Central Tokorozawa from Hachikokuyama
Location of Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture
|• Mayor||Masato Fujimoto (since October 2011)|
|• Total||71.99 km2 (27.80 sq mi)|
|Population (March 1, 2012)|
|• Density||4,763.70/km2 (12,337.9/sq mi)|
|• Flower||tea flower|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|City Hall Address||1-1-1 Namiki, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama
Tokorozawa (所沢市 Tokorozawa-shi?) is a city in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. It is located in the central part of the Musashino plain, about 30 km west of central Tokyo. Tokorozawa can be considered part of the greater Tokyo area; its proximity to the latter and lower housing costs make it a popular bedroom community.
- 1 Location
- 2 History
- 3 Economy
- 4 Professional sports teams
- 5 General points of interest
- 6 Historical points of interest
- 7 Events
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Areas
- 10 Notable people
- 11 Tokorozawa in popular culture
- 12 Sister cities
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Most of Lake Sayama falls within city boundaries; Lake Tama also touches the south-western part of the city. Today the city is an agricultural market for locally grown Sayama green tea. Other agricultural products include spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, burdock, pears and grapes.
The area around Tokorozawa Station's west exit is built up as a shopping district with several department stores. Prope Street is a popular shopping arcade.
Archaeological research has shown that the vicinity of Tokorozawa was settled from about 20,000 years ago. Tokorozawa Shinmei Shrine has a traditional establishment of A.D. 110. Hatogamine Hachiman Shrine is believed to date from A.D. 921.
During the Kamakura period, the Kamakura Kaido ran through the area and the area was host to a series of battles fought in May 1333 that were part of the Genko War that ultimately ended the Kamakura Shogunate. These include the 1333 Battle of Kotesashi and the Battle of Kumegawa. Kotesashi was again the site of another battle nineteen years later.
During the Edo period (1603–1867) the area's major industry was silk textile production. It was also an important trading center, being located at the intersection of roads connecting Edo with the towns of Hachioji, Chichibu, Kawagoe and Fuchu.
Tokorozawa became the site of Japan's first air base and air service academy in 1911. The base was used through the end of World War II and fell under the control of the United States Armed Forces after the war. The US returned most of its property in Tokorozawa to Japan in 1971, but retains a communications facility in the city which is operated by the 374th Airlift Wing of the Fifth Air Force, based at Yokota Air Base to the southwest. The facility houses antennas for communications with USAF aircraft in the region. Much of the land returned to Japan has been converted into a public Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park.
Tokorozawa was established as a city on November 3, 1950 and was designated as a special city in 2002. It currently meets the conditions to be designated as a core city but has yet to receive this designation.
Tokorozawa is the headquarters of Seibu Holdings, the parent company of Seibu Railway. Several Seibu group companies, including its railway and bus divisions, are headquartered in the vicinity of Tokorozawa Station. Seibu owns an amusement park, baseball stadium (Seibu Dome) and velodrome (Seibu-en Velodrome) in the "Seibu-en" district near Lake Tama in the southwestern corner of the city.
Citizen Holdings operates a watch factory in Tokorozawa.
Professional sports teams
- Saitama Seibu Lions (baseball, Seibu Dome)
- Saitama Broncos (basketball, Tokorozawa Municipal Stadium)
General points of interest
- Arahata Fuji Shrine: Shinto Shrine that is a scale reproduction of Mount Fuji offering views of the latter
- Hachikokuyama: nature park famous for being the inspiration of Totoro
- Sayama Ski Slope: indoor ski and snowboard resort
- Seibu Dome: home of the Seibu Lions
- Seibu-en: amusement park
- Tokorozawa Aviation Museum: the location of Japan's first airfield.
- Tokorozawa Civic Cultural Centre Muse: public auditorium and concert all
Historical points of interest
- Battle of Kotesashi: site of an important battle during the Genko War
- Hatogamine Hachiman Shrine: an ancient Shinto shrine including a 13th-century main shrine building
- Shinko-ji: A Buddhist temple that was established during the Kamakura period
- Tokorozawa Shinmei Shrine: believed to have been founded in the second century A.D.
- Waterfall Castle: a Sengoku Period castle ruin
A two-day festival featuring music, cultural and sports exhibitions, community group activities and food booths takes place in late October in Kokukoen Park on the grounds of the former airfield. A similar 1-day festival, the Shimin Bunka Fair, takes place in early April in the park.
The business community around Tokorozawa station sponsors the Tokorozawa Shun no Ichi, a 2-day festival in the facilities of the mothballed Seibu train repair facilities near Tokorozawa station. The festival features music performances in an old hangar, cultural exhibitions, a swap meet, and food stands.
The city and local business community decorates the west side of Tokorozawa station with holiday lights from early December through mid March, and separate lighting ceremonies featuring local musicians, politicians, and sports figures are conducted for various portions of the lighted areas.
Tokorozawa houses the headquarters of Seibu Railway and its parent company Seibu Holdings, and Tokorozawa Station forms a hub in the Seibu Railway network which serves western Tokyo and southern Saitama. Tokorozawa is at the intersection of Seibu's two main lines, which respectively run to Ikebukuro Station and Seibu Shinjuku Station in central Tokyo.
- Seibu Ikebukuro Line:
- Seibu Shinjuku Line:
- Seibu Sayama Line:
- Seibu Yamaguchi Line:
- JR East Musashino Line:
The city is served by Seibu Bus.
Born in Tokorozawa
- Bokuzen Hidari (1894–1971), actor born in Kotesashi Village (which was absorbed into Tokorozawa)
- George Tokoro (Takayuki Haga), comedian
Living in Tokorozawa
- Hayao Miyazaki, animated film director
- Hideshi Hino, horror manga artist
- Tom Dillon, humorist, newspaper columnist for The Japan Times, and author of Japanese Made Funny (ISBN 4-915645-21-5)
Tokorozawa in popular culture
- Tokorozawa inspired the setting for the animated film My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro).
- Scenes in the Japanese film Shall We Dance? were set in Tokorozawa. The Seibu Ikebukuro Line's Sayamagaoka Station features in the film.
- Scenes in the Japanese horror film Ju-on were filmed in Tokorozawa. The area around Tokorozawa Station is identifiable.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tokorozawa, Saitama.|
- Official website (Japanese)