Location of Yugawara in Kanagawa Prefecture
|• Total||40.99 km2 (15.83 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2012)
|• Density||646/km2 (1,670/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|• Tree||Sakura, camellia|
|• Bird||Japanese white-eye|
|Address||1-2-1 Chūō, Yugawara-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 259-0392|
Yugawara (湯河原町, Yugawara-machi) is a town located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of June 1, 2012, the town had an estimated population of 26,474, and a population density of 646 persons per km2. The total area is 40.99 km2.
During the Kamakura period, the area around Yugawara was called "Doi County" in Sagami Province. The area was under control of the later Hōjō clan in the Sengoku period, and part of Odawara Domain during the Edo period. After the Meiji Restoration, it was divided into six villages, and initially formed part of the short-lived Ashigara Prefecture, before becoming part of Ashigarashimo District of Kanagawa Prefecture. In April 1889, four of the six villages merged to form Doi village. The remaining two villages merged to form Yoshihama village. On July 1, 1926, Doi village was elevated to town status, taking the new name of Yugawara. Yoshihama attained town status on April 1, 1940, and merged into Yugawara on April 1, 1955. A planned merger of Yugawara into Odawara in 2005 was rejected by local voters in an August 8, 2004 referendum.
Additionally, the region is close to the region of Makuyama (幕山) offering many popular sport rock climbing routes, within easy access from Tokyo.
The major part of the local population is elderly, as Yugawara is famous for resorts catering especially to the elderly. The town has three public elementary schools and one public middle school. A prefectural high school was closed in 2008, and high-school students now study in the neighboring city of Odawara. Yugawara offers little night entertainment, though it does have bowling halls, supermarkets, restaurants and pubs. The suburbs of the town provide hotels and apartments for tourists seeking to enjoy hot spring baths, either during vacations or on weekends.
Sister city relations
- Taichi Yamada - screenwriter
- Jungo Kono - professional soccer player
- Yukiya Amano - diplomat, Director of IAEA
- Marutei Tsurunen - former member of the Upper House, first Westerner to hold a political office in Japan
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