Prefectures of Japan
Overview
 
The prefectures of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

are the country's 47 subnational jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

s: one "metropolis" (都 to), Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

; one "circuit" (道 ), Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

; two urban prefecture
Prefecture
A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.-Antiquity:...

s (府 fu), Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...

 and Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....

; and 43 other prefectures (県 ken). In Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

, they are commonly referred to as . Prefecture
Prefecture
A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.-Antiquity:...

s are governmental bodies larger than cities
Cities of Japan
||A is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as and , with the difference that they are not a component of...

, towns
Towns of Japan
A town is a local administrative unit in Japan. It is a local public body along with prefecture , city , and village...

, and villages
Villages of Japan
A is a local administrative unit in Japan.It is a local public body along with , , and . Geographically, a village's extent is contained within a prefecture....

.

The chief executive of each prefecture is a directly elected . Ordinances and budgets are enacted by a single-chamber whose elected members serve four-year terms.

Under the current Local Autonomy Law
Local Autonomy Law
The Local Autonomy Law of Japan was passed as Law No. 67 on April 17, 1947, an Act of Devolution that established most of Japan's contemporary local government structures, including prefectures, municipalities and other entities....

, each prefecture is further subdivided into cities (市 shi) and districts (郡 gun).
Encyclopedia
The prefectures of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

are the country's 47 subnational jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

s: one "metropolis" (都 to), Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

; one "circuit" (道 ), Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

; two urban prefecture
Prefecture
A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.-Antiquity:...

s (府 fu), Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...

 and Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....

; and 43 other prefectures (県 ken). In Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

, they are commonly referred to as . Prefecture
Prefecture
A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.-Antiquity:...

s are governmental bodies larger than cities
Cities of Japan
||A is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as and , with the difference that they are not a component of...

, towns
Towns of Japan
A town is a local administrative unit in Japan. It is a local public body along with prefecture , city , and village...

, and villages
Villages of Japan
A is a local administrative unit in Japan.It is a local public body along with , , and . Geographically, a village's extent is contained within a prefecture....

.

The chief executive of each prefecture is a directly elected . Ordinances and budgets are enacted by a single-chamber whose elected members serve four-year terms.

Under the current Local Autonomy Law
Local Autonomy Law
The Local Autonomy Law of Japan was passed as Law No. 67 on April 17, 1947, an Act of Devolution that established most of Japan's contemporary local government structures, including prefectures, municipalities and other entities....

, each prefecture is further subdivided into cities (市 shi) and districts (郡 gun). Each district is further subdivided into towns (町 chō or machi) and villages (村 son or mura). For example, Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

 has 14 subprefectures
Subprefectures in Hokkaido
Hokkaido Prefecture had 14 branch offices called 支庁 in Japanese, which is often translated in English as subprefectures. Normally, a subprefecture consists of a few to a dozen cities, towns, and/or villages....

 which act as branch offices (支庁 shichō) of the prefecture. Some other prefectures also have branch offices, which carry out prefectural administrative functions outside the capital.

Historical background

The current system was established by the Meiji government
Government of Meiji Japan
The Government of Meiji Japan was the government which was formed by politicians of the Satsuma Domain, Chōshū Domain and Tenno. The Meiji government was the early government of the Empire of Japan....

 in July 1871 with the abolition of the han system
Abolition of the han system
The was an act, in 1871, of the new Meiji government of the Empire of Japan to replace the traditional feudal domain system and to introduce centralized government authority . This process marked the culmination of the Meiji Restoration in that all daimyo were required to return their authority...

 and establishment of the prefecture system (廃藩置県 haihan-chiken). Although there were initially over 300 prefectures, many of them being former han territories, this number was reduced to 72 in the latter part of 1871, and 47 in 1888. The Local Autonomy Law
Local Autonomy Law
The Local Autonomy Law of Japan was passed as Law No. 67 on April 17, 1947, an Act of Devolution that established most of Japan's contemporary local government structures, including prefectures, municipalities and other entities....

 of 1947 gave more political power to prefectures, and installed prefectural governors and parliaments.

In 2003, then-Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Japan
The is the head of government of Japan. He is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office...

