Saitama, Saitama facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|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
Location of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture
|• Total||217.49 km2 (83.97 sq mi)|
(November 1, 2010)
|• Density||5,664.08/km2 (14,669.9/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|- Tree||Zelkova serrata(Keyaki)|
Saitama (さいたま市code: ja is deprecated , 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.
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.
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.
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|
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).
Saitama is a regional transportation hub for both passengers and freight.
Ōmiya Station is the biggest railway hub in the prefecture.
- ■ Tōhoku, Akita, Yamagata, Jōetsu and Nagano Shinkansen
- - Ōmiya -
- ■ Utsunomiya Line
- ■ Takasaki Line
- - Urawa - Saitama-Shintoshin - Ōmiya - Miyahara -
- ■ Keihin-Tōhoku Line
- - Minami-Urawa - Urawa - Kita-Urawa - Yono - Saitama-Shintoshin - Ōmiya
- ■ Saikyō Line
- - Musashi-Urawa - Naka-Urawa - Minami-Yono - Yonohommachi - Kita-Yono - Ōmiya
- ■ Musashino Line
- - Nishi-Urawa - Musashi-Urawa - Minami-Urawa - Higashi-Urawa -
- ■ Kawagoe Line
- Ōmiya - Nisshin - Nishi-Ōmiya - Sashiōgi -
- ■ Saitama Rapid Railway Line
- - Urawa Misono
- ■ Tōbu Noda Line
- Ōmiya - Kita-Ōmiya - Ōmiya-kōen - Ōwada - Nanasato - Iwatsuki - Higashi-Iwatsuki -
- ■ New Shuttle
- Ōmiya - Tetsudō-Hakubutsukan - Kamonomiya - Higashi-Miyahara - Komba - Yoshinohara
- Mejiro University
- Nihon University Faculty of Law
- The Open University of Japan Omiya Study Center
- Saitama University
- Shibaura Institute of Technology
- University of Human Arts and Sciences
- Urawa University
- Kokusai Gakuin Saitama Junior College
- Urawa University Junior College
- Omiya Nishi High School
- Omiya Kita High School
- Urawa High School
- Urawa Minami High school
Professional Graduate School
Omiya Law School
Origin of the name "Saitama"
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.
Saitama has six sister cities.
- Toluca, Mexico (1979)
- Zhengzhou, China (1981)
- Hamilton, New Zealand (1984)
- Richmond, Virginia, United States (1994)
- Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada (1996)
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States (1998)
- Akigase Park
- Besshonuma Park
- Hikawa Shrine
- John Lennon Museum
- Minuma Rice Paddies
- Ōmiya Bonsai Village
- Railway Museum
- Saitama Museum of Modern Art
- Saitama Stadium 2002
- Saitama Super Arena
- Sonic City
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Saitama, Saitama Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.