View of downtown Chikuma and Togura-Kamiyamada Spa
Location of Chikuma in Nagano Prefecture
|• Total||119.84 km2 (46.27 sq mi)|
|Population (June 1, 2006)|
|• Density||530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
Chikuma City is located in the valley of the Chikuma River, south of Nagano City, at the junction of the Joshin-etsu Expressway and the Nagano Expressway. Its most famous attraction is Anzu no Sato (杏の里), or "Apricot Village", a collection of adjacent valleys containing numerous groves of apricot trees. It is also the location of the Mori Shogunzuka Burial Chamber (森将軍塚古墳), a mountaintop keyhole tomb dating from near the end of the Kofun period. In the southern part of the city is Togura Kamiyamada Onsen (戸倉上山田温泉), a popular hot spring area.
The modern city of Chikuma was founded on September 1, 2003 by the merger of the former city of Koshoku, the town of Kamiyamada (from Sarashina District), and the town of Togura (from Hanishina District).
Former city of Koshoku
Koshoku (更埴) is the largest of the three municipalities that were joined to form the current Chikuma City. Spanning the Chikuma River and bordering Nagano City to the south, it entends from the apricot fields of Anzu no Sato in the east to the highland area Hijiri Kogen in the west.
Koshoku's history dates back to the Kofun Period, and several major archaeological sites remain, most notably the Mori Shogunzuka Burial Chamber (森将軍塚古墳). Later, in the Meiji Period, the inns located in Inariyama became a popular stopover for pilgrims en route to Zenkoji Temple in Nagano City.
Former town of Kamiyamada
Kamiyamada (上山田) lies on the western bank of the Chikuma River, just north of the town of Sakaki. A popular hot spring village dating back to the 19th century, the town was one of many places of lodging on the pilgrimage route to Zenkoji Temple in Nagano City.
Former town of Togura
Togura lies on the east bank of the Chikuma River, across from Kamiyamada Onsen. With a history similar to that of Kamiyamada, it contains some hot spring bath facilities as well as the area's only railway station.
- Tatsumi Yoda, Japanese entertainment businessman