|Location and Brief History
The city is located 35 - 40 kilometers southwest of
the Metropolitan Area of Tokyo and connected to the center of the Area
and Yokohama, another city in the same Prefecture of Kanagawa, by JR Yokohama
line and two other private railway lines, Odakyu and Keio-Sagamihara Line.
The city is also connected, on the national expressway network, with Tomei
(Tokyo-Nagoya) Expressway and Chuo Expressway by two trunk roads, Route
No.16 and No.129. From the viewpoint of transport, therefore, it is very
conveniently placed as shown hereunder in the map. In the future, the city
is expected to offer more geographical advantages because of it's projected
linkage with Expressways, such as, Kan-etsu, Tohoku, Johban and Higashi-Kanto,
in connection with the construction of Sagami Highway, which is to extend
from north to south across the city.
(2) Brief History
Years ago, in the present City of Sagamihara, a number
of villages were dotted along the three rivers, the Sagami, the Hato and
the Sakai, with farming as the main source of income for life. Throughout
the period from Edo Era (1603 - 1868) to Meiji Era (1868 - 1912), the extensive
stretch of land was developed,but not successful mainly due to shortage
of water resources needed for irrigated rice cultivation. In the course
of time, therefore, people in the area came to earn their living, with
silk reeling as the main industry.
In the new era of Showa (1926 - 1989), the local authorities
paid more attention, in developing the area, to construction of military
bases in accordance with the Japanese government's "Military Town
Project", and in 1941, 2 towns and 6 villages in the area were merged
into a new town of Sagamihara. After the end of World War II, most of the
military bases were taken over by the U.S. forces and under the new Japan-U.S.
relationship, the town flourished as a "town of military bases".
The town was municipalized in 1954. Since then, an
increasing number of businesses and factories have been brought into the
city under the municipal administration's aggressive measures to attract
industries on one hand. Through the unprecedented rapid growth in population
on the other, it has developed into a central key city in the broader suburban
region adjacent to the Metropolitan Area of Tokyo.
Now the City of Sagamihara is on the steady way towards
further growth and prosperity as a core industrialized and residential
city, full of vigor and vitality, with potentials for the future.