 Junichiro Koizumi
Junichiro Koizumi
is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2001 to 2006. He retired from politics when his term in parliament ended.Widely seen as a maverick leader of the Liberal Democratic Party , he became known as an economic reformer, focusing on Japan's government debt and the...

 proposed that the government consolidate the current prefectures
Merger and dissolution of municipalities of Japan
Municipal mergers and dissolutions carried out in Japan can take place within one municipality or between multiple municipalities and are required to be based upon consensus.- Merger policy:...

 into about 10 regional states. The plan called for each region to have greater autonomy than existing prefectures. This process would reduce the number of sub-prefecture administrative regions and cut administrative costs. The Japanese government is also considering a plan by which several groups of prefectures would merge, creating a sub-national administrative division system consisting of between nine and thirteen states, and giving these states more local autonomy than the current prefectures enjoy. , no reorganization has been scheduled.

Types of prefectures

There are four historical "types" of prefectures, which differ in Japanese suffixes only. Normally, Japanese speakers dispense with the suffix unless there is a possibility of ambiguity. For example, when distinguishing between the city and prefecture of Hiroshima.

Fu (Osaka/Kyoto) and Ken

During the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

, the Tokugawa shogunate
Tokugawa shogunate
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the and the , was a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family. This period is known as the Edo period and gets its name from the capital city, Edo, which is now called Tokyo, after the name was...

 established bugyō-ruled zones (奉行支配地) around the nine largest cities in Japan, and 302 township-ruled zones (郡代支配地) elsewhere. When the Meiji government began to create the prefectural system in 1868, the first year of Meiji period
Meiji period
The , also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from September 1868 through July 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan.- Meiji Restoration and the emperor :...

, while the nine bugyō-ruled zones became fu (府), the township-ruled zones and the rest of the bugyo-ruled zones became ken (県): later, in 1871 the government designated Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...

, and Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....

 as fu, and relegated the other fu to the status of ken. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, in 1943, Tokyo became a to, a new type of pseudo-prefecture (see below).

Before World War II, different laws applied to fu and ken, but this distinction was abolished after the war, and the two types of prefecture are now functionally the same.

Hokkaidō

The term (circuit) was originally used to refer to regions of Japan, such as Tōkaidō
Tokaido (region)
The was originally an old Japanese geographical region that made up the gokishichidō system and was situated along the southeastern edge of Honshū, its name literally meaning 'Eastern Sea Way'....

 and Saikaidō
Saikaido
, literally meaning "western sea circuit," is a Japanese term denoting both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. Saikaido was one of the main circuits of the Gokishichidō system, which was originally established during the Asuka Period.This name identified the...

, consisting of several provinces
Provinces of Japan
Before the modern prefecture system was established, the land of Japan was divided into tens of kuni , usually known in English as provinces. Each province was divided into gun ....

. It uses the kanji
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

 for "road" and is considered to have been settled by Emperor Temmu
Emperor Temmu
was the 40th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Temmu's reign lasted from 672 until his death in 686.-Traditional narrative:...

.

Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

, the only remaining today, was not one of the original seven (it was known as Ezo
Ezo
is a Japanese name which historically referred to the lands to the north of Japan. It was used in various senses, sometimes meaning the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō, and sometimes meaning lands and waters further north in the Sea of Okhotsk, like Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands...

 in the pre-modern era). Its current name is believed to originate from Matsuura Takeshiro, an early Japanese explorer of the island. Since Hokkaidō did not fit into the existing classifications, a new was created to cover it.

The Meiji government originally classified Hokkaidō as a "Settlement Envoyship" (開拓使 kaitakushi), and later divided the island into three prefectures (Sapporo, Hakodate, and Nemuro). These were consolidated into a single Hokkaidō Department (北海道庁 Hokkaidō-chō) in 1886, at prefectural level but organized more along the lines of a territory. In 1947, the Department was dissolved, and Hokkaidō became a full-fledged prefecture. The -ken suffix was never added to its name, so the -dō suffix came to be understood to mean "prefecture."

When Hokkaidō was incorporated, transportation on the island was still very underdeveloped, so the prefecture was split into several "sub-prefectures" (支庁 shichō) that could fulfill administrative duties of the prefectural government and keep tight control over the developing island. These sub-prefectures still exist today, although they have much less power than they possessed before and during World War II: they now exist primarily to handle paperwork and other bureaucratic functions.

