Saitama (city)

Coordinates: 35°51′41″N 139°38′44″E / 35.86139°N 139.64556°E / 35.86139; 139.64556
From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saitama City
From top left: Saitama Stadium 2002, Urawa Parco, Gyokuzouin, Hikawa Shrine, Saitama New City Center, Saitama Super Arena, Musashi urawa
From top left: Saitama Stadium 2002, Urawa Parco, Gyokuzouin, Hikawa Shrine, Saitama New City Center, Saitama Super Arena, Musashi urawa
Flag of Saitama
Official seal of Saitama
Location of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture
Location of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture
Saitama is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°51′41″N 139°38′44″E / 35.86139°N 139.64556°E / 35.86139; 139.64556
PrefectureSaitama Prefecture
 • Total217.43 km2 (83.95 sq mi)
 (February 2016)
 • Total1,266,656
 • Density5,830/km2 (15,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeZelkova serrata
- FlowerPrimula sieboldii
Phone number048-829-1111
Address6-4-4 Tokiwa, Urawa-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama-ken 330-9588
WebsiteOfficial website

Saitama is the capital 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. More people live in Saitama than any other prefecture in Saitama.

History[change | change source]

The city was founded on May 1, 2001, and was designated on April 1, 2003 as a government ordinance.

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 meters above sea level. There are no mountains or hills in the city.

Wards[change | change source]

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 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 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" was changed from kanji into hiragana, thus Saitama City 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.

Tourist attractions[change | change source]

Saitama Museum of Modern Art

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]