geographical name

City (pop., 2003 est.: 1,888,953), Hokkaido, Japan. Located on the Ishikari River, the city was laid out in 1871 with wide, tree-lined streets; it became the prefectural capital in 1886. It is a major commercial centre, with Otaru, on the Sea of Japan (East Sea), as its port. Chief industries are lumbering, printing, publishing, and brewing. A popular centre for skiing and winter sports, it was the site of the 1972 Winter Olympic Games. The annual Snow Festival (in February) features giant sculptures carved from packed snow. It is the site of Hokkaido University (1876).

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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