Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, Kantō Region, Japan

Geography | Surrounding municipalities | History | Government | Economy | Education : University | Primary and secondary education | English education | Transport : Rail : Road | Local attractions | Events | King of Pasta | Sport

🇯🇵 Takasaki is a city located in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Takasaki is famous as the hometown of the Daruma doll, theoretically representing the Buddhist sage Bodhidharma and in modern practice a symbol of good luck. Takaski is the largest city in Gunma Prefecture.


Geography Takasaki is located in the south-western part of Gunma Prefecture in the flat north-western part of the Kantō Plain. The city is located approximately 90 to 100 km from central Tokyo. Mount Akagi, Mount Haruna and Mount Myogi can be seen from the city, and the southern slopes of Mount Haruna are within the city limits. The Tone River, Karasu River and Usui River flow through the city. Although Takasaki is located over 100 km from the coast, much of the city is low-lying, and the elevation of the city hall and central city area is only 97 meters above sea level. The land rises to the northern and western parts of the city to a maximum elevation of 1690 meters.


Surrounding municipalities Gunma Prefecture • Maebashi • Annaka • Fujioka • Kanra • Shibukawa • Shintō • Tamamura • Naganohara • Higashiagatsuma; Nagano Prefecture • Karuizawa; Saitama Prefecture • Kamisato.


History During the Edo period, the area of present-day Takasaki was the centre of the Takasaki Domain, a feudal domain held by a branch of the Matsudaira clan under the Tokugawa shogunate in Kōzuke Province. The area also prospered from its location on the Nakasendō highway connecting Edo with Kyoto. Post stations located within the borders of modern Takasaki were: Shinmachi-shuku, Kuragano-shuku, and Takasaki-shuku. Following the Meiji Restoration, Takasaki was briefly capital of Gunma Prefecture, before the capital was moved to Maebashi in 1881.

Takasaki Town was created within Gunma District, Gunma on April 1, 1889 with the creation of the modern municipalities system. It was raised to city status on April 1, 1900. On April 1, 1927, Takasaki annexed the neighboring villages of Tsukasawa and Kataoka, followed by Sano on October 1, 1937. The city largely escaped damage in World War II. Following the war, it continued to expand its borders by annexing the village of Rokugo on April 1, 1951, Shintakao and Nakamura as well as Yawata and Toyooka from Ushi District on January 20, 1955. This was followed by Orui village and Sano village from Tano District on September 30, 1956. The city celebrated its 360th anniversary in 1963 and annexed the town of Kuragano on March 31 of the same year. On September 1, 1965 the village of Gunnan was annexed.

In September 1987, five-year-old Yoshiaki Ogiwara, the son of a local firefighter, was abducted and subsequently murdered in Takasaki. The murder received heavy media coverage across Japan.

On April 1, 2001 Takasaki was proclaimed a Special City (Tokurei-shi), which gave it greater autonomy.

On January 23, 2006, the towns of Gunma, Kurabuchi and Misato (all from Gunma District), and the town of Shinmachi (from Tano District) were merged into Takasaki. On October 1, 2006, the town of Haruna (from Gunma District) was merged into the expanded city of Takasaki. Gunma District was dissolved as a result of this merger. On June 1, 2009, the town of Yoshii (from Tano District) was merged into expanded city of Takasaki.

Takasaki was elevated to a Core city with even greater autonomy on April 1, 2011.


Government Takasaki has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city council of 38 members. Takasaki contributes nine members to the Gunma Prefectural Assembly. In terms of national politics, the city is divided between the Gunma 4th district and Gunma 5th district of the lower house of the Diet of Japan.


Economy Takasaki is a regional commercial centre and transportation hub, and is a major industrial centre within Gunma Prefecture. Companies headquartered in Takasaki include CUSCO Japan, an automotive parts manufacturer, and Yamada Denki, a home appliance retailer.


