Kitakami (北上市 Kitakami-shi) is a city located in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. As of September 2015, the city had an estimated population of 93,345 and a population density of 213 persons per km2. The total area was 437.55 square kilometres (168.94 sq mi). The city is famous for the sakura that bloom in Tenshochi Park.


Kitakami is located in south-central Iwate Prefecture, in the Kitakami River valley.

Neighboring municipalities


The area of present-day Kitakami was part of ancient Mutsu Province, and has been settled since at least the Jomon period by the Emishi people. During the later portion of the Heian period, the area was ruled by the Northern Fujiwara. During the Sengoku period, the area was contested by various samurai clans before being divided between the Nambu clan of Morioka Domain and the Date clan of Sendai Domain during the Edo period, under the Tokugawa shogunate.

The modern city of Kitakami was founded on April 1, 1954, by the merger of the villages of Kurosawajiri, Iitoyo, Futako, Saraki, Oniyanai, Aisari and Fukuoka. On April 1, 1991 when Kitakami absorbed the neighboring village of Ezuriko and town of Waga (both from Waga District).


The economy of Kitakami was traditionally agricultural; however, due to its ease of access with Sendai and Morioka via the Tohoku Expressway, the area has rapidly developed into a kight manufacturing and transshipment center.


Kitakami has 17 elementary schools, nine middle schools and five high schools.




Local attractions

The city is famous for the sakura that bloom in Tenshochi Park, which is regarded as one of the hundred best places in Japan to view cherry blossoms.

Another hallmark of the city is Oni Kenbai, a traditional sword dance where the dancers dress as demons, performed during the summer festivals, such as Kitakami Michinoku Traditional Dance Festival.

Kitakami also boasts a site that is reputed to be the grave of the famous Heian period waka poet Izumi Shikibu.

International relations

Noted people from Kitakami


  1. "US-Japan Sister Cities by State". Asia Matters for America. Honolulu, HI: East-West Center. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  2. "Sister Cities Friendship Cities". Kitakami City official home page. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2015.

Media related to Kitakami, Iwate at Wikimedia Commons

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