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Ichinomiya is relatively flat compared to the interior of the Bōsō Peninsula. The highest elevations in the town are at Mount Shiroyama 150 metres (490 ft), a former castle site, Mount Takafuji 83 metres (272 ft), and Mount Gundari 70 metres (230 ft).
The area of present-day Ichinomiya has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area takes its name from the Tamasaki Shrine, the Ichinomiya, or first shrine of Kazusa Province. During the Sengoku period, the Satomi clan, the virtually independent rulers of the Bōsō Peninsula, established a castle at Ichinomiya. During the Edo period, a 13,000 kokufeudal domain called Ichinomiya Domain ruled the area. After the start of the Meiji period, the area rapidly developed as a summer health resort, with many noted politicians, military figures, artists and writers establishing summer residences. Ichinomiya Town was created within Chōsei District during the cadastral reform of April 1, 1889.