Maebashi (前橋市 Maebashi-shi) is a city located in Gunma Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It is the capital city of Gunma Prefecture. The surrounding cities comprise an urban zone of over 1 million people, separated by farmland to the south from the built up areas of Greater Tokyo. As of May 2015, the city had an estimated population of 339,701 and a population density of 1081 persons per km2. Its total area is 311.59 km2. It was the most populous city within Gunma Prefecture until Takasaki merged with nearby towns between 2006 and 2009. Maebashi is known to be the "City of Water, Greenery and Poets" because of its pure waters, its rich nature and because it gave birth to several Japanese contemporary poets, such as Sakutarō Hagiwara.