Hitachi, Ibaraki

Hitachi, Ibaraki

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Hitachi, Ibaraki

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is a city located on the Pacific Ocean in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Its name could be directly translated as "sunrise", but probably more appropriately adapted to "prosperous wealth" (the historical kanji name for the area is 常陸).


As of January 1, 2008, the city has an estimated population of 195,844 and the density of 868 persons per km². The total area is 225.55 km².


Hitachi was officially designated a city on September 1, 1939. On November 1, 2004 the neighboring town of Jūō, from Taga District, was merged into Hitachi.

The name Hitachi is well known throughout the world due to Hitachi company founded in the city in 1910 by Namihei Odaira. Today, Hitachi company is one of the world's largest manufacturing and consumer electronics companies.

Urban Development

Being a predominantly industrial city Hitachi was badly damaged in World War II, including shelling by the Iowa, and very few older buildings now remain in the downtown area. Industry continued after the war, and Hitachi was a small urban center for northern Ibaraki. Some factories have since closed, and Hitachi is now losing population, like much of Japan. Moreover, the downtown area, especially Ginza Dori, a busy pedestrianized shopping street into the 1990s, has experienced urban decay due to supermarkets and big box stores being built outside of downtown. Because of the increasing car traffic related to the urban sprawl, a bypass around central Hitachi was...
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