is a city
located in Saitama Prefecture
and a part of the Greater Tokyo Area
As of 2007, the city has an estimated population of 204,789 (9th in Saitama). The total area is 159.88 km². The city is one of the biggest in northern Saitama Prefecture. It is the administrative, business and commercial centre in northern Saitama Prefecture. Eight national Highways and three railway lines serve the city. While many people commute towards south Tokyo, its daytime population is larger than the night population thanks to commuters from surrounding towns.
The city was named for the 12th-century warrior Kumagai Naozane. The Kanji
of "Kuma"(熊) means "Bear", and "Gaya"(谷) means "Valley". During the Edo Period
, the city was a post town on the feudal-time national highway Nakasendō
and silk market. It was designated as a city on April 1
Kumagaya bears the dubious distinction of being the very last target of US aerial firebombing in Japan, thus representing the very final episode of World War II, on August 15, 1945, coinciding with Emperor Hirohito's announcement of the country's surrender.
The city merged with the towns of Osato and Menuma from Osato District to form the new city of Kumagaya on October 1, 2005. The old city of Kumagaya was dissolved. Also on February 13, 2007, the city added the town of Konan in Osato District, and become the first city ever to have a population of more than 200,000 in Northern Saitama Prefecture. With these mergers, the city has fulfilled the requirements to become a special city, and the city is scheduled to file to become a special city.
On August 16, 2007, the city recorded air temperature of 40.9˚C, breaking the 74 year old record for the highest temperature recorded in Japan (the city of Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture also had the same record). The rest is described below.
- The city is in northern Saitama Prefecture, and on the east edge of Arakawa alluvial fan.
- There are two rivers.
- Moto-Arakawa River is quite clear. In this River, there are habitats of Musashi-Tomiyo(Pungitius), which can be seen only but here in the world.
Neighboring Cities and Towns
Kumagaya and Gyoda are conenected by National Highway Route 125, its by-pass and Chichubu Railway.
Kumagaya and Kounosu are conenected by National Highway Route 17, its by-pass and Takasaki Line.
Neither railroad nor National Highway route connects the two cities. They don't have good relationship.
Kumagaya and Kounosu are conenected by National Highway Route 17, its by-pass, Takasaki Line and Chichubu Railway. They have good relationship.
- Hiki District
- Ota, City (太田)
Kumagaya and ?ta are conenected by National Highway Route 407.
- The city is well-known as being in one of the hottest area in summer in Japan. This is caused by very hot two winds from Tokyo and Chichibu basin in the west of the prefecture. In Central Tokyo, the summer monsoon enhanced by sea breeze is heated by Urban heat island. Also from Chichibu Mountains, Fohn blows. The two winds converge above the city at about 2 pm.
- On August 16, 2007, the city recorded air temperature of 40.9°C(105.6°F), breaking the 74 year old record for the highest temperature recorded in Japan.
- "VERY HOT! Kumagaya" (あついぞ！熊谷) is a catch phrase of the city.
- There was a quite large hailstorm on June 29, 1917 at about 5pm. It has a diameter of 29.6 centimeters and weighs 3.4 kilogram. This is the largest one all over the world.
- There is Kumagaya Local Meteorological Observatory of Japan Meteorological Agency.
- 1889 - The town of Kumagaya merged with the village of Ishiwara from Osato District to form the new town of Kumagaya.
- 1923 - The village of Koizka in Osato District was added.
- 1927 - The village of Narita in North Saitama District was added.
- 1932 - The village of Oohata in Osato District was added.
- 1933 - The town became city.
- 1941 - The village of Sayada in Osato District was added.
- 1945 - Kumagaya Raid
- 1951 - School lunch started.
- 1953 - The song of Kumagaya was composed.
- 1954 - The villages of Chujyou, Beppu, Nara and Mishiri in Osato District were added.
- 1955 - The villages of Yoshioka, Ooi and Hoshimiya in Osato District were added.
- 1960 - Kita-oodori was opened for traffic.
- 1965 - City theater was completed.
- 1966 - School lunch center came into operation.
- 1967 - 22th National Sports Festival was held.
- 1969 - New Arakawa Bridge was opened.
- 1971 - The house of Mount Akagi was opened.
- 1973 - New City Hall was opened.
- 1979 - Cultural Hall was opened.
- 1986 - Central Park was opened.
- 1988 - Saitama Exhibition was held.
- 1988 - Sports Park was opened.
- 1994 - Beppu-marsh Park was opened.
- 1998 - Sakurameito was opened.
- 2003 - Kuge Bridge was opened.
- 2004 - 59th National Sports Festival was held.
- 2005 - The city of Kumagaya merged with the towns of Osato and Menuma from Osato District to form the new city of Kumagaya.
- 2007 - The town of Konan in Osato District was added.
- The Symbol is this
- There are one city hall and 3 branch offices.
- Kumagaya City Hall (熊谷市役所)
- Menuma Branch Office (妻沼行政センター)
- Oosato Branch Office (大里行政センター)
- Kounan Branch Office (江南行政センター)
The city of Kumagaya (Old Kumagaya)
- Ryosaku Arai (新井良作) : April, 1933 to May, 1939 - 1st, 2nd
- Moya Saitou (齋籐茂八) : June, 1936 to April, 1942 - 3rd
- Takeo Yajima (矢島武男) : April, 1932 to November, 1945 - 4th
- Tadashi Negishi (根岸忠) : January, 1946 to March, 1947 - 5th
- Souichi Kamode (鴨田宗一) : April, 1947 to April, 1958 - 6th to 8th
- Seiichi Kurihara (栗原正一) : May, 1958 to May, 1962 - 9th
- Uminosuke Kuroda (黒田海之助) : May, 1962 to May, 1982 - 10th to 14th
- Toshio Masuda (増田敏男) : May, 1982 to June, 1986 - 15th ,16th
- Kazuo Kobayashi (小林一夫) : August, 1986 to August, 2002 - 17th to 20th
- Kiyoshi Tomioka (富岡清) : August 3rd, 2003 to September 30th, 2005 - 21st
The city of Kumagaya
- Fumio Yoshihara (吉原文雄): October 1st, 2005 to November 5th, 2005 - Intrim mayor
- Kiyoshi Tomioka (富岡清): November 6th, 2005 to present - 1st
Junior High Schools
Senior High Schools
- Kumagaya Boys' SHS (埼玉県立熊谷高等学校)
- West Kumagaya SHS (埼玉県立熊谷西高等学校)
- Kumagaya Girls' SHS (埼玉県立熊谷女子高等学校)
- Menuma SHS (埼玉県立妻沼高等学校)
- Kumagaya industrial SHS (埼玉県立熊谷商業高等学校)
- Kumagaya agricultural SHS (埼玉県立熊谷農業高等学校)
- Kumagaya business SHS (埼玉県立熊谷商業高等学校)
- North Saitama Nurses' training School (埼玉県立北高等看護学校)
- Kumagaya apparel School (学校法人熊谷文化服装専門学校)
- Rissyo University (立正大学) - Kumagaya campus