All About Himi


      Himi is located in the north-west of Toyama Prefecture at the eastern base of the Noto Peninsula. Toyama Port lies towards the east and hills and mountain ranges lie in the other three directions forming the city's borders. From those hills comes the source of 8 streams that meet at a central location forming 6 small alluvial plain. From ancient times, Himi has prospered as a fishing town and continues to provide the largest quantities of fish in the prefecture.

     The Noto Peninsula National Park, with its' 19km coastline of white sand and green pines, is made up of a rich variety of beaches, including Nagahama, Ariso and Nadaura beaches. Many visitors come here to witness the breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains towering over the sea.

     The people of Himi have lived off the natural wealth provided by the mountains and ocean since prehistoric times. Evidence of this can be found in the national historic sites around the city.

     During the Nara Period, the ruler of Echu (present.-day Toyama), the poet Yakamochi of Otomo, was drawn to Himi's picutresque beauty and often visited the area. Many of his poems in the Manyoshu Anthology make reference to those travels.

     Himi attracts tourists not only to sample its' fresh fish and visit its' shores, but also to relax in one of the many gushing natural hot springs that belong to the National Park and the Himi Hot Springs Village. Himi has 90 guest houses and inns available to tourists.


The Original of the Name 'Himi'

     'Himi' is made up of the chinese characters for ice and see. However, it is unusual to read these characters together as 'Himi'. As far as is known, there is only one other place (in Ehime Prefecture, Saijo City) with the same reading in the whole of Japan. If you hear of somewhere else with the same place name, please let us know.
     There are many theories about the name's origin, for example:

  1. Himi was given its name because the ice and snow of the Tateyama mountains could always be seen.
  2. The 'hi' of Himi used to be written with the character for fire@(΁j, but it was later changed to ice (Xjas it was thought to be unlucky. One story tells of the small fires the fishermen used to light their way on their boats at night. It is said that, from a distance, all that could be seen of Himi were these small fires in the Bay.
  3. In ancient times, Himi was a look out for smoke signals from the north, warning of an approaching enemy. It was thus named 'Himi', since the fire from the smoke signals could be seen from there.

The Establishment of Himi City

     After the abolition of clans and the establishment of prefectures in 1871AHimi, originally part of the Kanazawa Clan (The Ancient Kaga Clan), came under the ruling of Kanazawa Prefecture, which was later divided into Nanao Prefecture, Niikawa Prefecture and Ishikawa Prefectures - Himi thus becoming part of Ishikawa Prefecture. In 1883, as the prefectures restructured, Himi became part of Toyama Prefecture. In 1889, Himi Town and 20 other villages were established, together becoming the district of Himi 1896. From 1894 when municipality was enforced until 1954, the boundaries under which Himi came were changed 3 times. For this reason, and because it became both town and district, the development of Himi is an unusual one in Japan.

City Symbols

Sister Cities: Omachi City, Nagano Prefecture
Kanaya-cho, Haibara District, Shizuoka Prefecture
Seki City Gifu Prefecture
International Friendly Cities: Petersburg, Virginia State, U.S.A.
International School Exchanges: Kaiho Elementary School + Seaside Elementary School, Oregon, U.S.A
Hokubu Junior High + Churston Grammar School, Brixham, Devon, U.K.
Himi High School + Orchard Park High School, New York State, U.S.A.

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Himi City Planning and Public Relations Office - Himi City Hall 4th floor
Toyama Prefecture, Himi City, Maru no Uchi, 1-1
TEL: 0766-74-8013 (kokusai koryuin)