city, Saitama ken (prefecture), north-central Honshu, Japan. It is located on the Ara River in the eastern part of the Chichibu Basin. During the late 19th century silk textile mills were established, and there are now about 450 mills in the city and surrounding villages. The rich limestone quarries of Mount Buko, to the south, support a large cement plant. There are also reserves of iron ore and other construction stone. The city is a district transport centre. A tourist base for Chichibu-Tama National Park, it is known for the annual festival of the Chichibu Shinto shrine. Pop. (2005 prelim.) 70,556.
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