Asahikawa,City of Design

Nominator : Asahikawa Creative City Promotion Council

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The city of Asahikawa is located on the west side of the Daisetsuzan Mountain Range and lies within the Kamikawa basin in the central part of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. The mountain range is the water source for the Ishikari River and many other rivers in the region. Asahikawa has a unique climate that changes significantly depending on the season. In the winter the city experiences heavy snowfall, and in the summer the humidity is rather low compared to the rest of Japan.


As of November 2022, the city has a population of 325,000. Asahikawa is both a transportation and distribution hub and has the largest concentration of industries in northern Hokkaido. Blessed with bountiful natural resources, agriculture and woodworking have been Asahikawa’s primary industries since times of old. It is one of the largest rice producing regions in the country. The woodworking industry has gained the city recognition as a prominent wooden furniture producer thanks to its high-quality timber, excellent woodworking techniques, and high level of furniture design.


The Asahikawa Design Symposium in 1976 motivated the city to hold the International Design Forum Asahikawa in 1987 and 1988, inviting designers from Italy and Denmark. Design has always played a large role in Asahikawa’s development. The IFDA, which has been held once every three years since 1990, and the annual Asahikawa Design Week (ADW) started in 2015, have built awareness of the importance of design amongst the people.


Asahikawa wishes COLLABORATION WITH CREATIVE CITIES to strengthen international cooperation through the power of design.

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