||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|— Designated city —|
|相模原市 · Sagamihara|
|• Mayor||Toshio Kayama|
|• Total||328.84 km2 (126.97 sq mi)|
|Population (June 1, 2012)|
|• Density||2,190/km2 (5,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Zelkova serrata|
|Address||2-11-15 Chūō, Chūō-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken
|Website||City of Sagamihara|
Sagamihara (相模原市 Sagamihara-shi ) is a city located in north central Kanagawa Prefecture, bordering Tokyo, Japan. It is the third most populous city in the prefecture, after Yokohama and Kawasaki, and the fifth most populous suburb of Greater Tokyo. Its northern neighbor is Machida, with which a cross-prefectural merger has been proposed. As of June 2012, the city has an estimated population of 719,677 and a population density of 2,190 persons per km². The total area was 328.84 km².
Sagamihara covers a large area of northwestern Kanagawa Prefecture. The main areas of commercial activity in Sagamihara are located near Hashimoto Station on the JR East Yokohama Line and Keiō Sagamihara Line; Sagamihara Station on the Yokohama Line; and Sagami-Ōno Station on the Odakyū Odawara Line. Western Sagamihara is within the Tanzawa Mountains.
The area of modern Sagamihara has been settled since ancient times, and has a number of remains from the Japanese Paleolithic period and Kofun period have been found. It was home to the Yokoyama clan, one of the seven warrior clans of the Musashi region during the early Kamakura period. During the Edo period, the lands around Sagamihara were tenryō territory theoretically administered directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo; however, in reality, the area was a patchwork of small fiefs held by various hatamoto, as well as exclaves under the control of Ogino-Yamanaka Domain and Karasuyama Domain.
After the Meiji Restoration, the eastern portion became part of Kōza District, and the western portion was part of Tsukui District. The Koza district portion was administratively divided into six villages on April 1, 1889. The area was the location of extensive training facilities and arsenals of the Imperial Japanese Army during the 1930s. These villages merged on April 29, 1941 together with neighboring Zama town to form Sagamihara Town. At the time of its formation, it was the largest town in Japan in terms of area.
On September 1, 1948, Zama was administratively separated into Zama Town. The remaining portion became Sagamihara city on November 20, 1954. The city population had grown steadily, partly due to local industrial development, and partly due to the city’s excellent transportation infrastructure connecting it to Yokohama, Tokyo and Hachioji. It was designated a Core city with increased autonomy in 2003.
On March 20, 2006, Sagamihara merged with former Tsukui and Sagamiko villages. The merged city consisted of two geographically separate areas, as two other municipalities of Tsukui District, Fujino and Shiroyama, elected to remain separate. A further merger on March 11, 2007 joined Fujino and Shiroyama with Sagamihara, thus geographically unifying the city, and dissolving former Tsukui District. In 2007, the population of Sagamihara exceeded 700,000. In 2010 Sagamihara was redesignated as a government ordinance city and split into 3 wards Midori-ku, Chūō-ku, and Minami-ku.
- JR East - Yokohama Line
- JR East - Sagami Line
- JR East - Chūō Main Line
- Odakyū Electric Railway - Odakyū Odawara Line
- Keio Corporation - Sagamihara Line
- Chūō Expressway
- Ken-Ō Expressway
- Japan National Route 16
- Japan National Route 20
- Japan National Route 129
- Japan National Route 412
- Japan National Route 413
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada since January 1, 1998
- Trail, British Columbia, Canada, since April 15, 1991
- Wuxi, China, since October 6, 1985
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