Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Shizuoka Prefecture - Where I Live

Japan is made up of 47 prefectures.  I live in Shizuoka Prefecture, shown in red on the map below. It is located in the Chubu region of Honshu, the largest of the Japanese islands. Before living here, I knew nothing about this place, and I think many people who read my blog might not either. This is the link to the prefectural website, if you are interested.

The Prefectural Flower is the Azalea and was chosen as the official flower in 1965 after consulting with the public.

The Prefectural Tree is the Sweet Osmanthus. They are often used in gardens because of their sweet smell.

The Prefectural Bird is the Black Paradise Flycatcher (Japanese name - sanko-cho).

As of December 2019, Shizuoka Prefecture's population was 3,637,998 and it has an area of 3,002.88 square miles (7,777.42 square kilometers). The prefecture is located on the Pacific Ocean coast. Mt. Fuji, the country's cultural icon and tallest mountain is on the border of Shizuoka Prefecture and Yamanashi Prefecture.

The largest city is Hamamatsu and the capital is Shizuoka City, which is also the second largest city in both population and area. As of December 2019, the population of the capital city was 690,881 and the population density was 1,300 per square mile (490 people per square kilometer). Shizuoka City is made of three wards - Aoi, Suruga, and Shimizu. Even though it is called a city, it doesn't have a city feel.  I think it is a big town with lots of neighborhoods. This is the link to the Shizuoka City website.

Facts About Shizuoka City (April 2020) (from city website)

・Total Area 
(in square kilometers)   1,411.90
・Length (kilometers)                          83.10
・Width (kilometers)                            50.62

・City Bird        Kawasemi (Kingfisher)
・City Tree       Hanamizuki (Dogwood)
・City Flower    Tachiaoi (Hollyhock)


The "city" is well known for its agriculture. 

Green tea is grown in all areas of the city, especially the high quality varieties in Aoi and Shimizu wards.

Strawberries are grown along the Suruga Bay coast in a five mile (eight kilometer) stretch known as Ichigo Dori (Strawberry Road).

Wasabi is grown in Aoi Ward.

Mandarin orange and other citrus fruits, especially mikan and satsuma are grown through out the area.

Lotus root from Aoi Ward is well known.

Roses are grown, especially in Ihara and Okitsu sections of Shimizu Ward.

Peaches, especially in the Osada area, are being sold now.

Seafood in this area is fabulous.  Shimizu Port has the largest tuna haul in all of Japan. Sakura Ebi (little pink shrimp) and Shirasu (called sardine children by my students) are other specialties from Suruga Bay. 

The weather is pretty agreeable all year, although some people would say the summers are too warm.  It never snows here and doesn't get very cold in winter.

I hope this gives you an idea of where I am in Japan. Let me know if you have questions.  If you come to Japan, (when the borders open again) please get in contact with me.


jacaranda said...

Your blog post was very interesting. We live in suburbs or towns and our prefectures are called City of……, where I live is in the City of Wyndham, the suburb of Werribee. Looking forward to catching up again with you and others.

Vireya said...

We learnt a bit about Japan in geography at school, but I must admit that Shizuoka was not somewhere I had ever heard of before reading your blog.

roughterrain crane said...

You can enjoy many kinds of wonderful fruits in Shizuoka.

Julie Fukuda said...

A dear friend moved from Shizuoka to Tokyo a few years go after his wife died. I made many trips to rescue plants from her garden ... now hanging out in my greenhouse.Izu is also a place we often spent time.
Azalea ia also the city flower of Nerima where I live and there are three large kinmokusei in my neighborhood.

Jeanie said...

I loved this post. I don't think we were near Shizugo when we were in Japan long ago -- the only prefecture I'm aware of by name is Shiga -- many of our friends were from Otsu. So, it's very interesting to learn about your part of Japan. Thanks for this one.

diamondc said...

Pamela: Thank-you for this history lesson, I love hearing of other wonderful places, that bird is beautiful.


kiwikid said...

Great to learn about where you are living. That bird has amazing tail feathers.

Queeniepatch said...

I have been to Shizuoka Prefecture many times, but mainly Izu Peninsula where there are many hot springs. The mild and sunny climate makes Shizuoka a great place for growing various things.
You have chosen a good place to live in!

Leonore Winterer said...

I don't think I'd ever have heard of Shizuoka, yet alone visited, if it wasn't for you - but it was one of the most memorable and beautiful stops on our trip, with the festival, the castle, and even Mount Fuji making a (somewhat ghostly) appearance! I think I'd like to visit again if I make it back to Japan.