Okawa village hall
Location of Ōkawa in Kōchi Prefecture
|• Total||95.28 km2 (36.79 sq mi)|
|• Density||5.5/km2 (14/sq mi)|
|• Tree||Japanese pine|
|• Flower||Bigleaf hydrangea|
|• Bird||Blue-and-white flycatcher|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (JST)|
As of 2016, the village has an estimated population of 400 and a density of 4.55 persons per km². The total area is 95.28 km². Ōkawa is said to be the smallest town located on the four main islands of Japan. Okawa is the least populated municipality in Japan, excluding municipalities affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and municipalities on excluded islands.
A large portion of the village was submerged following the completion of Sameura Dam on the Yoshino River in nearby Motoyama in 1977. As a result of this event, the population of the village dropped from about 4,000 to its current total of about 400.
The major industry in Ōkawa Village is logging; much of the town's mountains have been converted into a cedar tree farm. Additionally, the Shirataki copper mine (白滝鉱山) located in Ōkawa was in operation between 1919 and 1985.
Despite its small size, Ōkawa is home to an elementary and junior high school with approximately 32 students. There is also a nature center which runs summer camps and a study abroad program which allows Japanese youth the opportunity to live in a very remote mountain village for Elementary and/or Junior High School.
Ōkawa is regionally famous for its Black Beef cows and the annual Ōkawa Black Beef Festival (大川村謝肉祭 Shanikusai, lit. 'Beef Gratitude Festival') has been known to draw up to a thousand-five hundred people from around Shikoku and Honshu.
There are also a few hiking trails located in the region that reward travelers with beautiful views of Shikoku.