Understand Okushiri-cho with first sight
Outline of Okushiri-cho
"Okushiri Port", a front-door of Okushiri-cho always welcomes to visitors.
"Nabetsuru Rocks", a sightseeing symbol of Okushiri-cho
Fresh seafood is a pride of Okushiri-cho
Location:LON. 139-31.04 E LAT. 42-10.11 N
(the westernmost part of Hokkaido)
Extent:11km wide and 27km long
Area:142.98 square meters
(It's the second largest island subsequent to the Rishiri Isle in Hokkaido, and is also the 14th largest island in Japan. Okushiri Isle is about twice the area of Hachijo Isle.)
Length of Coastline:About 84 km (Intricate coastlines made it become a treasury of seafood.)
Distance from the other townsIt is about 61km northwest of Esashi-cho, 42km southwest of Setana-cho. Old Taisei-cho is the nearest town at the distance of 17km.
GeographyWhole Okushiri Island is made up of granite terraces. The shape of this island is like a triangle. Rivers cut through the terraces to create a landscape with many waterfalls.
There are numerous plains at east coast. On the other hand, west coast has cliffs and many hot springs.
MountainsMt. Kamui(586m) It is the highest mountain which is located in the center of the island.
NatureForest 71.4%, Field 19.6%(in 2001) Okushiri Isle, is an off-shore island which is surrounded by Japan Sea
Here is full of beautiful nature and wildlife, and is also famous as a tourism attraction.
Due to the mining of Sulfur in earlier days, it became an island which has abundant hot springs.
Natural Park"Hiyama Prefectural Natural Park" was established as one of the natural park in Hokkaido on 20th April, 1960. It ranges from the whole Okushiri Isle, further including the old Taisei-cho, old Kumaishi-cho, Otobe-cho, Esashi-cho and Kaminokuni-cho. Area is 17.013 hectares.
ClimateOkushiri is located at the southwest of Hokkaido, so it's relatively warm. The average temperature is 9.4 ℃ each year and annual rainfall is 1,333mm.
TrafficFlight between Okushiri and Hakodate
(HAC, 36 passengers, one flight daily)
Ferry between Okushiri and Esashi
(April 1 - December 28 is 2 ferries daily, December 29 - May 31 is 1 ferry daily.)
Ferry between Okushiri and Stana
(April 21 - April 30 is 1 ferry daily, May 1 - September 30 is 2 ferries daily.)
Name of Okushiri-choIt was "Ikusyun-shiri" in Ainu. Then it was omitted to "Ikushiri".
"Iku" means "other side" and "Shiri" means "island".
Tree and Flower of Okushiri-choTree: Yew Tree Flower: Sweetbrier
SpecialtyUrchins, abalones and various kinds of fresh seafood
CelebritiesMr. Yoshinori Sato is originally from Okushiri-cho, and he is also a former pro baseball player.
He graduated from Okushiri Junior-High School, Hakodate Yuto High School and Nihon University. Afterwards, he joined the Hankyu (current Orix), a one of pro baseball team, as the first-round choice in the draft.
He was an ace pitcher and awarded like the Rookie of the year, Strike-outs Leader, Hurler Leader, ERA Leader and so on.
He also pitched a no-hitter, as the oldest pitcher at that time.
His record is 165 W 137 L 48 S for 22 years.
He also got Okushiri-cho Sports Testimonial, Okushiri-cho People's Honor Award, Hokkaido Newspaper Sports Special Award, MVP of Hokkaido Press Club, Pacific League Testimonial and so on.
After retiring, he became a coach of Orix. He was a coach of Hanshin when the team got a champion. And he was a coach of Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, a champion in 2006.
In 1999, Yoshinori Sato Baseball Museum was built in Akaishi Family Park.
HistoryAccording to the history, the first immigration to Okushiri was 8,000 years ago. The numbers of inhabitants had increased after "Mr. Kyubei Taguchi" migrated there for fishing activities in 1767.
Various relics and remains during Jomon Age were unearthed, especially the "comma-shaped bead", is one of the biggest treasures in Japan and can be listed with the other national treasures.
AirportFor the 7th Airport Development Plan, an old 800m-runway at Okushiri Airport was expanded to 1,500m-runway in 1989. Meanwhile, the medium-sized airplanes started to fly in the sky.
HarborFor the 9th Harbors Development Plan, the shockproof walls for larger ships were constructed at Okushiri Harbor.
Fishing PortType 1: Inaho, Kantahama, Miyatsu, Akaishi, Matsue
Type 3: Aonae
Type 4: Kamuiwaki
RoadsThe main road, Okushiri Island Line, was 89.6% paved with asphalt. On the other hand, other smaller roads were only 35.2% completed at slower pace. (Research in 2000)
SewerageAfter the earthquake, the water supply facilities were restructured in Aonae Area and Inaho Area. It started to serve the public in 1996.
For the Public Sewerage, the sewage disposal service started between Tamaura and Bushigawa regions in 2002.