"Hokkaidō Prefecture" is, technically speaking, a redundant term, although it is occasionally used to differentiate the government from the island itself. The government of the prefecture calls itself the "Hokkaidō Government" rather than the "Hokkaidō Prefectural Government".

The largest city and prefectural capital of Hokkaidō is Sapporo, the fifth largest city in Japan. Other major cities include Hakodate.

Tokyo-to

The only to in Japan is Tokyo. Following the abolition of the han system
Abolition of the han system
The was an act, in 1871, of the new Meiji government of the Empire of Japan to replace the traditional feudal domain system and to introduce centralized government authority . This process marked the culmination of the Meiji Restoration in that all daimyo were required to return their authority...

, Tokyo-fu (an urban prefecture like Kyoto and Osaka) encompassed a number of cities, the largest of which was Tokyo City
Tokyo City
was a municipality in Japan and part of Tokyo-Fu which existed from May 1, 1889 until its merger with its prefecture on July 1, 1943. The historical boundaries of Tokyo City are now occupied by independent special wards...

. Tokyo City was divided into 15 wards.

In 1943, Tokyo City was abolished, Tokyo-fu became Tokyo-to, and Tokyo's wards became the special wards, local authorities falling directly under the prefecture in hierarchy, each with their own elected assemblies (kugikai) and mayors (kucho). A number of suburban villages and towns of Tokyo City were changed to wards, bringing the total number of special wards to 35.

The reason for this reorganization was to consolidate the administration of the area around the capital by eliminating the extra level of authority in Tokyo. The central government wanted to have a greater degree of control over Tokyo due to Japan's deteriorating position in World War II and the possibility of emergency in the metropolis.

After the war, Japan was forced to decentralize Tokyo again, following the general terms of democratization outlined in the Potsdam Declaration
Potsdam Declaration
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender is a statement calling for the Surrender of Japan in World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S...

. Many of Tokyo's special governmental characteristics disappeared during this time, and the wards took on an increasingly municipal status in the decades following the surrender. Administratively, today's special wards are almost indistinguishable from other municipalities.

The postwar reforms also changed the map of Tokyo significantly. In 1947, the 35 wards were reorganized into the 23 special wards, because many had died in the bombardments during the war, many survivors had left the city, and many men who had been drafted had not returned.

There are some differences in terminology between Tokyo and other prefectures: police and fire departments are called chō (庁) instead of honbu (本部), for instance. However, the only functional difference between Tokyo-to and other prefectures is that Tokyo administers wards as well as cities. Today, since the special wards have almost the same degree of independence as Japanese cities, the difference in administration between Tokyo and other prefectures is fairly minor (see 23 special wards for details).

The Japanese government still translates Tokyo-to as "Tokyo Metropolis" in almost all cases, and the government is officially called the "Tokyo Metropolitan Government." However, some people still call Tokyo-to "Tokyo Prefecture" in English.

List in ISO order

The prefectures are also often grouped into regions
Regions of Japan
The regions of Japan are not official administrative units, but have been traditionally used as the regional division of Japan in a number of contexts...

. Those regions are not formally specified, they do not have elected officials, nor are they corporate bodies. However, the practice of ordering prefectures based on their geographic location is common. From north to south (numbering in ISO 3166-2:JP
ISO 3166-2:JP
ISO 3166-2:JP is the entry for Japan in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Japan, ISO 3166-2 codes are defined...

 order), the prefectures of Japan and their commonly associated regions are:

Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...


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1. Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...



Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....


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2. Aomori
Aomori Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku Region. The capital is the city of Aomori.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Aomori prefecture was known as Mutsu Province....



3. Iwate
Iwate Prefecture
is the second largest prefecture of Japan after Hokkaido. It is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshū island and contains the island's easternmost point. The capital is Morioka. Iwate has the lowest population density of any prefecture outside Hokkaido...



4. Miyagi
Miyagi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island. The capital is Sendai.- History :Miyagi Prefecture was formerly part of the province of Mutsu. Mutsu Province, on northern Honshu, was one of the last provinces to be formed as land was taken from the indigenous Emishi, and became the...



