Hachioji (八王子) is a city in Japan. It is located within the Tokyo Prefecture in the Kanto Region. The city is located 40 kilometers from Tokyo and can be easily reached from train. This area is located within a basin surrounded by hills to the north, west and south. Just to the east are the Kanto plains. The city is near Mount Takao. The population of this city is 500,000 people over 190 square kilometers. The city flower is the Golden-rayed Lily and then tree is the Ginkgo Biloba.
This city is considered a city of traditional industries and also high technology. The city also prides itself as an academic city with over 22 universities and 110,000 students. This promotes commercial and other aspects of the economy. Route 16 and Route 20 form the Koshu Highway which makes it easy for industrial and commercial expansion.
Hachioji was established as a city on September 1st, 1917. The main road between Hachioji and Western Japan has always played an important role in the development of this area. In 1584 the Hachioji Castle was constructed, but did not stand very long. It was destroyed in 1590 by an attempt to take over all of Japan by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In the 1950's this area prospered as a silk and silk product producer. Recent times that industry is gone and the only thing left is the colleges.
Mount Takao is an hour from the city. It is 600 meters above sea level and gives an excellent view of Chichibu, Nikko, Tanzawa, high-rise buildings in the city and Mount Fuji. The mountain is covered with mixed forest, aged coniferous and broad leaved trees which have been around since long ago. Visitors are able to walk in the mountains and experience the nature for themselves. There are hiking courses classified by themes.
In 1590 the Hachioji castle served as a protective fort of the west part of the Kanto district. It was soon destroyed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The castle fell in one day after a fierce fight. Because this castle fell the area was conquered. After 400 years part of the castle was restored to its natural state. There are ancient ruins of the battle near by left to remind of those times.
The Ginkgo-lined road is a sight to see. There are over 768 Ginkgo trees that can be seen on the trip between Oiwake and Takao. They were planted in memory of the construction of Tama Mausoleum by Emperor Taisho in 1927. In spring the leaves are light yellow and in autumn they are golden. Since 1979, when the leaves change in autumn to gold the famous Icho Festival is held by the citizens.