ParkKitaoimisaki Park (in Aza-Yunohama, 167,107 square meters, established in 1981)
Family Park (in Aza-Akaishi, 32,182 square meters, established in 1982)
Unimaru Park (in Aza-Akaishi, 35,000 square meters, established in 1993)
Tokuyou Memorial Green Park (in Aza-Aonae, 33,931 square meters, established in 1996)
Other parks (in Okushiri-cho, 5,869 square meters, established in 1996)
Sainokawara Park (in Aza-Inaho, 21,790 square meters, established in 1997)
Okushiri Minato Park (in Aza-Okushiri, 10,141 square meters, established in 2000)
Medical FacilitiesOkushiri-cho Employees Health Insurance Hospital, Okushiri-cho Employees Health Insurance Hospital Aonae Clinic, Aonae Dental Clinic
Welfare FacilitiesOld Folks Home "Okushiri Sou"
"Home Nursing Care and Support Center" was established inside of the "Health and Welfare Center", which was nearby the Okushiri-cho Employees Health Insurance Hospital.
Educational InstitutionsPreschool: 1 (the remote areas of Yamasedomari)
Kindergarten: 2 (Okushiri and Aonae)
Elementary school: 3 (Miyatsu, Okushiri and Aonae )
Junior-high school : 2 (Okushiri and Aonae)
High school : 1 (Okushiri )
Community FacilitiesOcean Training Center (Established in 1996. It contains a multifunctional hall, a library, and a conference room. The computer systems are also fully equipped. Nickname: Warasya-do 21)
Public Center (Established in 1988. It has a conference room and a gym…etc. This building was used to be the Okushiri High School before.)
Japanese Archery Hall (Established in 1988, nearby the Public Center)
Museum of History and Ethnic Heritage (Established in 1988, Currently closed)
Sakuragaoka Ski Resort (Built in 1979, equipped with the ski lift)
Okushiri Isle Tsunami Museum (Established in 2000, equipped with 3D video systems)
Disaster Prevention TacticsThe central emergency announcement system was reorganized in 1979 and refitted in 1995. (Home Receiver: all families. Exterior Station: 28 locations. Key and Relay Station: 8 locations. Mobile Transceivers: 10. Car Mobile Transceivers: 6. Community Mobile Transceiver: 26 locations)
Applying numerous and various strategies as disaster prevention tactics after the earthquake, they are including the seawall constructions, afforestation, artificial ground constructions of Aonae, refitments of central emergency announcement system, maintenance of escape routes, installations of generators in shelters, restructures of cellular telephone transmission tower, construction of Okushiri Island Tsunami Museum, distribution of emergency manuals to all families, distribution of helmets to all residents, distribution of emergency supplies packets to all families, storage of the drinkable water, agreement made for food supplies to the earthquake victims, installation of solar streetlights in fishing ports, repair of night illumination facilities for emergency heliports, reorganization of the saltwater filtration system, revision for disaster prevention plan, and emergency training.
Shelter: 22 locations. Signs of Escape Roads: 42 locations.
Basic IndustrySince the early ages these prosperous and affluent fisheries have had an abundant source of fresh fish and shellfish. Therefore, people have named here as a"Dream Island" or"Treasure Island" since a long time ago.
The majority of fishing was for herring until the end of Meiji. Recently, the inshore fishing of squids, Atka mackerel fishes and the gathering of sea urchins and abalones are becoming dominant.
Nowadays this is aiming mostly at further development of both the fishery and travel industries.
FisheryAlthough it is still recovering from the shock of earthquakes, so the catch of squids and Atka mackerel fishes is decreasing.
The fishery's revenue was significantly diminished from approximately 1 billion, 9 hundred and 59 million yen in 1989 to 1 billion and 58 million yen in 1998.
Due to the aging of fishermen and the downsizing of business, an enhancement has been to turn to the raising of sea urchins and abalones in fish farms.
The" Abalone Farm" was established in Okushiri-cho in 1999. To hasten the growth of abalone larvae, they add the water from hot springs.
AgricultureThe numbers of farmhouses decreased from 106 in 1989 to 72 in 1999.
The aging of farmers and the insufficiency of breadwinners has become a serious problem.
Although mainly earned from the production of rice and livestock goods (beef), an average annual income per family in 1998 was low at around 6 hundred and 19 thousands yen.
ForestryAlthough there is only a total of 5 producers in the lumbering field, including the Okushiri-cho, all of them are small scale operations.
Manufacturing IndustryThere were 12 manufacturing firms with total spent of shipments of 1 billion, 5 hundred and 22 million yen in 1998. All of these firms were small scale operations and mainly focusing on fishery food processing.
Mining IndustryOnly the mining of perlite has been progressing.
BusinessThere were 73 retail stores in 1999. They mainly sold food, beverages, and groceries. Most of them were small scale operations.
Shopping goods, such as clothing, outflows to the places external to the island.
Appearance of large scale stores in Okushiri-cho after the earthquake caused a price gap with the other retailers in Okushiri-cho.
Due to geographical reasons, the fees of petrol and gasoline are extremely high. There is a huge price difference with the places external to the island.
Travel IndustryTourism can be expected to support the economy with the fishery.
Approximately 50 thousand tourists come and visit annually, especially in summer seasons. There were about 56 thousand tourists annually before the earthquake happened and the numbers of visitors tended to increase. Nevertheless, the numbers of visitors fell down suddenly after the earthquake happened. The numbers rebounded back in 1998 and continued to stabilize.
The tourist attractions and facilities are all added and placed with the maintenance of "Okushiri Tsunami Museum", "Tokuyou Memorial Green Park", "Sato Yoshinori Baseball Museum", and "Mt. Tamashima Observatory" …etc.
Struggling in attracting tourists with the"Major Three Festivals of Okushiri" and the"Tourism Reconstruction Campaign Project" of sightseeing bus since 1999.
The regular sightseeing bus is in service from July to August.