Education: University • Takasaki City University of Economics • Takasaki University of Commerce • Takasaki University of Health and Welfare • Gumma Paz College • Jobu University • Ikuei Junior College • Takasaki University of Health and Welfare Junior College • Takasaki University of Commerce Junior College • Niijima Gakuen Junior College


Primary and secondary education Takasaki has over sixty public elementary schools and 25 public middle schools operated by the city government and eight public high schools operated by the Gunma Prefecture Board of Education. In addition, the city operates one public high school and there are five private high schools. The prefecture also operates five special education schools for the handicapped.


English education Takasaki developed its own unique English curriculum and implemented it at all of the primary and middle schools in the city. Primary school students in 1st through 4th grades have English lessons (formally called 'foreign language activities') once a week, while 5th and 6th grades have proper English lessons twice a week. This totals 35 hours (only 34 for 1st grade) of English education for 1st through 4th graders and 70 hours for 5th and 6h graders.

The main emphasis on primary school English in Takasaki is communication; students are actively encouraged to listen to authentic English and express themselves to their peers. In order to achieve this, Mayor Tomioka pushed to increase the number of Assistant Language Teachers in the city. Commonly referred to as ALTs, they are native English speakers hired from abroad to come and assist Japanese teachers during English class. Takasaki employs many ALTs through The JET Program. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Takasaki had at least 1 ALT assigned to every primary and middle school in the city. The Takasaki Board of Education claims that Takasaki was the first in all of Japan to have English lessons starting in 1st grade, to have English twice a week for older students, and to assign at least 1 ALT to every school.

In 2014, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (also abbreviated as MEXT) acknowledged the need to increase students' English ability in order to succeed globally. In 2016, MEXT then designated Takasaki as a pilot city to test out upcoming changes to the nationwide English curriculum; the changes were modeled after the existing Takasaki curriculum. It was decided that the changes would officially begin in stages; primary schools would adapt the new curriculum nationwide in 2020, middle schools in 2021, and secondary schools in 2022.

In 2019, MEXT did a survey to see how both primary and middle school students were performing in all subjects at the prefectural level. It was found that students in Gunma Prefecture placed in the top 6 prefectures across all subjects, and for the first time tied with Tokyo for first place in English.


Transport: Rail JR East – Hokuriku Shinkansen JR East – Jōetsu Shinkansen • Takasaki

JR East – Takasaki Line, Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Ueno-Tokyo Line • Shinmachi - Kuragano - Takasaki

JR East – Jōetsu Line • Takasaki - Takasakitonyamachi - Ino

JR East – Shinetsu Main Line • Takasaki - Kita-Takasaki - Gumma-Yawata

Jōshin Dentetsu • Takasaki - Minami-Takasaki - Sanonowatashi - Negoya - Takasaki-Shōka-Daigakumae - Yamana - Nishi-Yamana - Maniwa - Yoshii - Nishi-Yoshii


Transport: Road • Kan-etsu Expressway – Takasaki-Tamamura Smart Interchange – Takasaki Junction – Takasaki Interchange – Maebashi Interchange • Jōshin-etsu Expressway – Yoshii Interchange • Kita-Kantō Expressway – Takasaki Junction • National Route 17 • National Route 18 • National Route 254 • National Route 354 • National Route 406


Local attractions • Takasaki Castle • Mount Haruna • Lake Haruna • Haruna Shrine • Minowa Castle • The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma • The sound of a suikinkutsu in the Suikintei Garden of former Yoshii town is designated as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan by the Ministry of the Environment • Shorinzan Daruma Temple • Takasaki Byakue Dai-Kannon, the 10th largest Kannon statue in Japan


Events • Takasaki Festival & Fireworks • Takasaki Film Festival • Takasaki Marching Festival • Kannonyama Candle Festival


King of Pasta Gunma is one of the leading producers of wheat in all of Japan. As such, dishes that utiliize wheat flour play in important role in local food culture. Takasaki is said to have many pasta shops per capita and in recent years has been called the pasta town. Since 2009, Takasaki has held an annual competition called King of Pasta; citizens can buy mini portions of pasta dishes from participating restaurants and vote for the best one.


