Numata is located in the northern part of Gunma, close to the Tanigawa,
Mikuni and Nikko mountain ranges. It is surrounded by mountains reputed
to be among the top 100 most famous mountains in Japan, including Mt. Akagi,
Mt. Sukai and Mt. Hotaka. Numata is a sprawling city covering 443.37 km
with an elevation range of 250 m to 2100 m. Located in the No. 1 river
terrace in Japan, formed by the Tone, Katashina and Usune rivers, Numata
is rich in natural scenery including Tambara Highlands, Fukiware Falls
and an abundance of hot springs.
Founded by the Numata family in 1532, and succeeded by the Sanada, Honda, Kuroda and Toki families, the feudal town of Numata prospered for over 300 years.
After the Meiji Period, Numata became the center of commerce in the northern part of Gunma. It developed as a distribution center for agriculture and forestry products with the completion of the Joetsu line in 1924. After WWII, the number of lumber related factories increased, paving the way for the gradual growth of forest industries.
In April 1954, the villages of Tonami, Ikeda, Usune and Kawada merged to form the town of Numata, and the municipal government was established. With the new government's enforcement, Mikuni Tunnel, Konsei Pass, and the Shiga Plateau route were opened, giving way to motorized transportation. The area became an even more important transportation hub with the completion of the Joetsu Shinkansen in 1982 and the Niigata Line of the Kanetsu Express Way in 1985.
The current roles of the city include social services, commerce, and tourism.
On February 13th, 2005, the villages of Shirasawa and Tone merged into the expanded city of Numata resulting in its current population of 55,000.
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