Aomori | Japan

Aomori (青森市 Aomori-shi) is the capital city of Aomori Prefecture, in the northern Tōhoku region of northern Japan. As of 1 April 2017, the city had an estimated population of 287,800 in 136,209 households , and a population density of 350 persons per km2. The city is one of Japan's 48 core cities. The total area of the city was 824.61 square kilometres (318.38 sq mi).

Like most of Tōhoku, Aomori has a humid temperate climate with warm summers, and cold, though not extreme, winters. The city has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) using 0 degree isotherm, with monthly averages ranging from −1.2 °C (29.8 °F) in January to 23.3 °C (73.9 °F) in August.

Aomori and its surrounding area are renowned for heavy snowfall, the heaviest among all Japanese cities, and, in fact, among the heaviest in the world. In February 1945 the city recorded a maximum snow cover of 209 centimetres (82 in), but the extreme low of −24.7 °C (−12 °F) was recorded 14 years earlier. In contrast, Sapporo's heaviest snowfall occurred in 1939, and that was only 164 centimetres (65 in), and more northerly Wakkanai has recorded similar maxima. The particularly heavy snow is caused by several winds that collide around the city and make the air rise and cool, resulting in quick, thick cloud formation followed by intense precipitation.

Aomori literally means blue forest, although it could possibly be translated as "green forest". The name is generally considered to refer to a small forest on a hill which existed near the town. This forest was often used by fishermen as a landmark. A different theory suggests the name might have been derived from the Ainu language.

The area has been settled extensively since prehistoric times, and numerous Jōmon period sites have been found by archaeologists, the most famous being the Sannai-Maruyama Ruins located just southwest of the city center dating to 5500-4000 BC, and the Komakino Site slightly farther south dating to around 4000 BC. The large scale of these settlements revolutionized theories on Jōmon period civilization. During the Heian period, the area was part of the holdings of the Northern Fujiwara clan, but remained inhabited by the Emishi people well into the historic period. After the fall of the Northern Fujiwara in the Kamakura period, the territory was part of the domain assigned to the Nambu clan, and into the Sengoku period, it came under the control of the rival Tsugaru clan, whose main castle was located in Namioka. After the start of the Edo period, Aomori was a minor port settlement for Hirosaki Domain called Utō (善知鳥村 Utō-mura). The town was rebuilt in 1626 under orders of the daimyō, Tsugaru Nobuhira and renamed "Aomori", but this name did not come into common use until after 1783.

After the Meiji Restoration, the feudal domains were abolished and replaced with prefectures, of which a total of six were initially created in the territory of modern Aomori Prefecture. These were merged into the short-lived Hirosaki Prefecture in July 1871. However, due to the historic enmity between the former Tsugaru territories in the west and the former Nambu territories in the east, the prefectural capital relocated from Hirosaki to the more centrally-located Aomori immediately after the merger and the prefecture was renamed Aomori Prefecture on September 23, 1871. However, the municipality of Aomori was not given town status within Higashitsugaru District until April 1, 1889, and was not designated a city until April 1, 1898.

Aomori Prefecture (青森県 Aomori-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region. The capital is the city of Aomori.

That same day saw the end of the Seikan Ferry service. During their 80 years of service, the familiar ferries of the Seikan line sailed between Aomori and Hakodate some 720,000 times, carrying 160 million passengers.

In April 1993, Aomori Public College opened. In August 1994, Aomori City made an "Education, Culture and Friendship Exchange Pact" with Kecskemét in Hungary. One year later, a similar treaty was signed with Pyongtaek in South Korea, and cultural exchange activities began with exchanges of woodblock prints and paintings.

In April 1995, Aomori Airport began offering regular international air service to Seoul, South Korea, and Khabarovsk, Russia; however, the flights to Khabarovsk were discontinued in 2004.

In June 2007, four North Korean defectors reached Aomori Prefecture, after having been at sea for six days, marking the second known case ever where defectors have successfully reached Japan by boat

Aomori Prefecture is Japan's largest producer of apples.[citation needed] Aomori also boasts being the home to Hakkōda cattle, a rare, region-specific breed of Japanese Shorthorn. The town of Gonohe has a long history as a breeding center for horses of exceptional quality, popular among the samurai. With the decline of the samurai, Gonohe's horses continued to be bred for their meat. The lean horse meat is coveted as a delicacy, especially when served in its raw form, known as Basashi (馬刺し). The Aomori coast along Mutsu Bay is a large source of scallops, but they are particularly a specialty of the town Hiranai where the calm water around Natsudomari Peninsula makes a good home for them

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