Nishi-Shioko is located in Hitachi Omiya City, in the northwest of Ibaraki Prefecture, and is a small community of less than seventy households. During the Edo Period (1603-1868) the area was known as Nishi-Shioko Village, and later, when administrative districts were formed into city, town and village municipalities in 1890, Nishi-Shioko became one area of Shiota Village in Naka Gun (county). In the municipal consolidation of 1955, Nishi-Shioko became one area of Shiota District, Omiya Town, and in 2004 became one area of Omiya District in Hitachi Omiya City.
The Nishi-Sioko area is served by the nearby Tamagawa-Mura Station on the JR Suigun Line and the National Route 293 passes close by, giving easy access to the Nasu region of Tochigi Prefecture. A Prefecture Route passes through Nishi-Shioko to the Kadoi area of the former Gozenyama Village of Higashi Ibaraki Gun (now the Kadoi area of Hitachi Omiya City).
Nishi-Shioko is located in the upstream reaches of the Tamagawa River, a tributary of the Kuji River, but it is said that the transport of goods was more active from the Gozenyama Village direction, as tributaries of the Naka River flow through Kadoi, and so it is thought that Nishi-Shioko also received cultural influences from the Naka River basin in Tochigi Prefecture.
The important product of the Nishi-Shioko area is rice. Situated on the northern periphery of the Kanto Plain, with intricately interwoven satoyama and narrow valley paddy fields, the clay soils of Nishi-Shioko and adjacent Kita-Shioko have been well known since ancient times for their production of fine-tasting rice. However, since the farmland area is small and thus the amount of rice produced small, almost all the rice is consumed within the community, making this rice hard to actually obtain.
In the past, the local people also engaged in charcoal manufacture and forestry, and it is said that paper mulberry, the raw material for special Japanese paper manufactured locally, was also cultivated here. Today, almost all the households in the community are part-time farmers, while low birth rates and the greying of society are advancing rapidly.
Satoyama, with their paddy fields, upland fields and woodlands, inhabited by abundant wildlife, where frogs croak, insects chirp, and where a full sky of stars can be seen overhead. Nishi-Shioko is, of course, just a very ordinary country village.