Shirakawa, Gifu (town)

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Shirakawa Town Hall
Shirakawa Town Hall
Flag of Shirakawa
Official seal of Shirakawa
Location of Shirakawa in Gifu Prefecture
Location of Shirakawa in Gifu Prefecture
Shirakawa is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°34′54.8″N 137°11′16.3″E / 35.581889°N 137.187861°E / 35.581889; 137.187861Coordinates: 35°34′54.8″N 137°11′16.3″E / 35.581889°N 137.187861°E / 35.581889; 137.187861
 • MayorYoshihiro Imai
 • Total237.90 km2 (91.85 sq mi)
 (January 1, 2019)
 • Total8,288
 • Density35/km2 (90/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
City symbols 
- TreeHinoki
- FlowerAzalea
Phone number0574-72-1311
AddressKawamata 715, Shirakawa-chō, Kamo-gun, Gifu-ken 509-1192
WebsiteOfficial website (in Japanese)
Panorama of Shirakawa

Shirakawa (白川町, Shirakawa-chō) is a town located in Kamo District, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 January 2019, the town had an estimated population of 8,288 and a population density of 36 persons per km2, in 3159 households.[1] The total area of the town was 237.90 square kilometres (91.85 sq mi).


Shirakawa is in the lower reaches of the Japanese Alps in southern Gifu Prefecture. It lies nestled in valleys formed by several rivers, which combine to form the Shirakawa river at one end of the town. The rivers, though substantially developed and altered, remain a source of Ayu, a sweet river fish. The low mountains surrounding the town are heavily forested, primarily with evergreen trees. Japanese macaques, bears, and wild boar are known to live in the local forests. The town has a climate characterized by characterized by hot and humid summers, and mild winters (Köppen climate classification Cfa). The average annual temperature in Shirakawa is 11.4 °C. The average annual rainfall is 2238 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 24.5 °C, and lowest in January, at around -0.9 °C.[2]

Neighbouring municipalities[edit]


Per Japanese census data,[3] the population of Shirakawa has declined steady over the past 40 years.

Census Year Population
1970 14,059
1980 12,922
1990 12,118
2000 11,282
2010 9,530


The area around Shirakawa was part of traditional Mino Province. During the Edo period, it was largely controlled by Owari Domain under the Tokugawa shogunate. During the post-Meiji restoration cadastral reforms, the area was organised into Mugi District, Gifu. The village of Sakanohigashi was formed on April 1, 1897 with the establishment of the modern municipalities system. In 1953 the hamlet of Nishi-Shirakawa separated out to form the town of Shirakawa and joined Kamo District., and the following year Shirakawa annexed the remainder of Sakanohigashi village. In 1956, Shirakawa annexed the villages of Kurosawa, Sami, and Sahara.


The local economy is dominated by forestry and agriculture. Shirakawa is noted for its production of Hinoki wood, and also of green tea.


Shirakawa has five public elementary schools and three public middle schools operated by the town government. The town does not have a high school.




Sister city relations[edit]


External links[edit]