Saitama, Saitama

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Saitama
さいたま
Designated city
さいたま市 · Saitama City
From top left: Saitama New Urban Center, Omiya Sonic City, Hikawa Shrine, Iwatsuki Castle Park, Saitama Stadium 2002
Flag
Flag
Location of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture
Saitama, Saitama is located in Japan
Saitama
 
Coordinates: 35°52′N 139°39′E / 35.867°N 139.65°E / 35.867; 139.65Coordinates: 35°52′N 139°39′E / 35.867°N 139.65°E / 35.867; 139.65
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Saitama Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Hayato Shimizu
Area
 • Total 217.49 km2 (83.97 sq mi)
Population (November 1, 2010)
 • Total 1,231,880
 • Density 5,664.08/km2 (14,669.9/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Zelkova serrata(Keyaki)
- Flower Primula(Sakura-sou)
Phone number +81-48-829-1111
Address Saitama-shi, Urawa-ku
Tokiwa, 6-4-4
330-9588

Saitama (さいたま市 Saitama-shi?) is the capital and the city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan. It is in the south-east of the prefecture. It includes the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance. It is about 15 - 30 kilometres north of central Tokyo, so many people commute from here into Tokyo.

History[change | change source]

The city was founded on May 1, 2001, and was designated on April 1, 2003 as a government ordinance. For the histories of Urawa, Ōmiya and Yono before the merger, see Urawa-ku and Saitama, Ōmiya-ku and Saitama and Yono and Saitama, respectively.

On April 1, 2005, it merged with the city of Iwatsuki to its east, which became a new ward, Iwatsuki-ku.

Geography[change | change source]

The city is 20 to 30 km north of central Tokyo. This is the center of the Kantō Plain. The city is mostly below 20 m above sea level. There are no mountains or hills in the city.

Wards[change | change source]

Map of wards of Saitama city with numbers.svg

Saitama has ten wards (ku), which were assigned official colours as of April 2005:

1 - Chūō-ku 中央区 (Rose red)
2 - Iwatsuki-ku 岩槻区 (Ochre)
3 - Kita-ku 北区 (Dark green)
4 - Midori-ku 緑区 (Green)
5 - Minami-ku 南区 (Lemon yellow)
6 - Minuma-ku 見沼区 (Sky blue)
7 - Nishi-ku 西区 (Blue)
8 - Ōmiya-ku 大宮区 (Orange)
9 - Sakura-ku 桜区 (Cherry blossom pink)
10 - Urawa-ku 浦和区 (Red) - administrative center

Economy[change | change source]

Saitama New Urban Center (Saitama Shintoshin)

Manufacturing includes automotive (Honda manufactures the Honda Legend here), food, optical, precision and pharmaceutical products. Iwatsuki is famous for manufacturing of hinamatsuri dolls and ornate kabuto (samurai helmets).

Transportation[change | change source]

Saitama is a regional transportation hub for both passengers and freight.

Ōmiya Station is the biggest railway hub in the prefecture.

The closest major airports are Haneda Airport and Narita International Airport, both about two hours away[1].

Railway Stations[change | change source]

East Japan Railway Company
Tōhoku, Akita, Yamagata, Jōetsu and Nagano Shinkansen
Utsunomiya Line
Takasaki Line
  • - Urawa - Saitama-Shintoshin - Ōmiya - Miyahara -
Keihin-Tōhoku Line
Saikyō Line
Musashino Line
Kawagoe Line
Saitama Railway Corporation
Saitama Rapid Railway Line
Tobu Railway
Tōbu Noda Line
Saitama New Urban Transit
New Shuttle

Culture[change | change source]

Education[change | change source]

Universities[change | change source]

Junior Colleges[change | change source]

High Schools[change | change source]

  • Omiya Nishi High School
  • Omiya Kita High School
  • Urawa High School
  • Urawa Minami High school

Professional Graduate School[change | change source]

Omiya Law School

Sports[change | change source]

Saitama has two J. League football (soccer) teams: the Urawa Red Diamonds and Omiya Ardija.

Origin of the name "Saitama"[change | change source]

The name "Saitama" originally comes from the Sakitama (埼玉郡) district of what is now the city of Gyōda in the northern part of what is now known as Saitama Prefecture. "Sakitama" has an ancient history and is mentioned in the famous 8th century poetry anthology Man'yōshū. The pronunciation has changed from Sakitama to Saitama over the years.

With the merger of Urawa, Ōmiya, and Yono it was decided that a new name, one fitting for this newly-created prefectural capital, was needed. The prefectural name "Saitama" (埼玉県) was changed from kanji into hiragana, thus Saitama City (さいたま市) was born. It is the only prefectural capital in Japan whose name is always written in hiragana, and belongs to the list of hiragana cities.

However, Saitama written in hiragana (さいたま市) actually finished in second place in public polling to Saitama written in kanji (埼玉市). Despite this, government officials decided to name the new city Saitama in hiragana, not kanji. In third place in the poll was Ōmiya (大宮市). In fourth was Saitama (彩玉市), written with an alternative kanji for "sai" (彩) which means "colorful". The "sai" (埼) used in the prefectural name is a rare form of a common character (崎) that means cape or promontory.

Sister cities[change | change source]

Saitama has six sister cities.

Visitor attractions[change | change source]

Saitama Museum of Modern Art

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]