Chigasaki City Hall
Location of Chigasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture
|• Total||35.71 km2 (13.79 sq mi)|
|Population (June 1, 2012)|
|• Density||6,610/km2 (17,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Bird||Great Tit|
|Address||1-1 Chigasaki 1-chome, Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken
The area around Chigasaki has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area was largely pasture and farmland well into the Edo period. The Tōkaidō connecting Edo with Kyoto passed through what is now Chigasaki, but without a post station. The area was part of the tenryō territory in Sagami Province controlled directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate through the Edo period.
After the start of the Meiji period, the Tōkaidō Main Line railway connected Chigasaki Station with Tokyo and Osaka in 1898, which spurred the development of the area. Chigasaki village in Kōza District, Kanagawa Prefecture became Chigasaki town in 1908. In 1921, the Sagami Line railway connected Chigaskai with Hashimoto to the north. Chigasaki became a city on October 1, 1947.
On April 1, 2003, the population of Chigasaki exceeded 200,000 and it became a special city with increased local autonomy.
Chigasaki is largely a bedroom community for Tokyo and Yokohama, and has been noted as a seaside resort community since the Meiji period. Tourism and summer leisure activities remain important to the local economy.
Companies headquartered in Chigasaki include:
- JR East - Tōkaidō Main Line
- JR East - Sagami Line
The shoreline from Chigasaki to Kamakura is called the "Shōnan area". A popular swimming destination, Chigasaki is well known as the birthplace of Japanese surfing. A shop called "Goddess," located only about 20 meters from the shoreline, claims to be the first surfboard shop in Japan. Bicycles with metal fittings for holding surfboards are prominent in the area. A section of the beach in Chigasaki is called "Southern Beach," inspired by the Southern All Stars, a famous J-Pop singing group whose lead vocalist Keisuke Kuwata hails from Chigasaki. The symbol of Southern Beach is Eboshi-iwa, a large hat-shaped rock that is visible from the coast.
Chigasaki is also famous for being the center of Japanese Hawaiian culture with many tropical and Hawaiian stores located mainly in the southern side of the town. Fridays in Chigasaki was called "Aloha Friday" in which consumers were able to have discounts in many stores and taxis. There are many crows in Chigasaki. They tend to be extremely noisy on garbage collection days. Occasionally they attack people who inadvertently approach too near to nests. Chigasaki is also somewhat famous for "shonan gumo", which is a type of large spider with enormously long legs that runs incredibly fast and is virtually impossible to kill. They are apparently harmless to people, but look real scary.
Noted people from Chigasaki
- Richard Bozulich: author and publisher of books about go
- Hitoshi Doi
- Ailes Gilmour: early pioneer of the American Modern Dance movement
- Masato Hagiwara
- Yūzō Kayama
- Keisuke Kuwata: Southern All Stars lead pop singer
- Moomin: singer
- Isamu Noguchi: sculptor and landscape architect
- Soichi Noguchi: JAXA astronaut; NASA STS-114 crew member
- Tetta Sugimoto: actor
- Ai Sugiyama: professional tennis player
- Kōsuke Toriumi: voice actor
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chigasaki, Kanagawa.|
- Chigasaki City official website (Japanese)