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Location of Ube in Yamaguchi
Ube is located in Japan
Coordinates: 33°57′N 131°15′E / 33.95°N 131.25°E / 33.95; 131.25
Country Japan
Region Chūgoku (San'yō, San'in)
Prefecture Yamaguchi
 - Mayor Tadao Fujita
 - Total 287.69 km2 (111.1 sq mi)
(January 2008)
 - Density 613/km2 (1,587.7/sq mi)
City Symbols
 - Tree Camphor Laurel
 - Flower Scarlet Sage and Azalea
Website Ube City
Phone number 0836−31−4111

1-7-1 Tokiwachō, Ube-shi, Yamaguchi-ken

Ube (宇部市 Ube-shi ?) is a city located in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan on the Seto Inland Sea.

As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 176,370 and the density of 613 persons per km². The total area is 287.69 km².

The city was founded on November 1, 1921.

On November 1, 2004 Ube absorbed the town of Kusunoki, from Asa District.

Its industrial base is in chemicals, concrete and steel. The presence of Ube Industries in the city's economy is significant.

Previously a coal-mining town the city has developed an effective policy to improve its environment. In particular it has combatted the problem of air pollution and its success in doing so saw it being recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was added to the UNEP's Global 500 Roll of Honour in 1997 Globabl 500 entry.

The city participates in an extensive recycling program that separates garbage types in 4 major categories with specified pick-up times and locations each week.


Tokiwa Park (Tokiwa Koen)

Tokiwa park from the coal-mining museum tower in the park

Ube publicises itself as 'a city of greenery, flowers and sculptures'. Tokiwa Park is the centrepiece of this marketing, as it covers a large area near the centre of the city and houses a large number of modern, mostly domestic sculptures on the shores of the Lake Tokiwa. The sculptures can be found dotted around the city. A sculpture competition is held biennially to provide new additions, see the following page[1] for more information and images of some the current exhibits.

One of the main attractions of the park is a white pelican called 'Katta-kun', so named after his parents who were from Calcutta, India. Born in the park in 1985, he became famous as he began visiting schools in the vicinity by himself. There are many pelicans and swans in the park, including black swans. There is also a coal mining museum with a good view over the city and airport from the top of the tower.

A bridge in Tokiwa Park
A statue in Tokiwa Park


Sister cities

In 2005 the city celebrated 25 years of sister city relations with Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. A sister relationship with Weihai, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China has been in place since May 1992. Ube holds two festivals each year, one in May and the other in November featuring food stands and carnival games.


The city is served by Yamaguchi Prefecture's only airport, Yamaguchi Ube Airport, with daily flights to and from Tokyo and by three Japan Railway train lines. The main train station located in 'downtown' Ube is called Ube-Shinkawa Station. Ube Station is farther inland and is located in a more suburban area known as Kōnan (厚南). The closest Shinkansen (bullet train) stations are Asa Station and Shin-Yamaguchi Station.

Rubbish Castle

The city of Ube is home to a one of a kind "Rubbish Castle" (ゴミ屋敷). Located approximately 100 meters outside of Ube Station is an undocumented building erected entirely out of collected garbage and bound together loosely with crude rope. It was single handedly constructed by an eccentric vagrant in 2008 and is still growing in size and height today. Daily motorists and walking bystanders often ignore its presence and its creator, thus construction is left uninterrupted. The building stands approximately 5.5 meters high and is about 10 meters long. The most alluring mystery is not how the man managed to secure such a solid foundation with such crude supplies, nor is it how he was able to build it so high but why the local police never intervened for defacing public property.

External links



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