Facts about Okazaki

Location & Geography
Located in the eastern part of Aichi Prefecture in central Japan about 40 kilometers from southeast of Nagoya. Okazaki is about halfway between Tokyo and Osaka, halfway between Kyoto and Mount Fuji.

Population & People
In 2004, Okazaki's population is around 355,000. The demographic center of the city has been gradually shifting south, with large shopping malls such as AEON bringing the commercial heart of the city south as well. The population density is fairly evenly distributed. A large proportion of the population work in the city, though there are also many commuters. The foreign community is also well established.

Zoning, Parks (top)
Okazaki has many parks and compared to other cities of its size, a lot of greenery. Zoning is still problem, and it is not ususual to see businesses (even factories) located to or inside residential areas, or rice paddies next to medium-rise apartment buildings. There is plenty of breathing space in Okazaki.

In Okazaki, winter is usually milder than in Tokyo or Kyoto, with only occasional snow, though it can be cold if its windy. Summers in Okazaki are hot and humid, but again, less so than Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka. The average temperature in Okazaki rises and falls sharply during the course of the year.

Flora and Fauna
Due to the increasingly urban nature of Okazaki, large wild fauna is pretty rare. If you're interested in seeing more than the specimens couped up in the small zoo in Higashi Koen, head to the rural/urban fringes east of the Tomei Expressway interchange and the valleys leading up to the towns of Nukata and Shimoyama. Here it is possible to find wild monkeys (Japanese macaques) and tanuki (a stout, short-legged creature with a small, bushy tail - a member of the dog family).

Economy (top)
Okazaki is a prosperous city. Unemployment is usually lower than average and disposable incomes high. The services sector provides the bulk of economic activity, followed by manufacturing. Apart from banking and retail, education is a major contributer through the local universities and institutes. The automobile (Toyota, Mitsubishi), machinery (Makita) and other knowledge intensive industries have largely displaced the textile sector for which this part of the Mikawa district was originally noted for.

As a general rule Okazaki is pretty safe. Although it is a safe city, there are certain precautions that the local police advise.