Takasaki is an often forgotten city in Gunma Prefecture, on the Shinkansen line, north-west of Tokyo.
While the area has lots to offer, because it’s not on most tourist maps Takasaki is a lot quieter and more laid back than Tokyo. Takasaki still has all the comforts of a big Japanese city, such as convenience stores and good train connections, but feels like Tokyo would have before the boom economy.
Takasaki has a population of 375,342, concentrated around the main station, which is connected to Tokyo via the Joetsu Shinkansen line. Many people here commute to Tokyo. Takasaki is a medium sized Japanese city, so has a good mix of the city life and countryside life.
During the Edo period, the area of present-day Takasaki was the center 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 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.