Shizuoka city

Designated city
静岡市 · City of Shizuoka[1]
Sunpu Castle

Shizuoka Prefecture
Location in Japan

Coordinates: 34°59′N 138°23′E / 34.983°N 138.383°E / 34.983; 138.383Coordinates: 34°59′N 138°23′E / 34.983°N 138.383°E / 34.983; 138.383

Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Tōkai)
Prefecture Shizuoka Prefecture
 • Mayor Tanabe Nobuhiro
 • Total 1,411.85 km2 (545.12 sq mi)
Population (February 2012)
 • Total 723,317
 • Density 507/km2 (1,310/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Flowering Dogwood
- Flower Hollyhock
- Bird Common Kingfisher
Address 5-1 Ōtemachi, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka-ken
Phone number 54-254-2111

Shizuoka (静岡市 Shizuoka-shi?) is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It has been populated since prehistoric times.

The city's name is made up of two kanji, 静—shizu, meaning "still" or "calm"; and 岡—oka, meaning "hill(s)".[2] In 1869, Shizuoka Domain was first created out of the older Sunpu Domain, and that name was retained when the city was incorporated in 1885. In 2003, Shizuoka merged with Shimizu City (now Shimizu Ward), briefly becoming the largest city by land area in Japan. In 2005, it became one of Japan's "designated cities".


Shizuoka City centrally located in Shizuoka Prefecture, about halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya along the Tokaido Corridor, sandwiched between Suruga Bay to the south and the Minami Alps in the north. Shizuoka had the largest area of any municipality in Japan after merging with Shimizu City in April 2003, until February 2005, when Takayama, Gifu merged with nine surrounding municipalities.

The total area is 1,411.82 km2 (545.11 sq mi).[3] Shizuoka is currently the 5th largest city in Japan in terms of geographic area after Takayama, Hamamatsu, Nikkō, and Kitami. It is also the 2nd largest city in Shizuoka Prefecture in terms of both geographic area and population after Hamamatsu, but ranks higher as an Urban Employment Area,[4] and leads as a metropolitan area and business region.

The fan-like shape of the Shizuoka Plain and Miho Peninsula were formed over the ages by the fast-flowing Abe River carrying along collapsed sand and earth. These areas form the foundations of the city today.[5] The isolated Mount Kuno separates the Suruga coastline from the Shimizu coastline.

Basic data

  • Area of densely populated region: 98.8 km²
  • Urban planning area: 223.0 km²
  • Area zoned for urbanization: 99.2 km²

Bordering municipalities


On the south-central Pacific coast Shizuoka has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), which is hot and humid in the summers and rarely snows in winter.[6] Being closer to the warm Kuroshio Current, Shizuoka is wet even by Japanese standards with only slightly less precipitation than Kanazawa on the opposite side of Honshu, but it is paradoxically the sunniest of Japan's major cities owing to the absence of summer fog and its sheltered location from the northwesterly winds off the Sea of Japan. Further north, however, the mountainous Ikawa area is part of the Japanese snow country, and there are ski areas.

Climate data for Shizuoka, Shizuoka
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25.7
Average high °C (°F) 11.4
Average low °C (°F) 1.6
Record low °C (°F) −6.8
Rainfall mm (inches) 71.6
Avg. rainy days 11.3 12.1 17.4 16.0 16.6 19.7 20.4 17.7 19.4 16.9 12.4 9.9 189.8
 % humidity 57.4 58.0 62.7 68.4 72.6 78.5 79.7 77.9 76.4 72.1 67.8 61.6 69.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 206.4 185.4 190.3 184.6 188.7 139.4 162.4 204.6 153.5 160.3 170.7 198.5 2,144.8
Source #1: Japan Meteorological Agency[7]
Source #2: Japan Meteorological Agency[8]



