A city founded in Hyougo Prefecture in 1871, Ashiya was designated as an urban planning area in the early 1900s, which led to the development of large single-family homes along the hills overlooking Osaka Bay.
A city located in Nagano Prefecture.
A city located in the north-east area of Yamanashi Prefecture with a population of around 26,500 people
Fukui City is the capital of Fukui Prefecture, located in the north-central part of Honshuu on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The city was heavily bombed and devastated during World War II.
A city located in Nagasaki which comprises the south-west half of the Gotou-Retto Islands in the South China Sea.
Hachiouji City is the eighth-largest city in Tokyo, a little west of Tokyo's center, and today serves mostly as a residential city for people working in Tokyo. It contains many schools and universities, and attractions include Takao-san, a popular hiking location, the Hachiouji Castle Ruins on Jinba-san around an hour outside the city, and the Tama Goryou.
The City of Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chuugoku region of western Honshuu. Its name means "Broad Island," and was established on the delta coastline of the Seto Inland Sea in 1589 by the powerful daimyo Mouri Terumoto, who made it his capital. He built Hiroshima Castle there and moved in five years later, in 1593.
Hiroshima became a major urban center during the imperial period, and later a major port city. The city was a key shipping center during World War II, and became known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear weapon when the US Air Force dropped an atomic bomb there on August 6, 1945.
A town in Ibaraki Prefecture with many surrounding golf courses.
A city located in Nagasaki Prefecture.
The capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture, it is the city in which Francis Xavier, the first Christian to arrive in Japan, landed in 1549.
Kanazawa is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture and sits on the Sea of Japan. It was formerly a castle town known as Ishiura Village, which was built around Kanazawa Castle, a center of power for the Ikkou-ikki.
Lit.: Light Well Marsh; a town in Nagano Prefecture located at the foot of Mount Asama which is a popular mountain resort for Tokyo residents, offering outdoor activies and a historic shopping street.
A city located in Saitama Prefecture which was the seat of the former Kawagoe-han.
The capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture.
The imperial capital of Japan from 794 to 1868, located in Kyoto Prefecture.
The largest city in Nagano Prefecture, Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views.
The capital city of Nagano Prefecture, which grew from a small town around a 17th-century Buddhist temple.
The largest city in and capital of Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki began as a small harbor town which quickly grew into a large port city following the accidental landing of Francis Xavier in nearby Kagoshima Prefecture and the establishment of trade with Portuguese merchants.
Nagasaki also became the point of entry of Christianity into Japan, and its daimyo, Oomura Sumitada, and many of its inhabitants converted to Christianity. However, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, wary of Christian influence in the region, ordered the expulsion of all missionaries 1587, an order that largely went unenforced. Although 26 Japanese and foreign Christians were executed in Nagasaki in 1597, Christianity was grudgingly tolerated until 1614, when Christianity was officially banned and all missionaries ordered to leave. Following the ban, the Tokugawa shogunate killed and tortured Christians across Japan to force them to renounce their faith.
The rebellion at Shimabara near Nagasaki in 1636-1638 convinced the government that Christianity and disloyalty were linked. 30,000 Japanese Christians were massacred and a policy of national isolation descended in 1639, closing foreign trader with all but the Dutch.
Isolationism only ended with the arrival of Commodore Perry's 'Black Ships' in 1853, and Nagasaki would become an important economic city once more after the Meiji Restoration. Its main industry was ship-building, a fact which made it a target for the second atomic bomb to be dropped on Japan during World War II.
The capital city of Niigata Prefecture.
The City of Odawara, located in present-day Kanagawa Prefecture, flourished as the castle-town of the Houjou Clan, whose strategic fortress of Odawara Castle served as an impregnable stronghold for several generations of the clan during the Sengoku. During the Edo Period, it became the castle-town of Odawara-han and controlled the East Sea Road between Edo and Tokugawa stations west of Hakone.
The City of Osaka is the capital of Osaka Prefecture and the commercial and gourmet food center of Japan.
Saga City is the capital city of Saga Prefecture, located on Kyushu, the most southwesterly of Japan's four main islands.
Sapporo is the capital and largest city of Hokkaido, the northernmost of the major Japanese islands. Its name comes from the indigenousand means "dry, great river".
The capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, it is also the largest city in the northeast region of Japan. It is home to one million people, and is aptly nicknamed Mori no Miyako, the Capital of Trees.
Lit.: Bamboo-grass Well; a town in Nagano Prefecture.
Takamatsu City is a port city located on the Seto Inland Sea in central Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. It was the capital of the Matsudaira clan during the Edo Period and flourished as a castle town and the port closest to Honshuu on Shikoku. The city was heavily bombed by Allied Forces during World War II because it was thought to contain industry vital to the war effort.
Tottori is the capital city of Tottori Prefecture in the Chuugoku region of Japan. It is best known for its sand dunes, which are a popular tourist attraction.
During World War II, 99.5% of the urban center of the city was destroyed on August 1 and 2, 1945, when the American 73rd Bomber Wing dropped incendiary bombs on the city, at the time an aluminum ball-bearing and special steel production center.
A town surrounded by hills located in a remote location of Shimane Prefecture.
A city located in Nagano Prefecture founded on May 1, 1919. It merged with the towns of Maruko and Sanada and the village of Takeshi to become the new city of Ueda on March 6, 2006.
A village located in Gunma Prefecture, founded on April 1, 1889 at the start of Japan's municipal system.
A coastal city located in Toyama Prefecture, founded in 1952. Its population was around 46,000 in 2005. In the Sengoku Era, the area was controlled by the Uesugi Clan with Uozu Castle as their stronghold.
Uozu is known for three mysterious phenomena: 1) the mirage, which occurs from April to June, during which faraway objects such as ships or the opposite shoreline seem to grow vertically or hang upside-down above them, 2) the firefly squid, which rise to the surface to spawn from the end of March to June and glow with a bluish white light, and 3) the buried forest, a conifer forest buried 2000 years ago such that only their trunks were preserved.
The capital of Tochigi Prefecture.
Lit.: "Mountain-shaped", the City of Yamagata is the capital of Yamagata Prefecture, founded in 1889.
A city located in Nara Prefecture, founded in 1954, with a population of around 95,000.