Past Cities

Atsugi, Kanagawa, Japan

Atsugi is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, which is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Honshu. It is a part of the greater Tokyo area and is located approximately 50 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. The city has a population of approximately 225,000 people, according to the latest census in 2020.

Atsugi has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the Jomon period, which began around 14,000 BC. During this period, the area that is now Atsugi was inhabited by the Jomon people, who were known for their pottery and other crafts. In the Yayoi period, which began around 300 BC, rice cultivation became widespread, and the area became an important center of agriculture. During the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1868, Atsugi was a key stop on the Tokaido road, which connected Tokyo and Kyoto.

During the Meiji period, which began in 1868, Japan underwent a period of rapid modernization and westernization. Atsugi was no exception, and the city experienced significant growth and development during this time. One of the key factors that contributed to Atsugi's growth was the construction of the Odakyu railway line, which connected Atsugi to Tokyo and other major cities in the region.

Atsugi was also impacted by the political environment of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. In the 1930s and 1940s, Japan became increasingly militaristic, and Atsugi was home to a large military base that was used by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. The base was a key staging point for Japanese military operations during World War II, and was heavily bombed by Allied forces towards the end of the war.

After the war, Atsugi began to rebuild and recover. The city experienced significant growth and development during the postwar period, as Japan's economy boomed and the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization. Today, Atsugi is a vibrant and modern city that is home to a diverse population of people from all over Japan and around the world.

In addition to its rich history, Atsugi is also known for its beautiful natural surroundings. The city is situated in a region of Japan that is characterized by rolling hills, lush forests, and beautiful rivers and streams. There are many parks and nature reserves in and around the city, which provide residents and visitors with opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.

Overall, Atsugi is a city with a long and fascinating history that has been shaped by its geography, political environment, and the people who have called it home over the centuries. From its ancient Jomon and Yayoi roots, to its pivotal role in the Edo period, to its rebuilding and recovery after World War II, Atsugi has a rich and complex story that continues to unfold to this day.