5. Akita
Akita Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku Region of northern Honshu, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Akita.- History :The area of Akita has been created from the ancient provinces of Dewa and Mutsu....



6. Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...



7. Fukushima
Fukushima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region on the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Fukushima.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Fukushima prefecture was known as Mutsu Province....



Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....


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8. Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...



9. Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...



10. Gunma
Gunma Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region on Honshu island. Its capital is Maebashi.- History :The remains of a Paleolithic man were found at Iwajuku, Gunma Prefecture, in the early 20th century and there is a public museum there.Japan was without horses until...



11. Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...



12. Chiba
Chiba Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region and the Greater Tokyo Area. Its capital is Chiba City.- History :Chiba Prefecture was established on June 15, 1873 with the merger of Kisarazu Prefecture and Inba Prefecture...



13. Tōkyō
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...



14. Kanagawa
Kanagawa Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.-History:The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period...



Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...


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15. Niigata
Niigata Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Honshū on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The capital is the city of Niigata. The name "Niigata" literally means "new lagoon".- History :...



16. Toyama
Toyama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Hokuriku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Toyama.Toyama is the leading industrial prefecture on the Japan Sea coast, and has the industrial advantage of cheap electricity due to abundant water resources....



17. Ishikawa
Ishikawa Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is Kanazawa.- History :Ishikawa was formed from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.- Geography :Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast...



18. Fukui
Fukui Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Fukui.- Prehistory :The Kitadani Dinosaur Quarry, on the Sugiyama River within the city limits of Katsuyama, has yielded the Fukuiraptor kitadaniensis and Fukuisaurus tetoriensis as well as an unnamed...



19. Yamanashi
Yamanashi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Kōfu.-Pre-history to the 14th century:People have been living in the Yamanashi area for about 30,000 years...



20. Nagano
Nagano Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Nagano.- History :Nagano was formerly known as the province of Shinano...



21. Gifu
Gifu Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu.Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasendō...



22. Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...



23. Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...



Kansai
Kansai
The or the lies in the southern-central region of Japan's main island Honshū. The region includes the prefectures of Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, and Shiga. Depending on who makes the distinction, Fukui, Tokushima and even Tottori Prefecture are also included...


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24. Mie
Mie Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan which is part of the Kansai regions on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Tsu.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, Mie prefecture was known as Ise Province and Iga Province....



25. Shiga
Shiga Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, which forms part of the Kansai region on Honshu Island. The capital is the city of Ōtsu.- History :Shiga was known as Ōmi Province or Gōshū before the prefectural system was established...



26. Kyōto
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....



27. Ōsaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...



28. Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...



29. Nara
Nara Prefecture
is a prefecture in the Kansai region on Honshū Island, Japan. The capital is the city of Nara.-History:The present-day Nara Prefecture was created in 1887, making it independent of Osaka Prefecture....



30. Wakayama
Wakayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Wakayama.- History :Present-day Wakayama is mostly the western part of the province of Kii.- 1953 Wakayama Prefecture flood disaster :...




Chūgoku
Chugoku region
The , also known as the , is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi. It has a population of about 7.8 million.- History :...


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31. Tottori
Tottori Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region. The capital is the city of Tottori. It is the least populous prefecture in Japan.- History :Before the Meiji Restoration, Tottori encompassed the old provinces of Hōki and Inaba...



32. Shimane
Shimane Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is Matsue. It is the second least populous prefecture in Japan, after its eastern neighbor Tottori. The prefecture has an area elongated from east to west facing the Chūgoku Mountain Range on the south side and to...



33. Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...



34. Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...



35. Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Yamaguchi, in the center of the prefecture. The largest city, however, is Shimonoseki.- History :...



Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...


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36. Tokushima
Tokushima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Shikoku island. The capital is the city of Tokushima.- Tokushima Prefecture and Myodo Prefecture :Long ago, Tokushima City belonged to a region known as Myōdō-gun...



37. Kagawa
Kagawa Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Shikoku island. The capital is Takamatsu.- History :Kagawa was formerly known as Sanuki Province.For a brief period between August 1876 and December 1888, Kagawa was made a part of Ehime Prefecture.-Battle of Yashima:...



38. Ehime
Ehime Prefecture
is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime prefecture was known as Iyo Province...



