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Landscape
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Landscape

​Nature

“30% & 3%”

The Nishitama region is comprised of eight municipalities and spans a total area of 57,270 hectares (141,517 acres), which accounts for almost 30% of Tokyo's total area (excluding the islands). However, despite its vast size, the population is only around 376,000, which is less than 3% of Tokyo's total population of approximately 14 million.

Nishitama Landsape
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 The Tama River and its tributary, the Aki-gawa River, flow from the east to the west of Tokyo. Along the river, there are several towns, and the surrounding mountains lead up to the neighbouring prefectures. The highest peak in Tokyo, Mount Kumotori, stands at 2000 metres. In the mountainous regions, schoolchildren wear bear bells while going to and from schools. On the western outskirts of Tokyo, there is a wilderness that is hard to imagine, making it a truly unique and strange part of Tokyo. 

You can enjoy a variety of nature-based sports such as hiking, trekking tours, cycling, rafting, sapping, and canoeing throughout the year, as they are some of the region's typical attractions.

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Culture
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​Culture of the Nishitama Region

The Nishitama region has over 90 cultural heritage sites, cultural assets, and natural monuments designated by the national and metropolitan governments.Taste the cultural heritage of the Nishitama area, a "countryside of Tokyo" matured by different geographical and historical conditions.

Nishitama Culture
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The number of the Cultural Heritages in the Nishitama region.

National treasures of Japan

2

Critical cultural properties of Japan

33

Important works of Art in Japan

4

Natural monuments of Japan

2

Tangible cultural property registered in Japan

25

Intangible cultural properties registered in Japan

2

Cultural properties and natural monuments of Tokyo

92

E.g. 1 Japanese National Treasure

Musashi Mitake Shrine / Helmet and Armor

Japan's oldest helmet and armour (Heian period: 784-1192).

It uses Akane-coloured(madder red) threads, which remain today.

The high level of dyeing technology in the Heian period is remarkable.

The total weight is approximately 26 kg, not only as a work of art but also in wartime.

It is also an excellent functional piece of large armor.

E.g. 2 Japanese National Registered Cultural Property

Tamura Sake Brewery

The main building of the Tamura Sake Brewery was built around 1822. Its materials are made of soil and plastered outer walls. It consists of three buildings - the primary, middle, and central storehouse, the interior of which is a statue space for sake. The chimneys are octagonal and reinforced with bands of iron.
It is also important to note that the Tamura Sake Brewery site is along the Tamagawa Waterworks Waterway.

E.g. 3 Important Cultural Property of Japan

​Kobayashi Family Residence

Built in the first half of the 18th century, this ancient house in the sky is approximately 750 m above sea level.
The Kobayashi Family Residence is in a mountainous area inaccessible by car, which is climbed by monorail.
The ride takes about 10 minutes, is about 450 m long and has a maximum incline of 43°. Once inside, with its spectacular view, you can see exactly how the Japanese people lived in those days.

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History of the Nishitama
Region

The Nishitama region has evidence of human activity dating back to the Palaeolithic period, around 20,000 years ago.

Nisitama History
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Jomon - Edo period (approx. 15,000 years ago - 1868)

Settlements developed around fishing in the main rivers and hunting deer and wild boar in the forests, leading to a settled lifestyle. Jomon period(15000-2300 years ago), she excavated several archaeological sites.

The Yayoi (2300-1700 years ago), Nara (710-794), Heian (794-1185) and Kamakura (1185-1333) periods were followed by the Edo period (1603-1868) when trade in timber, coal and textiles produced in the area was booming with the current center of Tokyo. The city was also a significant trade center with the present-day Tokyo metropolis.

Edo period to the present day

(1868~)

After the Asuka, Nara, Heian, and Kamakura periods, when Japanese culture flourished, and after the Sengoku period, during which Nobunaga Oda and Hideyoshi Toyotomi were active, Ieyasu Tokugawa began to rule Japan under a system of political governance known as 'Bakuhan'. 

Divided the whole of Japan into 'Baku' and 'Han', with the Shogun in control of the center, and the whole country divided into up to nearly 300 'Han',

The Shogun was at the top, and the feudal lords ruled their domains and peasants by the orders of the Shogunate (Shogun).

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The Tamagawa 

Waterworks

During this period, the Nishitama area was ruled and governed as a territory under the direct control of the shogunate.

The primary industries were cotton, buckwheat noodles, rice, charcoal, and timber, sent to Edo (Tokyo) by rafts down the Akigawa and Tama Rivers.

Some areas in the region were used as breeding grounds for falcons used by the shoguns and feudal lords for falconry and were off-limits to the general population.

The region has a unique construction project in this period. The population growth was accelerating, and the city was becoming the largest city in the world (in 1721, it was the largest city in the world with 1 million people, while London was the second largest city in the world with 630,000 people. By the end of the Edo period (1603-1867), Edo (Tokyo) had more than 30 million inhabitants) and was suffering from an overwhelming shortage of water.

Therefore, the shogunate drew up a grand plan in 1652 to solve Edo's water shortage by excavating a 43 km stretch from present-day Hamura to the edge of Edo Castle. It was indeed a major public-private partnership.

The water drawing project was challenging because the elevation difference from Hamura to Edo Castle's edge was only about 100 m. The average gradient was about 0.5 m. Construction began in April 1653, using the technology of the time, and was completed only eight months later in November, saving Edo from a water shortage.

Further increase in exchange between the region and Edo and economic development, and even today, it is used to supply water to local sake breweries and as a water supply channel for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Waterworks Bureau.

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Between the Meiji and Taisho periods and the Showa period (1868-1989), the regional administrative divisions saw numerous consolidations and the creation of new municipalities. Population decline was a significant challenge in the Heisei (1989-2019) and 2025 (2019-) periods, as in other regional cities in Japan.

This is a significant challenge.

Mount Mitake