city, Tokyo to (metropolis), Honshu, Japan, on the border of Kanagawa Prefecture (ken). Situated on the southern slopes of the Tama Hills, the city was formed by the amalgamation of Hara-Machida and three neighbouring villages in 1958. During the Meiji era (1868-1912) Hara-Machida was a market for goods (mostly silk) destined for the port of Yokohama. In 1908 the railway between Yokohama and Hachioji passed through the city, increasing its importance as a trade and transport hub. Machida later developed as a residential suburb of the Tokyo-Yokohama Metropolitan Area; large-scale housing was constructed, and the population almost tripled between 1960 and 1970 but slowed throughout the late 1970s. Pop. (2005) 405,534.
Learn more about Machida with a free trial on Britannica.com.