  • Mount Aino (間ノ岳 Aino-dake?)
  • Mount Shiomi (塩見岳 Shiomi-dake?)
  • Mount Warusawa (悪沢岳(荒川岳) Warusawa-dake (Arakawa-dake)?)
  • Mount Akaishi (赤石岳 Akaishi-dake?)
  • Mount Hijiri (聖岳 Hijiri-dake?)
  • Mount Tekari (光岳 Tekari-dake?)
  • Mount Yanbushi (山伏 Yanbushi?)
  • Mount Daimugen (大無間山 Daimugen-zan?)
  • Mankan Pass (満観峠 Mankan-tōge?)
  • Mount Mafuji (真富士山 Mafuji-san?)
  • Mount Jūmai (十枚山 Jūmai-san?)
  • Mount Ryūsō (竜爪山 Ryūsō-zan?)
  • Mount Shizuhata (賤機山 Shizuhata-yama?)
  • Mount Yatsu (谷津山 Yatsu-yama?)
  • Mount Yahata (八幡山 Yahata-san?)
  • Mount Udo (Nihondaira) (有度山(日本平) Udo-san (Nihondaira)?)
  • Mount Kajiwara (梶原山 Kajiwara-yama?)
  • Mount Satta (Satta Pass) (薩埵山(薩埵峠) Satta-yama (Satta-tōge)?)
  • Mount Hamaishi (浜石岳 Hamaishi-dake?)
  • Mount Ōmaru (大丸山 Ōmaru-yama?)
  • Mount Ōhira (大平山 Ōhira-yama?)


  • Ōi River (大井川 Ōi-gawa?) (upstream)
  • Abe River (安倍川?)
  • Warashina River (藁科川 Warashina-gawa?)
  • Mariko River (丸子川 Mariko-gawa?)
  • Tomoe River (巴川 Tomoe-gawa?)
  • Ōya River Drainage Ditch (大谷川放水路 Ōya-gawa Hōsui-ro?)
  • Nagao River (長尾川 Nagao-gawa?)
  • Fuji River (富士川 Fuji-kawa?)
  • Okitsu River (興津川 Okitsu-gawa?)
  • Ōzawa River (大沢川 Ōzawa-gawa?)
  • Ihara River (庵原川 Ihara-gawa?)
  • Yamakiri River (山切川 Yamakiri-gawa?)
  • Nakagōchi River (中河内川 Nakagōchi-gawa?)
  • Ōhashi River (大橋川 Ōhashi-gawa?)
  • Kogōchi River (小河内川(興津川支流) Kogōchi-gawa?)


  • Lake Ikawa (井川湖 Ikawa-ko?) (Ikawa Dam)
  • Lake Hatanagi (畑薙湖 Hatanagi-ko?) (Hatanagi-I Dam)
  • Asahata Marsh (Asahata Anti-flood Pond) (麻機沼(麻機遊水地) Asahata-numa (Asahata Yūsuichi)?)
  • Kujira Pond (鯨ヶ池 Kujira-ike?)
  • Udosaka Pond (有東坂池 Udosaka-ike?)
  • Futatsu Pond (Oshika Pond) (二ツ池(小鹿池) Futatsu-ike (Oshika-ike)?)
  • Funakoshi Dike (船越堤 Funakoshi-tsutsumi?)


As of the end of January 2012, the city has an estimated population of 723,317[9] and a population density of 507 persons per km².

Demographic Population As of
Male 352,449 February 2012[9]
Female 370,869
Households 299,725
Foreign 8,441 2009[10]
Total 723,317 February 2012[9]



Aoi Ward (葵区 Aoi-ku?)
Administrative center, made up of the former Shizuoka north of the Tōkaidō Main Line excluding Osada district
Suruga Ward (駿河区 Suruga-ku?)
Former Shizuoka south of the Tōkaidō Main Line and Osada district
Shimizu Ward (清水区 Shimizu-ku?)
Former city of Shimizu and towns of Kanbara and Yui.

Administrative district "image colours"

On 22 December 2006, colours and logos were established for each of the wards.[11]

Aoi Ward Aoi Ward Green
Suruga Ward Suruga Ward Red
Shimizu Ward Shimizu Ward Blue

Ward offices

  • Shizuoka City Office/Aoi Ward Office:
    5-1 Ōtemachi, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi 420-8602
    • Aoi Ward Ikawa Branch Office:
      656-2 Ikawa, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi 428-0504
  • Suruga Ward Office:
    10-40 Minamiyahata-chō, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-shi 422-8550
    • Suruga Ward Osada Branch Office:
      13-1 Kami-Kawahara Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-shi 421-0132
  • Shimizu City Office/Shimizu Ward Office:
    6-9 Asahi-chō, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi 424-8701
    • Shimizu Ward Kanbara Branch Office:
      1-21-1 Kanbara Shinden, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi 421-3211

Mayors (since 2003 merger)

Term Name Start Finish
1-2 Zenkichi Kojima 14 April 2003 12 April 2011
3 Nobuhiro Tanabe 13 April 2011 current


Ancient history

The area that is now the city of Shizuoka has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Numerous kofun have been found within the city limits, and the Toro archaeological site indicates that a major Yayoi period (circa 400 BC-300 AD) settlement existed in what is now part of the central city area.

