Atsugi, a city that located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, a host for 224,462 person and with the total area of 93.83 km2. The name “Atsugi “ is often associated with the US Navy base named Naval Air Facility Atsugi. But in actual, the base is not in Atsugi but straddles the border between the nearby cities of Ayase and Yamato. Atsugi itself is located in the hilly center of Kanagawa Prefecture, which part of the western portion of the city are within the Tanzawa Oyama Quasi National Park. The area was consolidated into Aiko District after the Meiji Restoration by 1876. Atsugi itself was born on April 1st, 1,889 by merging some several small hamlets. And the got elevated to city status on February 1st, 1,955 with the merger of Mutsuai Village, Koaiyu Village, Tamagawa Village and Minamimori Village. And then expanded on July 8th, 1958 through merger with neighboring Echi Village, and with Aikawa Village from Naka District. On September 30th, 1,956, Ogino Village joined with Atsugi. In April 2,000, Atsugi exceeded 200,000 in population and was proclaimed a special city with increased autonomy from the central government.
1. Well-built cityUp until the late 19th century, Atsugi has been flourished as a river port, post town, and the centre of sericulture. Not it served as an important commercial centre for the surrounding agricultural region. Also, it have convenient road and railway connections with Tokyo to the northeast. The city’s industries include the manufacture of automobile parts and electrical equipment. Atsugi serves as tourist base for Nakatsu and Tsukui Valleys, the Sagami River is known for its sweetfish, which attract numerous anglers. Since the city can easily be accessed from Tokyo Metropolitan area, with commercial facilities located in the city and suburban areas. Merchandising research and development companies can be found there, and with academic instutions which they make a contribution to the city’s financial stability and the development.
2. Blessed by the NatureIn this city, you can enjoy some authentic hot springs, which the closest resort of its kind from the centre of Tokyo. The Iiyama Hot-Spring Village and Higashi Tanzawa Nanasawa Hot Spring Village hot spring villages that famous for "hot springs creating beautiful skin," because of their strong alkaline hot spring water that improves the texture of the skin Each of them has variety of types of unique hot spa accomodations from rustic insss to long established hotels, which meet a variety of traveller’s needs from a day trip to overnight trips. For anyone that loves to do the hiking, they have some good mountain trail with all levels available. Also, you may go on a mountain stream fishing trip and catch sweet fish by the shore of the Sagami River.
3. City with Diversed CultureWith its role as a city where people come and go, it is not surprised that varieties of cultures have been passed down for generations and up until now, it gets bigger and wider. Without abandoning the traditional cultures that lives with them by decades. You can amuse yourself by watching Iiyama Hakuryu Daiko & Dance, based on the historical incident when people were beating the drum to pray for rain during a severe drought. Be entertained by the unique Sagami Ningyo Shibai, a play where one puppet is controlled by three people and was appointed as the country’s most important intangible cultural asset. Also this city has variety of authentic cuisine and food culture, for example, boar meat hotpot, dishes of Ayu that can be caught through the clear stream, local sake and crafted beer that brewed at traditional sake cellars.
Atsugi Tourist Spots
1. Atsugi Ayu Festival FireworksOne of the top 50 festivals that you need to attend while you are in Japan especially in Atsugi city. With numbers of events such as stage performances and ayu grabbling, a good thing to be done with families. The night of Atsugi Ayu Festival will be cheered by 10,000 fireworks and big shells displays. Also don’t forget to see he finale features impressive Niagara sparkles and starmines. But please watch it a bit far from the venue because the riverside is always crowded. You can see the fireworks starts at 7 o’clock, and do not forget to bring some carpet to see it on the lawn.
2. Ogino Athletic ParkOgino Athletic Park is a place that designed to used for track and field, rugby or football. The natural turf field always used for variety of matches for all year round. Also, it has training gym, swimming pool, and gymnasium available for public. Every weekend, you can see some sports event since it always used for sports meeting and municipal events. The event is not just in elementary and junior high school event, but also major league of rugby are held here. There is a splendid track and field in this park. The maintenance of the track can also be done wonderfully and fun running. There are other playground equipment, and even children can play. So you can enioy time with your children and family too here.
3. Atsugi ShrineNear the Sagami river and tucked in amongst residential housing, it is where you can find Atsugi Shrine. A shrine that well built, nice looking, accessible, and serves its purpose as a local shrine. The place itself is not very far from Hon Atsugi. A good place to take a walk along the Sagami River and relax yourself with the fresh air. It also has a big tree of the cherry tree whose branches burned a little in the fire about several years ago. It blooms spendidly every year in the desire of eternity and have a very healing effect. It is good for you to sit in the edge of the river, and drowned your feet into it to feel the relaxing feeling of the water that can calmed your mixed emotion. Just be careful to not let your guard down because the quiet sensation around the shrine can make you sleepy.