Ota

Ota

A milestone in the history of Ota was the development of a large-scale manor called Nitta-no-sho towards the end of Heian era(794-1185/1192). It started out as a rather small-scale tax-exempt farm, which later grew larger and donated its harvest to contemporary rulers, such as the imperial family, high-ranking officials of the government and large, influential temples and shrines. You can see them all at the-Nitta-no-sho History Museum.

Ota's geography is marked by its flat, fertile land between 30 and 110 meters above sea level.  This feature is common to the municipalities in the eastern part of Gunma called Tomo Chiiki.  The vast, fertile soil nurtured the farming industry.  Ota's leek, spinach, and Kodamasuika water melon harvests are on top of the list of crop harvests in Gunma. The land for growing yams is the top in the country.  Manufacturing is also very popular in Ota, and Ota's manufactured goods shipments has remained at the top of the list in Gunma for 33 consecutive years.

Let's take a brief look at the seasonal events of Ota in chronological order.-On January 1, the All Japan Corporate Ekiden(Road Race) Competition  is held in Gunma.  There are two relay points (one at the old Ojima-machi Town Hall and the other at Ota City Hall).  An Ota-based automaker's team is among the top contenders every year, and the cheers from many spectators along the road peak when SUBARU runners come into these relay stations.  From April to early May, the Hokubu Undo Koen of Ota turns into a gigantic carpet of pink and white mosses.  Carrying on the tradition, each of the pre-merger municipalities holds its own summer festivals.  Ojima's Neputa summer festival is a must-see.  You don't have to go all the way up north 650km to Aomori to see the famous Neputa.  When winter comes in December, the Hokubu Undo Koen is illuminated by one million LED light bulbs.  The illumination lasts for three months.

Ota's City Government is the first local government to implement free medical care system for children in Gunma. As such, the city is aiming to become a favored place to live for families with young children. There are great places for moms and pops to go out with their children. Prefectural Children's Land is one, and Ota City Children's Museum is another.

Last but not least, let's talk about Ota's B-gourmet foods:  Yakisoba, or fried noodles, to be specific.  Ota has been striving to become rich and famous through Yakisoba.  Why Yakisoba?  Ota has one of the largest industrial complexes in the northern Kanto region.  Ever since during the WWII, people from all over Japan have come to Ota for job opportunities.  There were many from the Tohoku Region, including those from Yokote-shi, Akita Prefecture, famous for Yakisoba.  These workers from Akita are believed to have been the ones who brought Yakisoba to Ota. (Source:  Tourist's Guide Map of Ota)  Two-thirds of Gunma is a mountainous area, and so people grew wheat instead of rice.  That's why there is a rich variety of local B-gourmet foods made of wheat.  Yakimanju is the hallmark of Gunma's B-gourmet food, and many stores in Ota sell them, too.  Please see Gunma-chan goes to a Yakimanju shop on You Tube.  It will tell you how yakimanju are made and how you can enjoy them.  Recently, the local media announced that an outstanding achievement was made regarding promotion of Yakimanju.  According to the local TV station, two high-school girls from Ota Commercial High came up with an idea of Yakimanju bread to help spread the product across the country.  A major bread maker offered to commercialize the idea, and they succeeded.  Now you can buy Yakimanju bread (sugar and soybean paste-like sauce on top) at convenience stores in Gunma for approx. JPY100.  Why not buy one and make your Yakimanju debut?

Ota is located at the northern edge of the great Kanto Plain.  When you go up to the observation deck on the roof of the City Hall Building, you can see the vast expanse of the Tomo Area.

Access
Ota City Hall Website
Ota Tourism Association Website
Ota International Association Website