Suruga was established as a province of Japan in the early Nara period. At some point between the year 701 and 710, the provincial capital was relocated from what is now Numazu, to a more central location on the banks of the Abe River at a location named Sunpu (駿府?) (a contraction of "Suruga no Kokufu" (駿河の国府?)) or alternatively "Fuchū" (府中?).

Pre-modern Shizuoka

During the Muromachi period, Sunpu was the capital of the Imagawa clan. The Imagawa were defeated at the Battle of Okehazama, and Sunpu was subsequently ruled by Takeda Shingen, followed by Tokugawa Ieyasu. However, Toyotomi Hideyoshi relocated Ieyasu, and installed Nakamura Kazutada to rule Sunpu. After the Toyotomi were defeated in the Battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu recovered Sunpu, reassigning it to his own retainer, Naitō Nobunari in 1601. This marked the start of Sunpu Domain.

In April 1606, Ieyasu officially retired from the post of Shogun, and retired to Sunpu, where he established a secondary court, from which he could influence Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada from behind the scenes. Subsequently, aside for brief periods, Sunpu was tenryō (territory under direct administration by the Shogunate), ruled by the Sunpu jōdai (駿府城代?), an appointed official based in Sunpu.

From the Meiji period to World War II

In 1869, after the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, the former shogunal line, headed by Tokugawa Iesato was sent to Sunpu and assigned the short-lived Sunpu Domain. The same year, Sunpu was renamed "Shizuoka". Shizuoka Domain became Shizuoka Prefecture with the abolition of the han system in 1871, which was expanded in 1876 through merger with the former Hamamatsu Prefecture and western portions of Ashigaru Prefecture in 1876. Shizuoka Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line was opened on February 1, 1889. The same day, a fire burned down most of downtown Shizuoka.

The modern city was founded on April 1, 1889. At the time, the population was 37,681, and Shizuoka was one of the first 31 cities established in Japan.

An electric tram service began in 1911. In 1914, due to heavy rains caused by a typhoon, the Abe River flooded, inundating the downtown area. In the national census of 1920, the population of Shizuoka was 74,093. The area of the city continued to expand through the 1920s and 1930s through merger with outlying towns and villages. In 1935, the city was struck by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake, resulting in much damage. Although soon rebuilt, a large fire in 1940 again destroyed much of the center of the city.

During World War II, Shizuoka lacked targets of major military significance, and was initially only lightly bombed during several American air raids. However, in a major firebombing raid of June 19, 1945, the city suffered an extreme amount of damage with high civilian casualties.

Post-war Shizuoka

The area of the city continued to expand through the 1950s and 1960s through merger with outlying towns and villages. On October 1, 1964, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen began services to Shizuoka, and on April 25, 1969 the city was connected to the Tōmei Expressway. On July 7, 1974, the Abe River flooded, and landslides occurred during heavy rains, killing 23 people.

On August 16, 1980, a major gas leak in an underground shopping center near Shizuoka Station resulted in an explosion, killing 15 people and seriously injuring 233 others. The Shizuoka City Hall moved to new premises in 1986. On April 1, 1992, Shizuoka was designated a core city by the central government, giving it increased autonomy.

The April 1, 2003 merger with Shimizu City (current Shimizu Ward) greatly expanded the area and population of Shizuoka, which then became a designated city on April 1, 2005,[12] and was divided into three wards.

Despite being somewhat geographically isolated from the rest of the city, the town of Kanbara ((from Haibara District)) was merged into Shizuoka on March 31, 2006,[13] becoming part of Shimizu Ward. On November 1, 2008, the town of Yui (also from Haibara District) was also merged into Shimizu Ward.


