The modern city was founded on December 1, 1940, although its history extends to feudal times. It is the third-largest city in the population in Ishikawa prefecture after Hakusan city was formed and came to the second in 2005.
Komatsu Airport is the main airport of Ishikawa. It is located about an hour driving distance southwest from Kanazawa (the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture). It is served by JR West Hokuriku Main Line, Hokuriku Expressway and National Highways Routes 8, 305, 360 and 416.
Komatsu Limited, the construction and mining equipment company, was named after the city.
Interesting places in Komatsu are the Nata-Dera Buddhist temple complex, the Yunokuni-no-mori traditional handicrafts village, and the Motorcar Museum of Japan which is the largest museum dedicated to motor vehicles in Japan with a 12,000 square metre display area. Nearby is the well-known Kaga hot-springs district.
Komatsu is twinned with Gateshead Council (North East England, United Kingdom) and operates an exchange program involving 10 students (aged 13-17) every two years.