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Ōgata

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Ōgata Village
大潟村
Ōgata
Ōgata in Akita
Location in Akita
Location
CountryJapan
RegionTōhoku
PrefectureAkita
Physical characteristics
Area170.05 km²
Population3,019 (as of 2017-04-01)
Symbols
TreeBlack Pine (黒松)
FlowerScarlet Sage (サルビア)
BirdSwan (白鳥)
Village emblem
Village Hall
Address〒010-0494 秋田県南秋田郡大潟村字中央一丁目1番地
Telephone☎ 0185-45-2111
WebsiteHomepage

Ōgata (大潟村; -mura) is a village in the west of Akita Prefecture.

Ōgata Village, lies entirely on the former second largest lake in Japan, Lake Hachiro (now Hachirōgata Pond, the 18th largest lake in Japan). The land was completely reclaimed and the village was officially opened on October 1, 1964. The building of the actual village began in 1957 due to a shortage of rice. When you are in Ōgata it feels as though you are in another world due to the lack of old growth trees and the fact that there are no (real) mountains in Ōgata.

Ogata-mura has become a tourist attraction in its own right. More or less in the center of the village is the spot where 40°N crosses 140°E; the only place in Japan where meridians and parallels with full decimal numbers intersect. Unique is the lowest mountain in Japan, which rises to a majestic height of exactly 0 meters above sea level and is called the "Ogata Fuji" because the real Mt. Fuji is only 3,776 meters (12,388 feet) higher.

The Making of Ogata Village

Ogata-mura was established to develop large-scale agriculture with techniques of modern agricultural management. The site was developed on the reclaimed land of Hachirogata to build a new farming village as a model of the community. Ogata-mura is below sea level. The water level is regulated by the tidal gate, the central drainage channel, and the northern and southern pumping stations. Each of the pumping stations has a capacity of 40 metric tons of water per second. Today, 540 full-time farmers manage 9,000ha with large machinery. They primarily grow rice, but also beans, wheat, and vegetables.

The Hachirogata Lagoon was located about 40°N and 140°E. It had a surface area of 12 by 27km (7.5 by 17 miles) with a circumference of 82 km (51 miles) it was the second largest body of water in Japan. Its waters harbored seventy different species of fish.

After a 1954 feasibility study by Professor Ph. Jansen and Engineer A. Volker of the Delft Institute of Technology in the Netherlands, the World Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) threw their support behind the reclamation of the lagoon. Work was started in 1957 and lasted 20 years. In March 1977, at a cost of 85.2 billion dollars, the Hachirogata Lagoon had been converted into 17,203 hectares (42,491 acres) of fertile land.

The first pioneers settled on the barely dry land as early as 1964, and after a nationwide campaign the name chosen for the new village was "Ogata" ("Big Lagoon") , the ancient name of the Hachirogata Lagoon.

Applications came from all over Japan, but only the best farmers were selected.

The purpose of the reclamation project was "To establish an agricultural model for Japan by raising production and income levels through greater efficiency, and by building a prosperous, comfortable and modern farming community."

Did you know?

Of Ogata's farm products, rice is particularly special. Farmers use little or no pesticides in raising the rice crop. Ogata pumpkins taste almost like chestnuts. They have been served with in-flight meals. Amsterdam melons are tiny agricultural jewels, produced by the sun, mother earth and the farmer. These delicious melons enjoy a deserved reputation for their color, shape and sweetness, and they make great gifts. We raise our tasty, marbled Ogata Beef at low cost, and our sweet and juicy garlic will add just the right special flavor to your cooking. The shelves of the Local Produce Center, "Kata no Mise," are filled with locally grown fresh or processed vegetables every day.

See

  • Ogata Fuji. The lowest mountain in all of Japan. It stands at exactly zero meters above sea level.
  • Cherry Blossom and Flower Festival (Sakura Nano Hana Matsuri 桜と菜の花祭り). April 18-May 6. Beautiful cherry blossom trees and yellow flowers line over 12km of road in Ōgata Village. The festival's location is in a park. In the park there are many delicious foods and even a three minute mini steam powered train ride through the yellow flowers for only hundred yen. Well worth the trip if you are looking for a cheap trip in spring.
  • The Reclamation Museum: The Reclamation Museum contains the reclamation information and other exhibits.
  • The Local Produce Center, Kata no Mise: The special products and farm products are displayed every day.

Schools

Universities

Onsen

  • Hotel Sun Rural Ogata (ホテル サンルーラル大潟)
Homepage Open 11:30-20:00, cost ¥300. ☎ 0185-45-3332
  • Polder Gata no Yu (ポルダー潟の湯)
Located in Ōgata mura Onsen Hoyō Centre (大潟村温泉保養センター ). Open 6:00-22:00, cost ¥500. ☎ 0185-45-2641. Address: 〒010-0441 秋田県南秋田郡大潟村北1丁目3

Gallery

See also

Akita Prefecture
Northern Akita Fujisato • Happō • Kamikoani • Kazuno • Kitaakita • Kosaka • Mitane • Noshiro • Ōdate
Central Akita Akita City • Gojōme • Hachirōgata • Ikawa • Katagami • Oga  • Ōgata  • Semboku
Southern Akita Daisen • Higashinaruse • Misato • Nikaho • Ugo • Yokote • Yurihonjō • Yuzawa