39. Kōchi
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...




Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....


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40. Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....



41. Saga
Saga Prefecture
is located in the northwest part of the island of Kyūshū, Japan. It touches both the Sea of Japan and the Ariake Sea. The western part of the prefecture is a region famous for producing ceramics and porcelain, particularly the towns of Karatsu, Imari, and Arita...



42. Nagasaki
Nagasaki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyūshū. The capital is the city of Nagasaki.- History :Nagasaki Prefecture was created by merging of the western half of the former province of Hizen with the island provinces of Tsushima and Iki...



43. Kumamoto
Kumamoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyushu Island. The capital is the city of Kumamoto.- History :Historically the area was called Higo Province; and the province was renamed Kumamoto during the Meiji Restoration. The creation of prefectures was part of the abolition of the feudal system...



44. Ōita
Oita Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan on Kyūshū Island. The prefectural capital is the city of Ōita.- History :Around the 6th century Kyushu consisted of four regions: Tsukushi-no-kuni 筑紫国, Hi-no-kuni 肥国, and Toyo no kuni...



45. Miyazaki
Miyazaki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Miyazaki.- History :Historically, after the Meiji Restoration, Hyūga Province was renamed Miyazaki Prefecture....



46. Kagoshima
Kagoshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kagoshima.- Geography :Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu and includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest for a few hundred kilometers...



Okinawa
Okinawa Prefecture
is one of Japan's southern prefectures. It consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū to Taiwan. Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island...


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47. Okinawa
Okinawa Prefecture
is one of Japan's southern prefectures. It consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū to Taiwan. Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island...



List in alphabetical order

Prefecture
Prefecture
A prefecture is an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.-Antiquity:...

Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

Capital
Prefectural capital
A prefectural capital is a city where a prefectural government and assembly is located.-Japan:In Japan, a prefectural capital is called .-List of Japanese prefectural capitals:-Non capitals that share a name with their prefecture:...

Region Island
Japanese Archipelago
The , which forms the country of Japan, extends roughly from northeast to southwest along the northeastern coast of the Eurasia mainland, washing upon the northwestern shores of the Pacific Ocean...

Population¹ Area² Density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

³
Distr.
Districts of Japan
The was most recently used as an administrative unit in Japan between 1878 and 1921 and is roughly equivalent to the county of the United States, ranking at the level below prefecture and above city, town or village. As of 2008, cities belong directly to prefectures and are independent from...

Municip. ISO
ISO 3166-2:JP
ISO 3166-2:JP is the entry for Japan in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for Japan, ISO 3166-2 codes are defined...

 Aichi Prefecture 愛知県 Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

7,043,235 5,153.81 1,366 7 54 JP-23
 Akita Prefecture 秋田県 Akita
Akita, Akita
is the capital city of Akita Prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan.As of June 11, 2005, with the merger of the former Kawabe District , the city has an estimated population of 323,310 and density of...

Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,189,215 11,612.11 102 6 25 JP-05
 Aomori Prefecture 青森県 Aomori
Aomori, Aomori
is the capital city of Aomori Prefecture, in the northern Tōhoku region of Japan. As of 2009, the city had an estimated population of 302,068 and a density of 366 persons per km². Its total area was 824.52 km².- History :...

Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,475,635 9,606.26 154 8 40 JP-02
 Chiba Prefecture 千葉県 Chiba
Chiba, Chiba
is the capital city of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is located approximately 40 km east of the center of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay. Chiba City became a government designated city in 1992. Its population as of 2008 is approximately 960,000....

Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

5,926,349 5,156.15 1,149 6 54 JP-12
 Ehime Prefecture 愛媛県 Matsuyama
Matsuyama, Ehime
is the capital city of Ehime Prefecture on the Shikoku island of Japan. It is located on the northeastern portion of the Dōgo Plain. Its name means "pine mountain." The city was founded on December 15, 1889....

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

1,493,126 5,676.44 263 7 20 JP-38
 Fukui Prefecture 福井県 Fukui
Fukui, Fukui
is the capital of Fukui Prefecture, Japan. The city is located in the north-central part of the prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan.-Demographics:...

