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city, Kanagawa ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It lies along Sagami Bay of the Pacific Ocean. Hiratsuka developed as a post town along the main Tokyo-Kyoto Highway during the Tokugawa period (1603-1867). When the railway between Tokyo and Kobe was opened in 1887, a commercial centre developed around the railroad station in the eastern part of the city. The city's northern sector is industrialized, with rubber, chemical, machinery, automobile, and food-processing plants. The surrounding agricultural region produces vegetables and dairy cattle. Much farmland in the area has been used for large housing projects for commuters to the Tokyo-Yokohama Metropolitan Area. Hiratsuka's annual Star Festival is renowned. Pop. (2005) 258,958.