Invited to participate in French Sports Minister Valérie Fourneyron's trip to Japan, Jean-Etienne Amaury, Chairman of A.S.O., and Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, took advantage to announce, in the company of Mr Hayato Shimizu, Mayor of Saitama, the second edition of the Saitama Criterium by Le Tour de France. The main riders on the Tour de France will be expected to light up the city's avenues and enthuse the crowds next autumn.
The Saitama city is located virtually at the center of the Kanto Plains and lies within a 30km sphere centered in Tokyo.The city is roughly divided into the Arakawa, Kamo, Konuma, Shiba, Ayase and Moto-Arakawa Rivers and other rivers, low-lying areas along the rivers and upland areas.It is also blessed with richly abundant green nature of the Minuma Rice Fields (Minuma-tanbo) and Arakawa River basin.The climate is moderate and provides a comfortable living environ- ment throughout the year with persistent blue skies and comparatively little precipitation during the winter due to the effects of the Pacific coastal climate.The city occupies an area of 217.49m2 with an east-west length of 19.6km and a north-south length of 19.3km. The population as of April 1, 2012, was 1,240,000 with a total of 536,000 households, thus ranking as the ninth largest city nationwide.The roadway transportation network includes the Tohoku Express- way, National Routes 16 and 17, the Shin-Omiya Bypass, the Nishi-Omiya Bypass and the. Tokyo Gaikaku Kanjo Expressway with routes that crisscross through the city. The Capital Highway Omiya Line connects directly to the center of Tokyo.Railway lines that have been developed in the city include the Tohoku, Joetsu, Yamagata, Akita and Nagano Shinkansen lines as well as the Utsunomiya Line (Tohoku Main Line), Takasaki Line, Keihin Tohoku Line, Kawagoe Line, Musashino Line, Saikyo Line, Tobu Noda Line, Saitama New Urban Transit's New Shuttle and the Saitama Railway Line (Subway Line #7). Omiya Station, in particular, is a major nodal point for railways that includes five Shinkansen lines and is an important strategic point in railway transportation in Eastern Japan.Commercial and business, government administrative, cultural and other functions are concentrated in the vicinity of the major railway stations in the city. Meanwhile, the development of information, convention and other more sophisticated urban functions that give life to the distinctive features of the area is also moving ahead through the promotion of urban redevelopment and land readjustment projects.Moreover, the Saitama New Urban Center area, which opened on May 5, 2000, became the site for the relocation of 21 institutions and Saitama Super Arena and other facilities were developed as core facilities. Prompted by this, there are hopes that the city will expand as an integrated core urban center that will play a leadership role in administrative, economic, artistic and cultural activities in the Kanto area.
Receive exclusive news about Saitama Criterium