Akashi, Hyōgo, Japan
Akashi (明石市 Akashi-shi?) is a city located in southern Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, on the Inland Sea west of Kobe.
As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 292,659 and the density of 5,929.89 persons per km². The total area is 49.22 km².
Akashi was an important city during Japan's pre-modern period due to the presence of Akashi Castle, headquarters of the Akashi Domain. The city, in its current form, was founded on November 1, 1919.
Akashi Municipal Planetarium stands on the meridian of 135 degrees east longitude, and is used to determine Japan Standard Time. Contrary to the name, the terminus of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge that connects Honshū to Awaji Island (and thereby to Shikoku) is not in Akashi but in Tarumi-ku, Kobe.
The remains of Akashi Castle are located just north of the JR Akashi Station and are visible from the station platform.
Politics and government
Akashi is governed by Mayor Kitaguchi Hiroto, an independent. The city assembly has 31 elected members and is dominated by independents.
Akashi is well known for Akashiyaki, a kind of takoyaki particular to the region. Small pieces of octopus (tako) are placed inside a ball-shaped mold containing a mixture of flour and eggs and this is then fried. Akashiyaki is often eaten by dipping it in a thin soup. Akashi is the site of the Uo-no-Tana Fish Market where local fishermen display an array of fresh seafood caught in the Akashi strait. The market is popular with local people and tourists alike.