Chikuma, Nagano

View of downtown Chikuma and Togura-Kamiyamada Spa
View of downtown Chikuma and Togura-Kamiyamada Spa
Flag of Chikuma
Official seal of Chikuma
Location of Chikuma in Nagano Prefecture
Location of Chikuma in Nagano Prefecture
Chikuma is located in Japan
Coordinates: 36°32′2″N 138°7′11.9″E / 36.53389°N 138.119972°E / 36.53389; 138.119972
RegionChūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
 • MayorShuichi Ogawa (since November 2020)[1]
 • Vice-MayorYasuhiko Ouchi (since July 2011)[2]
 • Total119.79 km2 (46.25 sq mi)
 (March 2023)
 • Total58,124
 • Density490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
• TreeSiberian apricot
• FlowerShibateranthis pinnatifida
Phone number026-273-1111
Address84 Kuiseke, Chikuma-shi, Nagano-ken 387-8511
WebsiteOfficial website
Chikuma city hall

Chikuma (千曲市, Chikuma-shi) is a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 March 2023, the city had an estimated population of 58,124 in 22,407 households,[3] and a population density of 490 persons per km². The total area of the city was 119.79 square kilometres (46.25 sq mi).


Chikuma is located in the Chikuma River valley, south of Nagano city, at the junction of the Joshin-etsu Expressway and the Nagano Expressway.


The city has a climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and relatively mild winters (Köppen climate classification Dfb). The average annual temperature in Chikuma is 9.2 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1605 mm with July as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 22.0 °C, and lowest in January, at around -4.0 °C.[4]

Surrounding municipalities


Per Japanese census data,[5] the population of Chikuma peaked around the year 2000 and has declined slightly since.

Historical population
1940 44,066—    
1950 57,213+29.8%
1960 53,972−5.7%
1970 54,870+1.7%
1980 60,106+9.5%
1990 61,954+3.1%
2000 64,549+4.2%
2010 62,082−3.8%
2020 58,852−5.2%


The area of present-day Chikuma was part of ancient Shinano Province and has been settled since prehistoric times. There are numerous burial tumuli in the city, including the Mori Shogunzukakofun, a mountaintop keyhole-shaped tomb dating from near the end of the Kofun period, which is one of the latest of its type in eastern Japan. During the Nara period, the area around the Shinano River was the settling for numerous poems in the Man'yōshū. The area was part of the holdings of Matsushiro Domain during the Edo period, and also prospered from a series of post stations on the pilgrimage route to the famed Zenkō-ji temple. The modern city of Chikuma was founded on September 1, 2003 by the merger of the former city of Koshoku, the town of Kamiyamada (from Sarashina District), and the town of Togura (from Hanishina District).


Chikuma has a mayor-council form of government with a directly elected mayor and a unicameral city legislature of 24 members.


Chikuma is known for its production of knitted goods, food processing and light machinery manufacturing. Horticulture, especially that of apricots forms an important sector of the local economy.


Chikuma has nine public elementary schools and four public middle schools. The city has one public high school operated by the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education, and one combined public middle/high school. The prefecture also operates one special education school.




Local attractions

Former city of Koshoku

Koshoku [ja] (更埴) is the largest of the three municipalities that were joined to form the current Chikuma city. Spanning the Chikuma River and bordering Nagano city to the south, it entends from the apricot fields of Anzu no Sato in the east to the highland area Hijiri Kogen in the west. Koshoku's history dates back to the Kofun Period, and several major archaeological sites remain. Later, in the Meiji Period, the inns located in Inariyama became a popular stopover for pilgrims en route to Zenkō-ji.

Former town of Kamiyamada

Kamiyamada [ja] (上山田) lies on the western bank of the Chikuma River, just north of the town of Sakaki. A popular hot spring village dating back to the 19th century, the town was one of many places of lodging on the pilgrimage route to Zenkō-ji.

Former town of Togura

Togura [ja] (戸倉) lies on the east bank of the Chikuma River, across from Kamiyamada Onsen. With a history similar to that of Kamiyamada, it contains some hot spring bath facilities as well as the area's only railway station.

Notable people from Chikuma


  1. ^ 市長プロフィール [Mayor Profile]. Chikuma City (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  2. ^ 副市長プロフィール [Deputy Mayor Profile]. Chikuma City (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  3. ^ 千曲市について - 市の人口・世帯数 [About Chikuma City - Population and number of households in the city]. Chikuma City (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Chikuma climate data". Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Chikuma population statistics". Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Database of Registered National Cultural Properties" (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on 23 December 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2011.

External links

  • Media related to Chikuma, Nagano at Wikimedia Commons
  • Chikuma travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Official website (in Japanese)
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