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Utsunomiya became an important garrison for the Imperial Japanese Army.With the establishment of the municipalities system on April 1, 1889, the town of Utsunomiya was officially established.
is the capital and most populous city of Tochigi Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan.As of May 2015, the city had an estimated population of 518,200 and a population density of 1240 persons per km². Utsunomiya is famous for its gyoza (pan fried dumplings).There are more than two hundred gyoza restaurants in Utsunomiya. The nearby city of Oyama is included in Greater Tokyo, but Greater Utsunomiya is not, despite the two areas amalgamating somewhat.It is the 10th most populated city in the Kanto region.Utsunomiya is located in south-central Tochigi Prefecture in the northern Kantō plains. The historic town of Nikkō is approximately 25 km northwest of Utsunomiya. Utsunomiya has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot and humid summers and cool winters.Precipitation is heavy in the summer wet season, especially from July to September, and it is noticeably drier in the winter months from December to February.
Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that the area of Utsunomiya has been continuously settled since the Japanese Paleolithic period onwards, and numerous burial mounds from the Kofun period are found within its borders.
The Utsunomiya Futarayama Shrine , which is the Ichinomiya of Shimotsuke Province claims to have been founded in 353 AD.
The town of Utsunomiya developed around this shrine, and the area was under the control of the Utsunomiya clan, an offshoot of the Fujiwara clan from the Heian through Sengoku periods, and was destroyed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
During the Edo period, the Utsunomiya area was ruled by a succession of daimyo clans under Utsunomiya Domain, and prospered from its location at the junction of the Nikkō Kaidō and the Ōshū Kaidō.
During the Bakumatsu period Boshin War, the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle was a major conflict in the northern Kanto area.
Following the Meiji restoration, Utsunomiya was briefly (1871-1873) part of Utsunomiya Prefecture, which was then merged into the new Tochigi Prefecture, and became capital of the prefecture in 1884.