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

828,960 4,188.76 198 7 17 JP-18
 Fukuoka Prefecture 福岡県 Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

5,015,666 4,971.01 1,009 12 60 JP-40
 Fukushima Prefecture 福島県 Fukushima
Fukushima, Fukushima
is the capital city of Fukushima Prefecture in the Tōhoku Region of Japan. As of May 2011 the city has an estimated population of 290,064 and an area of 746.43 km².It lies about 250 km north of Tokyo and 80 km south of Sendai.-History:...

Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,126,998 13,782.54 154 13 59 JP-07
 Gifu Prefecture 岐阜県 Gifu
Gifu, Gifu
is a city located in the south-central portion of Gifu Prefecture, Japan, and serves as the prefectural capital. The city has played an important role in Japan's history because of its location in the middle of the country. During the Sengoku period, various warlords, including Oda Nobunaga, used...

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,107,687 10,598.18 199 9 42 JP-21
 Gunma Prefecture 群馬県 Maebashi
Maebashi, Gunma
is the capital city of Gunma Prefecture, Japan.The city was founded on April 1, 1892, by the samurai Makuba Kawai.On December 5, 2004 the town of Ōgo, and the villages of Kasukawa and Miyagi, all from Seta District, were merged into Maebashi....

Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,024,820 6,363.16 318 7 35 JP-10
 Hiroshima Prefecture 広島県 Hiroshima Chūgoku
Chugoku region
The , also known as the , is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi. It has a population of about 7.8 million.- History :...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,878,949 8,476.95 340 5 23 JP-34
 Hokkaido 北海道 Sapporo
Sapporo, Hokkaido
is the fourth-largest city in Japan by population, and the largest city on the island of Hokkaido. It is the capital of Hokkaidō Prefecture, located in Ishikari Subprefecture, and an ordinance-designated city of Japan....

Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

5,682,950 83,452.47 68 66 180 JP-01
 Hyogo Prefecture 兵庫県 Kobe Kansai Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

5,550,742 8,392.42 661 8 41 JP-28
 Ibaraki Prefecture 茨城県 Mito
Mito, Ibaraki
is the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan and has a central location, moderately offset towards the coast in that prefecture. As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 263,748 and a total area is 217.45 km², giving a population density of 1,212.91 persons per km²...

Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,985,424 6,095.62 490 7 44 JP-08
 Ishikawa Prefecture 石川県 Kanazawa
Kanazawa, Ishikawa
is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.-Geography, climate, and population:Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers. Its total area is 467.77 km².Kanazawa's...

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,180,935 4,185.32 282 5 19 JP-17
 Iwate Prefecture 岩手県 Morioka
Morioka, Iwate
is the capital city of Iwate Prefecture, Japan.As of 2005, the city has an estimated population of 300,740 and a population density of 588.11 persons per km². The total area is 489.15 km²....

Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,416,198 15,278.51 93 10 33 JP-03
 Kagawa Prefecture 香川県 Takamatsu
Takamatsu, Kagawa
is a city located in central Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan, and is the seat of the prefectural government. It is designated a core city by the Japanese Government. It is a port city located on the Seto Inland Sea, and is the closest port to Honshu from Shikoku island...

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

1,022,843 1,861.70 549 5 17 JP-37
 Kagoshima Prefecture 鹿児島県 Kagoshima
Kagoshima, Kagoshima
is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the Kyūshū island of Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin...

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

1,786,214 9,132.42 196 8 43 JP-46
 Kanagawa Prefecture 神奈川県 Yokohama
Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

8,489,932 2,415.42 3,515 6 33 JP-14
 Kochi Prefecture 高知県 Kōchi
Kochi, Kochi
is the capital city of Kōchi Prefecture on Shikoku island of Japan.Kōchi is the main city of the prefecture with over 40% of its population. As of May 31, 2008, the city had an estimated population of 340,515 and a density of...

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

813,980 7,104.70 115 6 34 JP-39
 Kumamoto Prefecture 熊本県 Kumamoto
Kumamoto, Kumamoto
is the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Greater Kumamoto has a population of 1,460,000, as of the 2000 census...

