Sagamihara (相模原市, Sagamihara-shi) is a city in north-central Kanagawa Prefecture, bordering Tokyo, Japan. It is the third most populous city in the prefecture, after Yokohama and Kawasaki, and the fifth most populous suburb of Greater Tokyo. Its northern neighbor is Machida, with which a cross-prefectural merger has been proposed.
As of April 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 720,986, with 316,648 households, and a population density of 2,200 persons per km². The total area was 328.91 km².
On 1 April 2010, the city became the 19th city designated by government ordinance. As a result of this, three wards were established: Midori-ku, Chūō-ku and Minami-ku.
The area of modern Sagamihara has been settled since ancient times, and has a number of remains from the Japanese Paleolithic period and Kofun period have been found. It was home to the Yokoyama clan, one of the seven warrior clans of the Musashi region during the early Kamakura period. During the Edo period, the lands around Sagamihara were tenryō territory theoretically administered directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo; however, in reality, the area was a patchwork of small fiefs held by various hatamoto, as well as exclaves under the control of the Ogino-Yamanaka Domain and Karasuyama Domain.
After the Meiji Restoration, the eastern portion was part of Kōza District, and the western portion was part of Tsukui District. The Kōza District portion was administratively divided into six villages on 1 April 1889. The area was the location of extensive training facilities and arsenals of the Imperial Japanese Army during the 1930s. These villages were merged on 29 April 1941 together with neighboring Zama Town to create Sagamihara Town. At the time of its formation, it was the largest town in Japan in terms of area.
On 1 September 1948 Zama was administratively separated into Zama Town. The remaining portion became Sagamihara City on 20 November 1954. The city population had grown steadily, partly due to local industrial development, and partly due to the city's excellent transportation infrastructure connecting it to Yokohama, Tokyo and Hachiōji. It was designated a core city with increased autonomy in 2003.
On 20 March 2006, Sagamihara absorbed the towns of Tsukui and Sagamiko (both from Tsukui District). The merged city consisted of two geographically separate areas, as two other towns of Tsukui District (Fujino and Shiroyama) elected to remain separate. A further merger on 11 March 2007 joined Fujino and Shiroyama with Sagamihara, thus geographically unifying the city, and dissolving former Tsukui District. In 2007, the population of Sagamihara exceeded 700,000. In 2010, Sagamihara was redesignated as a government ordinance city and split into 3 wards Midori-ku, Chūō-ku, and Minami-ku.
On 25 July 2016, 19 people were killed and 26 injured in a mass stabbing incident at a disabled care home in the city by Satoshi Uematsu, the perpetrator.
Sagamihara covers a large area of northwestern Kanagawa Prefecture. The main areas of commercial activity in Sagamihara are located near Hashimoto Station on the JR East Yokohama Line and Keio Sagamihara Line; Sagamihara Station on the Yokohama Line; and Sagami-Ōno Station on the Odakyu Odawara Line. Western Sagamihara is within the Tanzawa Mountains.Midori-ku
Chūō-ku - administrative center
JR East - Yokohama Line
Kobuchi - Fuchinobe - Yabe - Sagamihara - Hashimoto
JR East - Sagami Line
Sōbudai-shita - Shimomizo - Harataima - Banda - Kamimizo - Minami-Hashimoto - Hashimoto
JR East - Chūō Main Line
Sagamiko - Fujino
Odakyu Electric Railway - Odakyu Odawara Line
Sagami-Ono - Odakyū-Sagamihara - Higashi-Rinkan
Keio Corporation - Sagamihara Line
Japan National Route 16
Japan National Route 20
Japan National Route 129
Japan National Route 412
Japan National Route 413
Yōgen Temple (妙現寺), built in 1598
Sagamihara Prefectural Park
Toronto, Ontario, Canada since 1 January 1998
Trail, British Columbia, Canada, since 15 April 1991
Wuxi, China, since 6 October 1985