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Kitakyushu (北九州) is a city in Japan. It is located within the Fukuoka prefecture in the Kyushu region. Kitakyushu is in the northernmost part of the prefecture. It borders on the main island of Japan across the Kanmon Strait. Kitakyushu is in the straight line connecting Tokyo and Shanghai, so it been a base for industrial development. The population of this city is estimated at 1,014,608. The total land area is approximately 483 square kilometers. The city flower is the Azalea and Sunflower and the city tree is the Japanese beech tree.

The economy has always been based around the manufacture of various products since the founding of the government-managed Yahata Steelworks. The city has traffic and distribution bases to support industries with facilities such as the Kitakyushu Airport and the Hibikinada Deep Water Port and Harbor.

Kitakyushu serves as an intellectual base comprised off such institutions as Kitakyrushu Science and Research Park that is capable of serving as a brain for industries. Corporations related to environmental business, semiconductors and automobiles are becoming more common here.


In the 1600's this city was first highlighted because of the Kokura Castle being constructed here. This town prospered as a castle town becoming the center of governmental and commercial activities in this area.

In the later half of the 19th century the Meiji government formed. In accordance the area developed commercially, railroads were building and port facilities were rapidly constructed.

In 1901 the first governmental-managed steelworks was constructed. Because of this the city developed with key industries such as steel, chemical, electric and ceramic industries. This area played an important role in the modernization of Japan.

Kitakyushu was established in 1963 as a city when five cities combined named Moji, Kokura, Wakamatsu, Yahata and Tobata. This city was the first instance in the world of a city having autonomous control. In recent times to revitalize Kitakyushu three ports were constructed and new industries including automobile, semiconductor and environmental-related industries were promoted.

Points of Interest

  • Kanmon Strait separates the main island from Kyushu. Many important events in Japanese history occurred here. Sights such as the Mekari Festival can be observed here. This strait has been a strategic point for marine traffic and prospered as an international trading port. This is the representative sightseeing area in this region. Historical facilities in this area include western-style buildings as JR Mojiko Station, which is designate a national important cultural asset, the old Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. Building and the Old Moji Mitsui Club, where Dr and Mrs. Einstein once stayed. At night, buildings, ships and piers around the port are lit up and make a beautiful scene to observe.

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