  • Shizuoka has 39,237 businesses as of 2004, placing it first in the prefecture.
  • Employment by industry: Agriculture 0.1%, Manufacturing: 26.9%, Service 73.0%

Fuji Dream Airlines is headquartered in Aoi-ku, Shizuoka.[14]


Green tea
Varieties such as Motoyama and Yabukita are grown in all corners of the city, and the varieties grown especially in the Warashina area in Aoi Ward and the Ryōgōchi area of Shimizu Ward are known for their high quality
"Stonewall strawberries" (石垣いちご ishigaki ichigo?) are strawberries that grow in holes on inclined stone walls, grown especially along an 8 km (5 mi) stretch of Kunō Kaidō (route 150), also known as "Strawberry Road", along the coast of Suruga Bay.[15]
especially in areas such as Utōgi in Aoi Ward
Mandarin orange and other citrus fruits
especially Satsuma, a seedless and easy-peeling citrus mutant, known as mikan (みかん?) or formally unshū mikan (ウンシュウミカン?)[16][17][18][19]
Lotus roots
especially in the Asahata area of Aoi Ward
especially in the Ihara and Okitsu areas in Shimizu Ward
especially in the Osada area


Shimizu Port boasts the largest haul of tuna in all Japan. Kanbara Harbour enjoys a prosperous haul of sakura ebi, and Mochimune Harbour enjoys a prosperous haul of shirasu sardines.


Abekawa Mochi is a type of rice cake (or mochi) made with kinako soy flour that is a specialty of Shizuoka.

Shizuoka has a long history of being involved in the craft industries going back over 400 years ago, using trees, including hinoki cypress. The model industry goes back to the late 1920s when wood was used to produce model toys, using sashimono woodworking joinery techniques, purely for educational purposes. Craftsmen later moved on to lighter woods including balsa, but following the war, with the importation of US built scale models, many companies either turned to plastic models to compete or went under.[20][21]

The town has since became internationally notable for its plastic scale model kits[22] and is resident to its long established companies such as Aoshima, Fujimi, Hasegawa and the most renowned of them all, Tamiya. Another renowned model brand, Bandai, produces its Gundam models exclusively at its Bandai Hobby Center plant in the town since its inception.[23] The city hosts the long-running Shizuoka Hobby Show annually in May at Twin Messe Shizuoka, which attracts visitors from around the world.[24]


a Japanese dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon radish, konnyaku, and processed fish cakes stewed in a light, soy-flavoured dashi broth.
Oden in Shizuoka uses a dark coloured broth flavoured with beef stock and dark soy sauce. All ingredients are skewered. Dried, ground fish (sardine, mackerel, or katsuobushi) and aonori powder (edible seaweed) are sprinkled on top before eating.
Soba noodles
Zōni soup
rice cakes in a broth cooked with vegetables, popular at New Year's
A grated yam soup. Chojiya, a tororo restaurant founded in 1598 in Mariko-juku area of Shizuoka, west of the Abe River, was made famous by Hiroshige when he depicted it in his series of ukiyo-e prints of the 53 stops along the Tōkaidō.


There are three main festivals on Shizuoka's calendar.

Shizuoka Festival (静岡まつり Shizuoka Matsuri?)
The City's April festival during the high point of the year for Cherry Blossoms. A flower-viewing procession imitates the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu's custom of taking daimyo (feudal lords) to Sengen Shrine to view the cherry blossoms.
Abekawa Fireworks (安倍川花火 Abekawa Hanabi?)
A gigantic fireworks display held upstream on Shizuoka's Abe River in late July.
Daidogei World Cup (大道芸ワールドカップ Daigougei Waarudo kappu?)
Street Performance World Cup. Probably the biggest event on Shizuoka's Calendar, it is an annual international busker's festival, held in November. It includes various shows such as juggling, pantomime, magic, etc. Performers come from around the world and perform throughout the central part of the city as well as in some peripheral locations. From 2005, it expanded from a 3-day to a 4-day festival.


With the Shimizu merger, Shimizu S-Pulse became the major soccer club in the city. Recently, however, a new rival club, Shizuoka F.C. from Suruga, has been rising in the regional league ranks as a contender for a place in the Japan Football League.



