The initial development of Akabira city began in 1891. Akabira became officially recognized as Hokkaido's 18th city in July 1954.
The Itagaki headquarters are located in Akabira city situated in Central Hokkaido between the cities of Sapporo, Asahikawa and Takikawa. When driving on Route 38 from Takikawa towards Ashibetsu/Furano look for the Itagaki HQ's signboard on the left hand side of the highway around 10 minutes after leaving the Takikawa city limits.
As a major coal mining town, the population of Akabira boomed during the second half of the century. With the passage of time however, the coal industry declined as the mines dried up. In 1994, Akabira's last quarry was closed and its legacy as a Coal Mining capital came to an end. Today, guided tours of the mineshafts at Zuriyama provide visitors a glimpse of the city's coal mining heyday. Today, Akabira has begun to reinvent itself as a "city of manufacturing" given the recent trend of small manufacturers from Honshu moving their operations to this city.
Akabira city, nestled idyllically between two mountain ranges, extends over a long and narrow stretch by the banks of the meandering Sorachi river. Surrounded by nature and steeped in quietude it provides an ideal reflective environment conducive to crafts and small manufacturing.
When we first established our headquarters here in 1982, we began with a small workshop and a handful of craftsmen who produced our leather products. In 1988, Itagaki established a showroom in Akabira and began welcoming customers. Today, Itagaki owns and operates stores in Akabira, Sapporo, New Chitose Airport, Tokyo and Kyoto.
The new headquarter building was inaugurated in 2008 to celebrate Itagaki's 25th anniversary. The new showroom's spacious rotunda with high ceilings and a wood exterior, a metaphor for the openness and natural beauty of Hokkaido, showcases Itagaki's full product lineup along the walls. Also featured as an extension of the showroom is a café and terrace, overlooking the idyllic and timeless country scenery of sprawling rice paddies merging into the foothills of Akabira in the distance, where visitors from near and far are invited to relax and unwind.