Ichihara, Chiba

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Kominato Line, Keiyō Industrial Zone & Mount Fuji Takataki Dam Sunplaza Ichihara Umegase Gorge Kazusa Kokubun-ji Chiba Port district 4:Goi・Anegasaki
Kominato Line, Keiyō Industrial Zone & Mount Fuji
Takataki Dam Sunplaza Ichihara
Umegase Gorge Kazusa Kokubun-ji
Chiba Port district 4:GoiAnegasaki
Flag of Ichihara
Official seal of Ichihara
Location of Ichihara in Chiba Prefecture
Location of Ichihara in Chiba Prefecture
Ichihara is located in Japan
Coordinates: 35°29′53″N 140°06′55.6″E / 35.49806°N 140.115444°E / 35.49806; 140.115444Coordinates: 35°29′53″N 140°06′55.6″E / 35.49806°N 140.115444°E / 35.49806; 140.115444
 • MayorJoji Koide (since June 2015)
 • Total368.17 km2 (142.15 sq mi)
 (December 1, 2020)
 • Total274,117
 • Density740/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
• TreeGinkgo biloba
• FlowerCosmos
• BirdJapanese bush-warbler
Phone number0436-22-1111
Address1-1-1 Kokubunjidai Chūō, Ichihara-shi, Chiba-ken 290-8501
WebsiteOfficial website
Ichihara City Hall

Ichihara (市原市, Ichihara-shi) is a city located in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 December 2020, the city had an estimated population of 274,117 in 128,316 households and a population density of 240 persons per km².[1] The total area of the city is 368.20 square kilometres (142.16 sq mi). The city is home, together with the city of Chiba, to the JEF United football club.


Ichihara is located in the western part of the Bōsō Peninsula, and geographically is the largest of Chiba Prefecture's cities and towns. The south is a mountainous area connected to the Boso hills. The highly industrialized northern part of the city faces Tokyo Bay. Ichihara, dense in housing developments, serves as a satellite town of Tokyo and Chiba City.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Chiba Prefecture


Ichihara has a Humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) characterized by warm summers and cool winters with light to no snowfall. The average annual temperature in Ichihara is 15.5 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1550 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 26.6 °C, and lowest in January, at around 5.4 °C.[2]


Per Japanese census data,[3] the population of Ichihara has greatly increased over the past 50 years.

Historical population
1920 68,825—    
1930 71,287+3.6%
1940 75,069+5.3%
1950 98,375+31.0%
1960 94,309−4.1%
1970 155,852+65.3%
1980 216,394+38.8%
1990 257,716+19.1%
2000 278,218+8.0%
2010 279,601+0.5%


The area of modern Ichihara is the center of ancient Kazusa province. The ruins of the Nara period Kazusa Kokubun-ji provincial temple have been found within the borders of Ichihara, although the exact location of the Nara-period provincial capital remains uncertain. During the Sengoku period, the area was contested between the Chiba clan to the north, and the Satomi clan to the south. During the Edo period, the area was divided between Goi Domain, Tsurumaki Domain and large areas of tenryō territory controlled directly by the Tokugawa shogunate and administered by various hatamoto.

City formation[edit]

  • During the Meiji period, the area was reorganized into 171 villages under Ichihara District, Chiba Prefecture with the establishment of the modern municipalities system.
  • By 1945, these villages had been consolidated into five towns and 16 villages.
  • Through further consolidation and mergers, the city of Ichihara was founded on May 1, 1963.
  • On October 1, 1967, the neighboring town of Nansō, and village of Kamo were merged into Ichihara.

2011 earthquake[edit]

On Friday, March 11, 2011, the city was struck by the Tōhoku earthquake. Natural gas storage tanks at the Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara were set on fire by the earthquake.[4][5]


Ichihara has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 32 members. Ichihara contributes four members to the Chiba Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is part of Chiba 3rd district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.


The city's economy is fueled by a large industrial complex overlooking Tokyo Bay. It contains the largest number of oil refineries in Japan, as well as power, petrochemical and shipbuilding companies.[6]


  • Teikyo Heisei University
  • Ichihara has 41 public elementary schools and 21 public middle schools operated by the city government, and six public high schools operated by the Chiba Prefectural Board of Education. There are also one private elementary school and two private high schools. The prefecture also operates one special education school for the handicapped.



JR logo (east).svg JR EastUchibō Line

Keisei Logo.svg Keisei Electric RailwayKeisei Chihara Line

KTK logomark.svg Kominato RailwayKominato Line


Sister city relations[edit]

Crime and safety[edit]

The Soai-kai yakuza syndicate is headquartered in Ichihara.[7] A designated yakuza group, the Soai-kai is the three dominating yakuza syndicates in Chiba Prefecture, along with the Sumiyoshi-kai and the Inagawa-kai.[8]

Notable people from Ichihara[edit]


  1. ^ "Ichihara city official statistics" (in Japanese). Japan.
  2. ^ Ichihara climate data
  3. ^ Ichihara population statistics
  4. ^ "Japan earthquake causes oil refinery inferno". Daily Telegraph, London, 11 March 2011, Retrieved 11 March 2011
  5. ^ "Natural gas storage tanks burn at Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara city" Archived 2012-04-06 at the Wayback Machine. Reuters AlertNet. 11 March 2011, Retrieved 11 March 2011
  6. ^ "An Outline of Ichihara City". Archived from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  7. ^ "2010 Police White Paper Chapter 2 : Furtherance of Organized Crime Countermeasures", 2010, National Police Agency (in Japanese)
  8. ^ "Condition of Boryokudan" Archived 2011-08-20 at the Wayback Machine, as of late 2010, Chiba Prefectural Police (in Japanese)

External links[edit]