Shizuoka lies on the Tōkaidō Main Line, the JR Central main railway line from Tokyo to Osaka, and is well-served by the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, limited express and regional trains. The central station of Shizuoka is in the city centre. Shizuoka also has an LRT line, the Shizuoka Railway, administered by the Shizuoka Railway Co., Ltd. at Shizuoka Station.



The nearest airport is Shizuoka Airport, situated between Makinohara and Shimada.

Colleges and universities

Shizuoka University
National university, founded 1949. Main campus in Suruga Ward. Abbreviated to 静大 (Shizudai).
University of Shizuoka
Public university whose main campus is in Suruga Ward, close to Kusanagi Station.
Tokai University
Shimizu campus of the Tokyo-based private university
Tokoha Gakuen University
Private university founded in 1946
Shizuoka Eiwa Gakuin University
Co-educational private university in Suruga Ward, founded by missionaries from the Methodist Church of Canada with the support of the Shizuoka prefectural government. First institution in Shizuoka Prefecture to offer secondary education for girls, it became a four-year coeducational university in 2002.
University of Shizuoka Junior College
Junior college in Suruga Ward, affiliated with University of Shizuoka.
Tokai University Junior College
Junior college in Aoi Ward, affiliated with Tokai University.
Tokoha Gakuen Junior College
Junior college in Aoi Ward, affiliated with Tokoha Gakuen University.


Print media

The Shizuoka Shimbun is the area's primary newspaper.

Broadcast media


  • NHK Shizuoka (Analogue Channel 9; Digital Channel 1)
  • NHK Shizuoka Educational Channel (Analogue Channel 2; Digital Channel 2)
  • Shizuoka Broadcasting System (SBS) (Analogue Channel 11; Digital Channel 6)
  • TV Shizuoka (Analogue Channel 35; Digital Channel 8)
  • Shizuoka Daiichi Television (Analogue Channel 31; Digital Channel 4)
  • Shizuoka Asahi Television (Analogue Channel 33; Digital Channel 5)

Cable television

Shizuoka Cable Television (Dream Wave Shizuoka)


  • NHK1 882 kHz
  • NHK2 639 kHz FM88.8 MHz
  • SBS 1404 kHz
  • K-MIX 79.2 MHz
  • FM・Hi!76.9 MHz
  • Marine Pal (FM Shimizu) 76.3 MHz
  • Guzen Media Japan—A podcast and vidcast based in Shizuoka, Japan[25]

Major attractions

Historic spots

In Aoi Ward

Shizuoka Sengen Shrine
A collection of Shinto shrines that was patronised by powerful warrior clans since ancient times, most notably the Tokugawa clan.
Sunpu Park/Sunpu Castle ruins
The castle of the Imagawa and Tokugawa clans, originally built in 1599, was destroyed in 1869. Today, only the moats remain. The rest was turned into a park, and is now a popular place for hanami.

In Suruga Ward

Late Yayoi archaeological site notable as the first archaeological site excavated in Japan in which remains of a 1st-century AD Yayoi-era wet-rice Paddy fields were found.
Kunōzan Tōshō-gū
Shinto shrine that was the original burial place of Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the oldest of the Tōshō-gū shrines in Japan. The main festival of the shrine is held annually on April 17, although its spring festival from February 17–18 is a larger event.[26]
Twentieth of the fifty-three stations of the old Tōkaidō road, an old travel route during the Edo period.

In Shimizu Ward

Miho Peninsula
Famous for the scenic Miho no Matsubara (三保の松原 Miho Pine Grove?), renowned as a seashore with beautiful green pine trees and white sands spanning over seven kilometers, designated as one of New Three Views of Japan (新日本三景 Shin Nihon Sankei?). Also known as the scene of the legend of Hagoromo, which is based on the traditional swan maiden motif.

Notable people

Sister and friendship cities

Shizuoka has twin and friendship relationships with several cities.[27][28]

Twin cities


Within Japan

Friendship cities


  • Vietnam Huế, Vietnam (since April 12, 2005)

Within Japan

City song

Watashi no Machi, Shizuoka (わたしの街 静岡?)[29]

  • Written: 13 April 2005
  • Lyrics: Citizen competition entry
  • Music, additions: Kei Ogura
  • Arranged: Shin Kawabe
  • Eri Itō sang on the CD release


External links

  • (English) and other languages
  • Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka
  • Know Shizuoka - The independent guide
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