is a city
located in Abashiri Subprefecture
Abashiri is best known as the site of the Abashiri Prison, a Meiji-era facility used for the incarceration of political prisoners. The old prison has been turned into a museum, but the city's new maximum security prison is still in use. It is an important local port city and railroad terminal.
As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 40,333 and the density of 85.6 persons per km². The total area is 470.94 km².
Abashiri is located in the eastern part of Abashiri Subprefecture, about 50 kilometers east of Kitami. There are no tall mountains, but there are many hills.
Abashiri's sister city is Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada. Each year many students participate in student exchange programs between the two cities.
Memanbetsu Airport is located in nearby Ōzora.
- March, 1872 Abashiri Village (アバシリ村) founded, being given the name of Abashiri District in Kitami Province.
- 1875 The kanji 網走村 given to Abashiri Village.
- 1902 Abashiri Village, Kitami Town, Isani Village, and Nikuribake Village, all in Abashiri District, merge to form Abashiri Town.
- 1915 Notoro Village, Mokoto Village merged.
- 1921 Memanbetsu Village (later Memanbetsu Town, merged into Ōzora in 2006) split.
- 1931 Boundary with Memanbetsu Town modified.
- February 11, 1947 Higashimokoto Village (merged into Ōzora in 2006) split. Abashiri Town becomes Abashiri City. All of the territory of Ōzora used to be a part of Abashiri.