Machida (町田市) is one of Tokyo’s many cities, located in the Western most regions of the metropolitan area. Founded on February 1, 1958, the city has a total area of more than 71 square kilometers and is serviced by both the Odakyu and Yokohama Lines.
Machida is home to 413,398 people (as of April, 2007) and has a density of 5,772 people per square kilometer. Obirin University is an often noted part of the city, home to thousands of students every year. The current mayor of Machida is Joichi Ishizaka, elected in 2006 to replace long time mayor Kazuo Terada. Ishizaka’s current term is up in 2010.
Bordering the Kanagawa Prefecture, Machida is shaped slightly like a peninsula and stretches 22.3 kilometers across. In addition to multiple railway lines connecting Machida to central Tokyo, the Tomei Expressway and National Highway No. 16 pass through the city as well. The urban center in Machida is located in front of Machida Station and the commercial population is estimated to be as high as 2 million during the day.
The northern half of the city is considered part of the Tama Hills region and the southern part connects with Sagami Heights. Many Tokyo residents will visit Machida for its outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking in the hills and camping.
Machida was originally a market for silk and other goods during the Meijia Era as the silk was transported to the port of Yokohama for export to the West. The 1908 building of the Yokohama railway created a boon to the Machida economy and it quickly became much larger developing into Hara-Machida. Later, when the borders of Tokyo had spread and new cities were being amalgamated, Hara-Machida was combined with three surrounding villages to create what is today Machida. The city of Machida was officially established as a city of Tokyo, Japan in 1958.
While the city of Machida operates public elementary and junior high schools, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education operates all public high schools, including:
Machida Peony Garden: The Machida Peony Garden is an attraction open to all which features beautiful peonies grown in a large garden area landscaped to perfection. It is reported that there are over 175 various species of the famous peony flower currently growing in a natural habitat garden.
Machida Dahlia Garden: Similar to the Machida Peony Garden, the Machida Dahlia Garden is a large landscaped area displaying over 4,000 dahlias representing at least 500 species. The beautiful Japanese style of the garden is designed to relax all that enter its exquisite gates and has been deemed one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Machida area.