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View of South Sakura area and Kasumigaura Lake, downtown Tsuchiura
View of South Sakura area and Kasumigaura Lake, downtown Tsuchiura
Official seal of Tsuchiura
Location of Tsuchiura in Ibaraki Prefecture
Location of Tsuchiura in Ibaraki Prefecture
Tsuchiura is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 36°4′N 140°12′E / 36.067°N 140.200°E / 36.067; 140.200Coordinates: 36°4′N 140°12′E / 36.067°N 140.200°E / 36.067; 140.200
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Prefecture Ibaraki Prefecture
 • Mayor Kiyoshi Nakagawa
 • Total 113.82 km2 (43.95 sq mi)
Elevation 30 m (100 ft)
Population (January 1, 2010)
 • Total 144,399
 • Density 1,268.66/km2 (3,285.8/sq mi)
 • Tree Poplar (ポプラ)
 • Flower Cherry Blossom (さくら)
 • Bird Great Reed Warbler
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City Hall Address 1-20-35 Shimotakatsu
Tsuchiura, Ibaraki
Website www.city.tsuchiura.lg.jp

Tsuchiura (土浦市 Tsuchiura-shi?) is a city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It is situated along the western shores of Lake Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan. The Tokyo metropolis lies about 60 km to the south, and Tsukuba science city borders Tsuchiura to the west. It is a sister city to Palo Alto, California.


As of January 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 144,399 and a population density of 1,268.66 persons per km². The total area of the city is 113.82 km². About 2,000 residents are non-Japanese, including a large proportion of Brazilians, Koreans and Chinese.


The city is managed by the mayor’s office and the city council, essentially a mayor-council government. The mayor is elected through a citywide election and the city council are elected from their respective districts. The mayor’s office is made up of the Mayor, Kiyoshi Nakagawa (中川清), Deputy Mayor, Hiroyuki Takigasaki (瀧ヶ崎ひろゆき), and Treasurer, Hideaki Goto (五頭英明). And the 46-member city council is headed by Chairperson Akira Orimoto (折本明). Tsuchiura’s political system is similar to other cities in Japan, as the Local Autonomy Law makes all municipalities uniform in terms of power and organization.


Pre-Jōmon period and Jōmon period[edit]

Hunter-gatherers inhabited the coastal area of the Pacific Ocean (now Lake Kasumigaura) forming large shell middens, examples of which can be seen at the Kamitakatsu archeological site.

Yayoi period[edit]

Locals began wet-rice cultivation and develop iron and bronze technology.

Kofun period[edit]

Burial mounds were used for burying important individuals. The site at Mushazuka held ancient treasures, such as accessories, swords and stone pillows (石枕). The human bones found at this site have revealed the ancient Mizura hairstyle.

Asuka period[edit]

Buddhist influence begins to arrive in the area.

Nara period[edit]

During this period Japan came to be controlled by the central government under the Taihō Code. At that time Hitachi province (now Ibaraki prefecture) was divided into 11 districts. The Tsuchiura area covered parts of four districts.

Heian period[edit]

The Samurai class begins its rise to power. In 939, Taira no Masakado lead an uprising against the central government by attacking the provincial capital at Ishioka, a few kilometers to the north of Tsuchiura.

Kamakura period[edit]

Under the rule of the samurai daimyo (lord), Haruhisa Oda, Buddhism flourished in Tsuchiura. Evidence of this can be seen today at the Hannyaji Temple, with its large copper bell (one of the three ancient copper bells from Hitachi province). During this time the name Tsuchiura appeared in historical text possessed by the Tō-ji Temple in Kyōto.

Muromachi period[edit]

This was a time of intense warfare in Japan, and the katana was a sign of power, position and prosperity. Examples of these can be seen at the Tsuchiura City Museum. Architecture from this period can be seen at the Daisho-ji temple.

Edo period[edit]

Under the Tokugawa Shogunate Japan experienced peaceful times. Daimyo Tsuchiya encouraged commerce in Tsuchiura and in 1604 the trade road between Mito and Tōkyō was completed. In addition, a channel connecting Lake Kasumigaura to Edo bay was completed around this time. This made Tsuchiura an important transportation hub and consequently the city developed rapidly.

Meiji period[edit]

During the restoration, the provinces and fiefdoms were changed into prefectures. In 1871, Ibaraki Prefecture was established, and in 1895 railroad service was started in Tsuchiura. The Gothic Revival architecture of the old junior high school from this period can be seen at the Daiichi high school.

Shōwa period[edit]

Tsuchiura became a city when the towns of Manabe and Tsuchiura were merged on November 3, 1940. The city suffered damages during an air raid on June 10, 1945 in World War II. On September 1, 1951, Tsuchiura absorbed parts of the village of Asahi (on the shores of Arakawa) and absorbed the village of Towa. The city later absorbed the village of Kamiotsu on November 1, 1954.

Heisei period[edit]

On February 20, 2006, the village of Niihari (from Niihari District) was merged into Tsuchiura.


Tsuchiura is serviced by the Jōban Line of the East Japan Railway Company. There are three stations in the city, Arakawaoki Station, Tsuchiura Station and Kandatsu Station, running roughly from south to north. The city also has a major expressway running through it, the Jōban Expressway, which is operated by the East Nippon Expressway Company. Furthermore, many national highways criss-cross Tsuchiura, such as Route 6. There is an excellent local public bus system centered on Tsuchiura Station. In addition, operating to and from the station are many highway buses connecting the city to other cities and Narita International Airport.

External links[edit]