Location of Hiratsuka in Kanagawa Prefecture
|• Mayor||Katsuhiro Ochiai (since May 2011)|
|• Total||67.88 km2 (26.21 sq mi)|
(April 1, 2017)
|• Density||3,800/km2 (9,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)|
|- Tree||Camphor Laurel|
|Address||9-1 Sengenchō, Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa-ken 254-8686|
The area around Hiratsuka has been settled since prehistoric times, and mention of the area as part of ancient Ōsumi District, Sagami Province is found in Nara period records. From the Heian period through Kamakura period, the area was divided into shōen controlled by various samurai clans and in the Sengoku period was the site of several battles between the later Hōjō clan of Odawara and the Miura clan. After the defeat of the Odawara at the Battle of Odawara by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the area came under the control of Ieyasu Tokugawa, who built a summer palace (the Nakahara Goten) in 1596 at the site now occupied by the Hiratsuka City Nakahara Elementary/Primary School. Hiratsuka was retained as tenryō territory after the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, and flourished as Hiratsuka-juku, a post town on the Tōkaidō connecting Edo with Kyoto. As the 7th station, it is often depicted in the series of ukiyo-e about the 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō made among others by artists such Hokusai and Hiroshige.
After the Meiji Restoration, Hiratsuka town was founded on April 1, 1889, as part of the new Naka District within Kanagawa Prefecture. It merged with neighboring Suma Town on April 1, 1929, and was proclaimed Hiratsuka City on April 1, 1932.
Prior to World War II, Hiratsuka was the location of the Hiratsuka Navy Ammunitions Arsenal (平塚海軍火薬廠) of the Imperial Japanese Navy and Japan International Aircraft Industries (日本国際航空工業), a Nissan group military aircraft factory. Hiratsuka was largely destroyed on July 16, 1945, during the Bombing of Hiratsuka in World War II. Due to its strategic location and wide beaches, it was also one of the targets for the planned invasion of Japan during the final stages of World War II.
The city quickly rebuilt after the war, annexing several neighboring villages in the mid-1950s to attain its current area. The population exceeded 200,000 by 2001 and Hiratsuka became a special city with increased autonomy from the central government. The current mayor is the independent Katsuhiro OCHIAI (落合克宏) who was elected April 24, 2011, and assumed office on April 30. Previously he had served two terms on the Hiratsuka city council and as council chairperson for the majority of the second term. OCHIAI succeeded Ritsuko ÔKURA the city's first female mayor who served from 2003 to 2011.
Hiratsuka has a mixed economy, with tax revenue coming from bets made at the Shonan Bank Cycling Velodrome and, several industries located in industrial parks in the outskirts of town. Major plants are operated by Nissan Shatai, Yokohama Rubber Company, Canon, Furukawa Electric, Pilot (pen company) - the famous Namiki pens are produced at Hiratsuka, Kansai Paint, and Mitsubishi Plastics. Nissan Shatai is the largest employer in the city, but announced plans to move a factory to Kanda. Western firms such as Moog and MacDermid Performance Solutions also have a strong presence in this city. Hiratsuka is also a bedroom community for Yokohama and Tokyo, with residents attracted by the "Shōnan lifestyle".
- Japan National Route 1, to Tokyo or Kyoto
- Japan National Route 129, to Sagamihara
- Japan National Route 134, to Yokosuka via Kamakura
- Japan National Route 271, to Atsugi or Odawara (toll)
- Odawara-Atsugi Road
- Shinshōnan Bypass
- Tanabata festival
- Shonan Bellmare football club, three-time Japanese champions based at Hiratsuka Athletics Stadium
Nearby tourist destination
- Yokohama The largest city after Tokyo. The modern cityscape with the Yokohama Port and Chinatown are popular with tourists.
- Kamakura The ancient capital of the Kamakura period (1185? - 1333), where many historical sites such as the Great Buddha and temples and shrines remain.
- Hakone Hakone is one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan. You can enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji and nature such as volcano.
- Takayama, Gifu, Japan, since October 22, 1982
- Hanamaki, Iwate, Japan, since April 27, 1984
- Izu, Shizuoka, Japan, since February 6, 2013
- Lawrence, Kansas, United States, since September 21, 1990
- Alytus, Lithuania, since 2017
Notable people from Hiratsuka
- Izumi Sakai - singer, songwriter, vocal of Zard
- Yukari Fukui - voice actress
- Yamanashi Hanzō - general, politician
- Michael Hora - former child actor
- Phongchi - Japanese idol of Vietnamese descent
- "Statistics of Hiratsuka City" (in Japanese). Japan: Hiratsuka City. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
- Hiratsuka City Hall (ed.). "Hiratsuka-shi Statistical Documentation" (PDF). Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- "MacDermid Performance Solutions Completes Major Expansion of Japan Facility". Yahoo! Finance. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
MacDermid Performance Solutions’ state-of-the-art R&D facility is located in Hiratsuka City and now equipped with enhanced capabilities to accommodate the changing requirements of Japanese customers of both plating chemistry and assembly materials.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hiratsuka, Kanagawa.|
- Official Website (in Japanese)