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  Overview of the Tokachi Area


Mountain Hidaka


  The Tokachi area is located in the southeast of Hokkaido, stretching between lat. 42' 09" N. and 43'38" N., and between long. 142'40"E. and 144 02" E
Its total area is l0,831.04 km' constituting 1 30/0 of the total area of Hokkaido. The area is about the same as that of Niigata prefecture or Akita prefecture and is the largest of the 14 subprefectures in Hokkaido.

  The Tokachi area is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the south and is surrounded by Taisetsuzan National Park, Akan National Park and Hidaka and Erimo Semi-national Park on all other sides . On the inland plain, there is an alluvial fan and ter-raced land, and in the center of Tokachi Plain, the Tokachi River, whose water source is in the Taisetsu Mountains, runs.

    The climatic characteristics of the Tokachi area are that, though Tokachi is located in Hokkaido , which belongs to the sub-arctic zone , it has a continental climate except for the coastal area. In spring, dry seasonal winds blow over the Hidaka mountains and they sometimes develop into strong winds. In summer, fog rises from the sea and temperatures do not rise very high during the day, but in inland areas, relatively high temperatures continue .In winter, cold continental high atmospheric high pressure keeps temperatures continuously low, but the skies clear. As for snowfall, there is not heavy snowfall because snow clouds are intercepted by the Hidaka mountains. Throughout the year there is little precipitation and the area ranks high in terms of hours of sunlight compared to other regions in the nation.

The population of the area is 364,91 1 (according to the basic register of residents , as of the end of Dec.,2000),accountng for 6.4% of the population of Hokkaido(5,718,932). The population of the Obihiro City is 175,159, constituting 48.0% of that in the Tokachi area and the population of the Obihiro sphere including the neighboring 3 towns, Otofuke , Memuro and Makubetsu, is 258,588, constituting 71.1% of the population of the Tokachi area.

The population density of the area is 33.7 per km2, much lower than the average of Hokkaido, 68.5 per km2.