is a city in Tokyo, Japan, about 40 kilometers west of the center of the 23 special wards of Tokyo.As of June 30, 2014, the city has an estimated population of 563,265 and a population density of 3,023.26 persons per km². The total area is 186.31 km².It is the eighth largest city in the Greater Tokyo Area. The city is surrounded on three sides by mountains, forming the Hachiōji Basin which opens up toward the east in the direction of Tokyo. The mountain ranges in the southwest include Mount Takao (599 m) and Mount Jinba (857 m), two popular hiking destinations which can be reached by train and bus, respectively. Two major national roads, Route 16 (which connects Kawagoe in the north with Yokohama in the south) and National Route 20, the former Kōshū Kaidō.HistoryAlthough Hachiōji only gained city status on September 1, 1917, it has been an important junction point and post-town along the Kōshū Highway, the main road that connected the historical Edo (today's Tokyo) with Western Japan since medieval times, especially during the Edo period. For a short period of time, a castle, Hachiōji Castle existed in the area. It was built in 1584 by Hōjō Ujiteru, but was soon destroyed in 1590 during General Toyotomi Hideyoshi's attempt to gain control over all of Japan. During the Meiji period, Hachiōji prospered as an important location for the production of silk and silk textiles. The industry faded away, however, in the 1960s. Today, Hachiōji mainly serves as a commuter town for people working in Tokyo, and as a location for many large colleges and universities.