Due to the large number of celebrities living within the city limits, Ashiya is known as the Beverly Hills of Japan. Persons of note associated with Ashiya include Jiro Shirasu (“the man who reproached MacArthur”), Ryoji Noyori (Nobel prize winner), Takashi Asahina (conductor), Chitaru Asahina (conductor), Jun’ichiro Tanizaki (writer), Haruki Murakami (writer), Atsuko Suga (writer/scholar of Italian literature), Yuriko Koike (House of Representatives member), Yoko Ogawa (writer), Hiroko Koshino (fashion designer) and Tsumasaburo Band? (kabuki actor).
A house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright sits on a hill overlooking Hankyu Ashiyagawa Station and Osaka Bay. It was completed in 1924 as a residence for the Yamamura family, founders of the famous sake company “Sakuramasamune” . It is now known as the Yodoko Guest House and is open for tours. Ashiya also features the house of Hiroko Koshino designed by pritzker prize winning architect Tadao Ando.
As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 93,094 and the density of 5,030 persons per km². The total area is 18.47 km². The average household income in Ashiya is the highest of any city in Japan based on annual income tax reports.