Nishio City, the castle town of the Matsudaira clan - a town rich in history and natural beauty

The city of Nishio is surrounded by hills on three sides, with the other side looking out over Mikawa Bay. Running through the city is the Yahagi River, which provides a bountiful harvest to the area. Due to its rich soil and mild climate, the area has long been favored as a place for human settlement, from at least as far back as the Jomon period (from about 12,000 years ago up to about the 4th century B.C.). Thus, this area has been inhabited by people continuously since ancient times. Its many old temples and shrines, and traditional festivals and performing arts are living proof that the city has prospered over thousands of years.

Nishio City's Saijo Castle dates from the year of Jokyu (1221), and is said to have been built by the great warrior Yoshiuji Ashikaga. The castle is also known by its nickname of tsurushiro (crane castle). In the year of Meiwa (1764) it became the main base of the Matsudaira clan, and after this the fiefdom of Nishio reached a level of prosperity measured at 60,000 koku (1 koku = 47.654 gallons) of rice production. (In old times, the wealth and size of a clan was measured by the amount of rice their fiefdom could produce.) The remains of this age of prosperity are in evidence to this day, in both immaterial and material form. Because of this, the city is regarded as the little Kyoto of the Mikawa region.'

An official municipal organization was established in Nishio in 1953, and the city has become the focal point of the southern West Mikawa area. Even now, the city is growing steadily, in line with the development of the automobile and related industries in the area.

As well as attracting industrial activity, the area is well suited for various types of agriculture, thanks to a warm climate and the fertile soil provided by the Yahagi River. For example, the city is the largest producer of powdered green tea in Japan. Also, the city and surrounds are host to a thriving horticultural industry, including the cultivation of orchids, and trees and flowering shrubs for nurseries. This account for a significant contribution to the prefecture's reputation as Aichi, kingdom of flowers.'

Throughout Nishio City and surrounding areas there are numerous interesting historical sites to be explored. And on top of its enviable natural assets, the city is rich in culture, with lovingly maintained traditions and festivals. Furthermore, the people of Nishio City, the castle town of 60,000 koku,' are determined to preserve their rich natural and cultural heritage to ensure that it is passed on for the enjoyment of future generations.

Outline of Nishio City

Location:About 35 km southeast of Nagoya City

Population:170,036 (as of October 1, 2012)

Area:160.34km2

Main industries and local products Automotive products, molding, cotton weaving; powdered green tea, horticultural crops such as trees and flowering plants

City emblem

Tied parallel crosses'

It is said that this mark was originated by the old master of Nishio Castle, Daikyu Matsudaira, for the identification of his clan during its travels. It symbolizes the well-organized rows of a city and the solidarity of its citizenship.

City flower

Rose 

The rose represents peace and happiness, and therefore stands for the city's wish that all its residents lead contented lives.

City tree

Camphor tree

 The camphor tree represents the soothing green of nature and the city's aim to provide a beautiful environment with plenty of trees for its residents to enjoy.