Sport • Arte Takasaki - football (soccer) club

Image: Javbw

Takasaki has a population of over 372,369 people. Takasaki also forms part of the wider Gunma Prefecture which has a population of over 1,937,626 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Takasaki see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Takasaki has links with:

🇺🇸 Battle Creek, USA 🇨🇳 Chengde, China 🇵🇭 City of Muntinglupa, Philippines 🇯🇵 Kanazawa, Japan 🇵🇭 Muntinlupa, Philippines 🇨🇿 Plzeň, Czech Republic 🇧🇷 Poços de Caldas, Brazil 🇧🇷 Santo André, Brazil
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

South of: 36.329

🇯🇵 Isesaki 36.32

🇰🇷 Jung 36.317

🇺🇸 Henderson 36.317

🇯🇵 Oyama 36.313

🇯🇵 Ibaraki 36.307

🇺🇸 Hendersonville 36.305

🇯🇵 Chikusei 36.3

🇯🇵 Sano 36.3

🇯🇵 Kaga 36.3

🇰🇷 Buyeo 36.3

East of: 139.005

🇯🇵 Higashiizu 139.033

🇯🇵 Numata 139.033

🇯🇵 Yamafutatsu 139.033

🇯🇵 Chuo 139.033

🇯🇵 Niigata 139.046

🇯🇵 Shibukawa 139.05

🇯🇵 Maebashi-Akagi 139.064

🇯🇵 Fujioka 139.067

🇯🇵 Maebashi 139.069

🇯🇵 Kōnan 139.083

West of: 139.005

🇯🇵 Sanjo 138.957

🇯🇵 Gotemba 138.937

🇯🇵 Mishima 138.911

🇯🇵 Susono 138.9

🇯🇵 Nagaizumi 138.883

🇯🇵 Tsubame 138.867

🇯🇵 Minami-Uonuma 138.867

🇯🇵 Minamiuonuma 138.867

🇯🇵 Numazu 138.85

🇯🇵 Nagaoka 138.85

Antipodal to Takasaki is: -40.995,-36.329

Locations Near: Takasaki 139.005,36.3285

🇯🇵 Shibukawa 139.05,36.383 d: 7.3  

🇯🇵 Maebashi-Akagi 139.064,36.389 d: 8.6  

🇯🇵 Maebashi 139.069,36.396 d: 9.5  

🇯🇵 Fujioka 139.067,36.25 d: 10.3  

🇯🇵 Isesaki 139.201,36.32 d: 17.6  

🇯🇵 Honjō 139.188,36.239 d: 19.2  

🇯🇵 Yorii 139.183,36.117 d: 28.5  

🇯🇵 Higashiagatsuma 138.817,36.567 d: 31.4  

🇯🇵 Numata 139.033,36.633 d: 34  

🇯🇵 Fukaya 139.281,36.194 d: 28.9  

Antipodal to: Takasaki -40.995,-36.329

🇨🇱 La Reina -33.45,-33.45 d: 19256.4  

🇧🇷 Tubarão -49,-28.467 d: 18863.2  

🇧🇷 Criciúma -49.372,-28.678 d: 18858.2  

🇧🇷 Santa Catarina -48.5,-27.6 d: 18814.7  

🇧🇷 São José -48.617,-27.6 d: 18808.2  

🇧🇷 Palhoça -48.667,-27.633 d: 18808.4  

🇧🇷 Biguaçu -48.667,-27.5 d: 18796.2  

🇧🇷 Viamão -51.023,-30.088 d: 18853.5  

🇧🇷 Gravataí -50.983,-29.933 d: 18845.5  

🇧🇷 Rio Grande -52.099,-32.041 d: 18888.9  

Bing Map

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