26,534 (2005 National Census)
10,110 (2005 National Census)
477.7 Square Kilometers
The Shiga Clan came to occupy Okajo Castle during the Warring States Period. Around the time Hideyoshi Toyotomi completed his reunification of Japan, the Nakagawa Clan were ordered to replace them. It was at this time that Taketa Village was constructed as a castle town. Afterwards, the village developed as a center of trade, and although much was lost during the Satsuma Rebellion, in the center of town one can see remnants of the past in the form of Samurai Manor Street and other locations.
The history of Taketa City as an administrative unit began on March 31, 1954 when ten of the surrounding towns and villages were merged. The city's administration began with the merging of Taketa Town and Tamarai Town with Matsumoto, Nyuta, Ubatake, Miyato, Sugo, Miyagi, and Kibaru Villages. In July of 1955 the area from Ogata Village in Ono County to Oazakatagaseki was added to the city proper. On April 1, 2005, the towns of Ogi, Kuju, and Naoiri were merged to form a new Taketa City.
Taketa lies in the southwestern corner of Oita Prefecture, and is surrounded by the Kuju Mountain Range, the Aso Somma, and the foothills of Mr. Soba. To the east are Bungo Ono City and Oita City, to the north are Kokonoe Town and Yufu City (Shonai Town), to the west is Kumamoto Prefecture, and to the south is Miyazaki Prefecture. Also, the headwaters of the Ono River are located in this region. Taketa is an area of abundant natural beauty that includes Taketa Springs, from which thousands of tons of water flow each day. These abundant waters springing forth from the mountains are known across Japan, and support the livelihoods of many people living downstream from them. Agriculture and tourism form the key industries of Taketa City, making use of the blessings of the surrounding natural environment.
The transportation network around Taketa City is centered on National Routes 57, 442, and 502, which together with prefectural and city roads cover the entire city area. The trunk line is National Route 57, an east-west road across Kyushu that connects Taketa City with Oita City and Kumamoto City. Also, National Route 442 connects Oita City and Kuju with Okawa City, and passes through Oguni Town. National Route 502 is a road serving a wide area, connecting Usuki City with Taketa City and passing through Bungo Ono City. Taketa City is situated in an important and central location along the roadway network, and serves as a transportation hub for the surrounding cities, towns and villages.
Taketa City is serviced by Japan Rail's Hohi Main Line connecting Oita and Kumamoto. In the area of rail transportation as well, Taketa City fulfills the role of a central hub.
Agriculture in Taketa makes use of the area's wide open spaces and fertile soil, rich grass, and cool summers. In addition to nature, historical and cultural tourism also flourishes.
Rice is the predominantly produced agricultural product in the region. Vegetables including Oita Prefecture specialties such as the kabosu citrus fruit, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and sweet corn are produced in the area. In addition, the Taketa area also produces spices such as saffron, as well as Bungo beef.
Popular tourist locations include historical and cultural locations such as the Okajo Castle Ruins, samurai manors, and the Rentaro Taki Memorial Hall. Natural attractions include the ever-upwelling waters of Taketa Springs and the area's famous whitewater waterfalls. Tourists are also attracted to Nagayu Hot Springs, said to be the finest carbonate springs in Japan, and the feeling of freedom that comes from visiting the grandeur of Kuju Plateau. Also of particular note is the Kuju Flower Park, known as the foremost tourist attraction in Oita Prefecture.