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

1,859,451 6,908.45 269 9 45 JP-43
 Kyoto Prefecture 京都府 Kyoto Kansai Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,644,331 4,612.93 573 6 26 JP-26
 Mie Prefecture 三重県 Tsu
Tsu, Mie
is the capital of Mie Prefecture, Japan. The city of Tsu is located on Ise Bay, east of the city. Tsu is bounded to the north by Suzuka and Kameyama; to the west by Iga, Nabari, and Nara Prefecture; and to the south by Matsuzaka city.-History:...

Kansai Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,857,365 5760.72 322 7 29 JP-24
 Miyagi Prefecture 宮城県 Sendai
Sendai, Miyagi
is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, and the largest city in the Tōhoku Region. In 2005, the city had a population of one million, and was one of Japan's 19 designated cities...

Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,365,204 7,285.16 325 10 35 JP-04
 Miyazaki Prefecture 宮崎県 Miyazaki
Miyazaki, Miyazaki
is the capital city of Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū in Japan. Located on the coast and perforated by several rivers, Miyazaki City enjoys scenic views of both ocean and nearby, verdant mountains...

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

1,170,023 6,684.67 175 6 26 JP-45
 Nagano Prefecture 長野県 Nagano
Nagano, Nagano
, the capital city of Nagano Prefecture, is located in the northern part of the prefecture near the confluence of the Chikuma and the Sai rivers, on the main Japanese island of Honshū.As of April 1, 2011 the city has a population of 387,146...

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,214,409 12,598.48 163 14 77 JP-20
 Nagasaki Prefecture 長崎県 Nagasaki Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

1,516,536 4,092.80 371 4 21 JP-42
 Nara Prefecture 奈良県 Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

Kansai Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,442,862 3,691.09 391 7 39 JP-29
 Niigata Prefecture 新潟県 Niigata
Niigata, Niigata
is the capital and the most populous city of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It lies on the northwest coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, and faces the Sea of Japan and Sado Island....

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,475,724 12,582.37 197 9 30 JP-15
Oita Oita Prefecture 大分県 OitaŌita
Oita, Oita
is the capital city of Ōita Prefecture located on the island of Kyushu, Japan.- Demographics and geography :Ōita is the most populous city in Ōita Prefecture...

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

1,221,128 5,804.24 210 3 18 JP-44
 Okayama Prefecture 岡山県 Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

Chūgoku
Chugoku region
The , also known as the , is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi. It has a population of about 7.8 million.- History :...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,950,656 7,008.63 278 10 27 JP-33
 Okinawa Prefecture 沖縄県 Naha
Naha, Okinawa
is the capital city of the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa.Naha is a coastal city located on the East China Sea coast of the southern part of Okinawa Island, the largest of the Ryukyu Islands...

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Ryūkyū Islands
Ryukyu Islands
The , also known as the , is a chain of islands in the western Pacific, on the eastern limit of the East China Sea and to the southwest of the island of Kyushu in Japan. From about 1829 until the mid 20th century, they were alternately called Luchu, Loochoo, or Lewchew, akin to the Mandarin...

1,318,281 2,271.30 580 5 41 JP-47
 Osaka Prefecture 大阪府 Osaka Kansai Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

8,804,806 1,893.18 4,652 5 43 JP-27
 Saga Prefecture 佐賀県 Saga
Saga, Saga
is the capital of Saga Prefecture, located on the island of Kyūshū, Japan.Saga was the capital of Saga Domain in the Edo period, and largest city of former Hizen Province....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

Kyūshū
Kyushu
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

876,664 2,439.23 359 6 20 JP-41
 Saitama Prefecture 埼玉県 Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

6,938,004 3,767.09 1,827 8 63 JP-11
 Shiga Prefecture 滋賀県 Otsu
Otsu, Shiga
is the capital city of Shiga, Japan. The city was founded on October 1, 1898. As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 338,629 with an average age of 40.7 years and a population density of 905.28 persons per km²...

Kansai Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,342,811 4,017.36 334 3 19 JP-25
 Shimane Prefecture 島根県 Matsue
Matsue, Shimane
is the capital city of Shimane Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.As of August, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 207,000, following its most recent merging with Higashi-Izumo...

