Kameyama City Outline
Kameyama City (亀山市) is located in the middle of the northern part of Mie Prefecture. The city is within a 20km radius of major cities within the prefecture such as Tsu (津市), Yokkaichi (四日市市), and Suzuka (鈴鹿市). It is also located approximately 50km from Nagoya (名古屋市) and 100km from Ōsaka (大阪).
In the northwestern part of Kameyama, the Suzuka Mountains have an elevation of about 500m to 900m and run from north to south. From that area to the east, slanting hills and plateaus have been formed and lead to the Ise Plains. In the center of this region, the Kabuto and Anraku Rivers branch into the Suzuka and Nakano Rivers, which flow from east to west and pour into the Ise Bay.
The average temperature in Kameyama throughout the year is 15.2°C, and the average temperature in the winter (January) is a warm 5.6°C, which is a climate that is easy to live in.
The overall surface area of Kameyama is 190.91 km², which extends 21km from east to west and 17km from north to south.
An Introduction to Tourism in Kameyama City
Kameyama City was founded on January 11, 2005 when the former Kameyama City and the former Seki-chō merged together. This city is in the midst of the rich nature of the mountains and rivers of Suzuka, and it was cultivated with historical culture as an inn town on the former East Sea Road. Later, this city made use of its prime location between the Chūbu and Kansai areas, and it developed as an inland industrial city. Recently, in addition to being an existing base for industry, the city has been gathering attention from many areas as being a location for the liquid crystal industry.
Kameyama is a place where countless precious cultural assets and ruins of famous places remain. The Seki District is where one of the three ancient gates, the Suzuka Gate, was placed. Therefore, this is where the Seki or “Gate” District got its name. Within the district is Sekijuku (関宿), which was the forty-seventh of the fifty-three stations on the East Sea Road during the Edo Period. This place was bustling with visitors of the Ise Grand Shrine and feudal lords who traveled back and forth to their home areas from Edo within the sankin-kōtai (参勤交代) system. Presently, the inn towns from the former East Sea Road during that time do not have the same appearance that they once did, but the towns of this historical district have the most remains of them all. As a result, the Seki District was designated as a traditional and architectural district for preservation in 1984. Many tourists visit this 1.8km area, in which about 200 buildings that were built from the Edo Period to the Meiji Period still remain to this day.
Meanwhile, the Kameyama area flourished as the forty-sixth inn town Kameyama-juku (亀山宿) on the East Sea Road and also as a castle town. The “tamonyagura” watch tower of Kameyama Castle is the only one of its kind in Mie Prefecture, and it is one story tall with white paint on the upper part of the walls. It is considered to be very rare across the whole nation. This area is also spotted with historical buildings and ruins, as well as the grave site of Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, who was known as a hero during ancient times.
Kameyama is rich in nature with places like the Sekisui Valley and Sakamoto, which was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 best terraced rice fields. At the same time, Kameyama is expected to develop even further with the opening of the Shinmeishin Highway and plans to construct the Linear Central Shinkansen (bullet train). The depiction of the city’s future is described as, “A Kameyama rich with nature, everlasting history, and flashing lights.” The history, tradition, and culture of the former towns and cities are well respected, and every area shares its resources and appeal. The area is advancing towards creating a unified city that is unique and individualistic while planning ways to expand mutual exchange and social links with the people living here.
Sekijuku Summer Festival
A traditional event that has been ongoing since the Edo Period is held for two days at the end of July of every year, where portable shrines and four incredibly magnificent Hikiyama festival floats are paraded throughout the town. Previously, this festival was one of five big festivals in the Kansai region, and it is said that as many as sixteen Hikiyama festival floats used to march through the streets. The highlight of the festival is called the “Yatai Mawashi,” which is when floats turn at important points of the march, and this gets spectators very excited as the festival comes to its climax.