Toyohashi (豊橋市) is a Japanese city located in Aichi Prefecture, and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Higashi Mikawa Basin. It received the status of city in 1906, with a population of 376.545 inhab., including about 18.793 foreign citizens, being 8.561 Brazilians, 3.974 Filipinos, 1.378 Chinese, 1.262 Korea, 1.130 Vietnam, 694 Peruvians, 526 Indonesia, 204 Nepal, 108 Cambodia , 108 Malaysia and others… (City Hall data).
Toyohashi is a region of pleasant temperature and low cost of living, with a climate characterized by hot, humid summers and relatively mild winters. September is considered the wettest month. Temperatures are highest in August and reach around 27°C, and lowest in January at around 5°C.
Toyohashi was Aichi’s second largest city until March 31, 2005, when it was overtaken by Toyota City, which merged with six counties. In 1999 Toyohashi received the classification of core city of Aichi Prefecture, being considered the center of agriculture, commerce and industry in equal proportions, further accelerating its development.
Toyohashi City, in addition to having a rich nature, is favored by a mild climate. Agriculture is considered to be the best in Japan and in the vicinity of the port of Toyohashi, there are several large companies, including multinational companies, and an old acquaintance of ours, Wolkswagen has its headquarters here in Toyohashi. The city is also known as the hub for exporting automobiles from all over the country.
The port of Mikawa is one of the main ports of world trade, and its presence has made Toyohashi Japan’s largest car import and export hub in terms of volume. Compared to other ports in the world, Mikawa is roughly on a par with the German port of Bremerhaven. Industrial production is centered on the production of automotive components for Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki Motors and Honda.
In Toyohashi, there is a large concentration of Brazilian immigrants, Nikkei and their families. Toyohashi Prefecture has service in Portuguese and stores selling Brazilian products and services. Dekasseguis in Toyohashi make a considerable contribution to the region, working mainly in auto parts factories. These factories, in general, produce parts for Toyota and Suzuki-branded automobiles.
But it’s not just auto parts that stands out in the local industry. At the Port of Mikawa, European cars and Brazilian orange juice are imported. Once again the importance and contribution coming from Brazil. Brazilian orange juice is responsible for 90% of the orange juice consumed in Japan. Banco Mitsubishi UFJ’s self-service machines are translated into Portuguese.
In June, the local Catholic Church and the Toyohashi International Association promote the Junina party and on September 7, Brazil Day is held. With all this infrastructure and good reception by the local government, Toyohashi becomes a great stronghold for Brazilians in Japan.
One of the problems for Brazilians residing in Toyohashi is the difficulty in renting a property, as the owners fear renting the property to foreigners, due to the Japanese media sensationalizing the thefts committed by foreigners in Japan.
Toyohashi has some Brazilian schools, such as Brazilian schools: Escola Alegria de Saber, Escola Cantinho Brasileiro, EJA Interativo – Education of Youth and Adults (Brazilian institution) and also Korean School, Korean Primary School and Kindergarten of Toyohashi.
With the establishment of the modern municipal system under the Meiji government in 1879, Toyohashi City was created in the Atsumi District of Aichi Prefecture. Toyohashi Zoo was founded in 1899. The city achieved city status in 1906. A tram system was created in 1925. In 1932, Toyohashi expanded its borders by annexing Shimoji City, Takashi Village, Muroyoshida Village and Shimokawa Village. Toyohashi suffered considerable damage during the 1944 (Tōnankai) earthquake, and even more damage during the Toyohashi air raid, which destroyed over 60% of the city in June 1945.
In 1955, the geographic extent of Toyohashi was expanded again with the annexation of Maeshiba Village, Futagawa Village, Takatoyo Village, Oitsu Village, and Ishimaki Village. Toyohashi achieved central city status in 1999, with greater autonomy from the prefectural government.