Chūgoku
Chugoku region
The , also known as the , is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi. It has a population of about 7.8 million.- History :...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

761,499 6,707.32 114 5 19 JP-32
 Shizuoka Prefecture 静岡県 Shizuoka
Shizuoka, Shizuoka
is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 "designated cities" in 2005.-Geography:...

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

3,767,427 7,328.61 484 5 35 JP-22
 Tochigi Prefecture 栃木県 Utsunomiya
Utsunomiya, Tochigi
is the capital and most populous city of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. In October 2010 the city had an estimated population of 510,416 and a population density of 1,224.49 people per square kilometer. The total area is 416.84 km². had a population of 888,005 in the 2000 Census...

Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

2,004,787 6,408.28 313 5 26 JP-09
 Tokushima Prefecture 徳島県 Tokushima
Tokushima, Tokushima
is the capital city of Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku island in Japan.As of May 1, 2011, the city had an estimated population of 263,372, with 114,325 households, and a population density of 1,377.25 persons per km². Its total area is 191.23 km²....

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

823,997 4,145.26 199 8 24 JP-36
 Tokyo 東京都 Shinjuku
Shinjuku, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration center for the government of Tokyo.As of 2008, the ward has an estimated population...

Kantō
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

12,059,237 2,187.08 5,514 1 39 JP-13
 Tottori Prefecture 鳥取県 Tottori
Tottori, Tottori
is the capital city of Tottori Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.As of 2006, the city has an estimated population of 200,974 and a density of 262.48 persons per km². The total area is 765.66 km²....

Chūgoku
Chugoku region
The , also known as the , is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi. It has a population of about 7.8 million.- History :...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

613,229 3,507.19 175 5 19 JP-31
 Toyama Prefecture 富山県 Toyama
Toyama, Toyama
is the capital city of Toyama Prefecture, Japan, located on the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Chūbu region on central Honshū, about 200 km north of the city of Nagoya and 300 km northwest of Tokyo....

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,120,843 4,247.22 264 2 15 JP-16
 Wakayama Prefecture 和歌山県 Wakayama
Wakayama, Wakayama
is the capital city of Wakayama Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan.-Background:Wakayama occupies 4% of the land area and has 40% of Wakayama prefecture's population. The city was founded on April 1, 1889....

Kansai Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,069,839 4,725.55 226 6 30 JP-30
 Yamagata Prefecture 山形県 Yamagata
Yamagata, Yamagata
is the capital city of Yamagata Prefecture in Japan.As of July 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 253,951 with 97,457 households and a population density of 665.94 persons per km². The total area is 381.34 km². The city was founded on April 1, 1889.-Culture:The , one of Tōhoku's...

Tōhoku
Tohoku region
The is a geographical area of Japan. The region occupies the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region consists of six prefectures : Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata....

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,244,040 9,323.34 133 8 35 JP-06
 Yamaguchi Prefecture 山口県 Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi
is the capital city of Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan.As of February 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 198,971 and a population density of 194.44 persons per km²...

Chūgoku
Chugoku region
The , also known as the , is the westernmost region of Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It consists of the prefectures of Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi. It has a population of about 7.8 million.- History :...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

1,528,107 6,110.76 250 4 19 JP-35
 Yamanashi Prefecture 山梨県 Kofu
Kofu, Yamanashi
is the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan.As of May 1, 2011, the city had a estimate population of 197,540, with 85,794 households. The total area is 212.41 km².-History:Kōfu's name means "capital of Kai Province"...

Chūbu
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

Honshū
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

888,170 4,465.37 199 5 27 JP-19


See also

  • List of Japanese prefectures by population
  • List of Japanese prefectures ranked by area
  • List of prefectural capitals in Japan
  • List of regions in Japan
  • ISO 3166-2 codes for Japan
  • Kokura Prefecture
    Kokura Prefecture
    The short-lived Kokura Prefecture of Japan was founded separately from Fukuoka prefecture in December 1871 after the clan system was abolished earlier that year...

    —created from three prefectures in December 1871 and absorbed into Fukuoka prefecture in 1876
  • Government of Japan
    Government of Japan
    The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy where the power of the Emperor is very limited. As a ceremonial figurehead, he is defined by the 1947 constitution as "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people". Power is held chiefly by the Prime Minister of Japan and other elected...

  • List of governors of Japan

External links

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