Rizhao (Chinese: 日照) is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Shandong province, China. It is situated on the coastline along the Yellow Sea, and features a major seaport. It borders Qingdao to the northeast, Weifang to the north, Linyi to the west and southwest, and faces Korea and Japan across the Yellow Sea to the east.
The name of the city literally means "sunshine". The city is known for its sustainability, and it mandates solar-water heaters in all new buildings. Rizhao city was recognized by the United Nations as one of the most habitable cities in the world in 2009.
The city population stands at 2,801,100 as of the 2010 census. Out of those, a little over 865,000 people live in the urban area of Donggang district.
Rizhao is located at the place where the ancient Dawenkou culture and the Longshan culture flourished. Rizhao belonged to the Dongyi people during the Xia and Shang dynasties (2070-1046 BC), and to Ju and Yue states in the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States period (476-221 BC). It became a part of Langye Commandery in the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). Rizhao was named Haiqu County (海曲县) during the Western Han (206 BC-25 AD) and Xihai County under the Eastern Han (25-220 AD).
During the Tang dynasty, together with Ju County, Rizhao belonged to Mi Prefecture of Henan Prefecture. In the second year of the Yuanyou Period of the Song dynasty, Rizhao Township was established, with the name meaning "(the first to get) sunshine". In the 24th year of the Dading Period of the Jin dynasty, Rizhao County was established. In 1940 it came under control of the Communist Party of China. After being a county and since 1985 a city under administration of Linyi, Rizhao became a prefecture-level city within Shandong province in 1989.
The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago has done field survey archaeological work in Rizhao over years.
Rizhao has a temperate, four-season, monsoon-influenced climate that lies in the transition between the humid subtropical (Köppen Cwa) and humid continental (Köppen Dwa) regimes, but favouring the former. Winter is cool to cold and windy, but generally dry, with a January average of −0.3 °C (31.5 °F). Summer is generally hot and humid, but very hot days are rare, with an August average of 25.7 °C (78.3 °F). Due to its proximity to the coast and being on a peninsula, it experiences a one-month delayed spring compared to much of the province. Conversely, autumn is milder than inland areas in Shandong. The annual mean temperature is 12.95 °C (55.3 °F). On average, there are 2,530 hours of bright sunshine annually and the relative humidity is 70–74 %.