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Hita

Hita

Hita, city (1990 pop. 64,695), Oita prefecture, N central Kyushu, Japan, on the Chikugo River and the Hita plain. In addition to being an agricultural and industrial center, producing lumber, furniture, and pottery, Hita is a popular resort town known for its scenic beauty.

is a city in Ōita Prefecture, Japan, that was founded on December 11, 1940. It is an agricultural and industrial centre that primarily produces lumber, furniture, and pottery. Its attractions and scenic beauty also make it a popular tourist destination.

As of 2008, the city had an estimated population of 72,024 and a density of 108 persons per km². The total area of the city is 666.19 km².

Geography

Hita is located in the far west of Ōita Prefecture, and borders the neighbouring prefectures of Fukuoka, and Kumamoto. Surrounding cities include Kurume to its west, Nakatsu to the north, and Kusu to the east. Hita itself lies in a plain at the confluence of several rivers that flow west, eventually becoming the Chikugo River. The surrounding landscape is mountainous, typical of Ōita Prefecture.

Towns and villages

Towns and villages of note that lie within Hita's boundaries include:

For the municipal timeline of Hita, see 日田郡 (Japanese). Hita has shared borders with the former Hita District since 1889.

Sightseeing

Hita has many places of interest to visitors. The Gion Festival Centre in Kuma-machi provides information about the history and activities of Hita's annual summer festival, and exhibits six full-sized floats which are paraded around the city during the annual Gion Festival.

From July to November, fishermen erect bamboo fish traps (ayuyana) in the Mikuma river to capture Ayu fish; which are covered in salt and grilled.

Hita also has the Sapporo Beer factory, located on a hill overlooking the city. There is a free guided tour for visitors that is followed by a free 20-minute tasting session.

The Kusano family Hina Dolls can be viewed at the oldest house in Hita during the tourist season. In the March Doll's Festival, up to 200 of the collection are on display at once.

Festivals

Hita has many festivals throughout the year that attract a steady stream of visitors. Some of the most popular festivals include:

  • Hina Dolls Festival (February/March): During the national Doll's Festival the museums and old houses of Mameda-machi and Kuma-machi open their doors to the public and display their collection of dolls.
  • Cherry Blossom Festival (First Sunday in April): Kizan Park hosts Hita's Cherry Blossom-viewing (Hanami) event, during which people may enjoy a stroll by the river and drink under the blossom trees.
  • River Opening Festival (First weekend after May 20th): A two-day firework display that launches more than 10,000 fireworks over the Mikuma river. The display may be viewed from a riverboat.
  • Gion Festival (First Sunday after July 20th): Huge wooden floats (up to 12m high) from different areas of the city are pushed around the streets by volunteers.
  • Tenryo Festival (Third weekend in October): This festival celebrates Hita's Edo period, when it was under direct Tokugawa supervision. The highlight is a procession of 200 people through the city in full Edo-period costume. The name of the festival comes from the phrase tenryō, used to describe such direct Tokugawa landholdings (Hita was part of the territory overseen by the saigoku gundai, the deputy of the western provinces).

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