Prefectures and other Regions of Japan


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Aomori is both the northernmost prefecture and prefectural capital on Honshu, Japan’s main island. Formerly the main transport hub for accessing Hokkaido, the opening of the Seikan Undersea Railway Tunnel and the rise of cheap domestic flights means that most travellers now bypass the city altogether. Today the city of Aomori is best known for…

Type: Regions  |  Category: Northern Honshu  |  Tags: , ,


Chiba is the prefecture to the east of Tokyo. It’s most visited by tourists to Japan as the location of Narita Airport.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Kanto  |  Tags: , ,


Gunma is a landlocked prefecture in the Kanto Region, famous for its many popular hot springs and scenic beauty. Among Gunma’s best known hot spring resorts are Kusatsu Onsen and Ikaho Onsen.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Kanto  |  Tags: , ,


The northernmost of Japan’s main islands, Hokkaido is still thought of as frontier country. Much like the Wild West, Hokkaido conjures up images of cowboys, wilderness, and far horizons, but bills itself as the Far North, with deep winter snows and arctic references in Sapporo’s shopping districts. This unique culture is also defined by the…

Type: Regions  |  Category: Hokkaido  |  Tags: , , , , , , ,


Located in the Kansai Region, stretching from the Seto Inland Sea to the Sea of Japan and nestled between Osaka and Okayama, Hyogo’s largest city and prefectural capital is Kobe, its most famous tourist attraction is Himeji Castle, and its best known hot spring resorts are Arima and Kinosaki.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Kansai  | 


Ishikawa is a prefecture in the Hokuriku area of central Japan, located on the Japan Sea coast. The prefecture’s capital and most famous city is Kanazawa, known for its stunning Kenrokuen Gardens. The northern part of the prefecture is the Noto Peninsula, a very scenic area of rugged coastlines and a lovely place to explore…

Type: Regions  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: , , , ,


Kanagawa Prefecture is found just south of Tokyo. Its prefectural capital is Yokohama and the prefecture is also home to Kamakura and Hakone, two very popular destinations near Tokyo.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Kanto  |  Tags: , , , ,


Mie Prefecture is in the Tokai region in central Japan. It is the home of the most sacred shrines in Japan at Ise. Other places of interest in Mie include Nagashima Spaland, the Mikimoto Pearl Island, Toba Aquarium, the Meoto Iwa ‘married rocks’ (shown above) and Amanemu Resort.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Kansai  |  Tags: , ,


A prefecture in eastern Kyushu, Oita is home to Beppu and Yufuin, two of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. Usuki is a former castle town located on the east coast of Oita. It is famous for its numerous stone Buddhas which are sculpted into the walls of cliffs and designated as national treasures.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Kyushu  |  Tags: , ,


Strung out to the south of Japan, the island chain of Okinawa reaches nearly as far as the Tropic of Cancer: pristinely white-sanded in the blue waters of the East China Sea. Originally an autonomous kingdom, the islands were once known as the Ryukyu Islands, and have a culture, climate and cuisine that are simultaneously…

Type: Regions  |  Category: Okinawa  |  Tags: , , , , , , ,


Part of the Kansai Region, Shiga Prefecture is located to the east of Kyoto. The prefecture contains Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake. Another attraction is Hikone with its feudal castle.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Kansai  |  Tags: , ,


Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. It consists of 4 prefectures; Kagawa, Kochi, Tokushima and Ehime and is known for its beautiful nature and for its food, especially the much loved sanuki udon!

Type: Regions  |  Category: Shikoku  |  Tags: , ,


Shimane is a prefecture in western Japan, found along the Sea of Japan coast in the Chugoku Region. The prefectural capital is Matsue. Highlights for visitors include Matsue and its castle; Izumo Taisha, Japan’s oldest shrine; Iwami Ginzan, a historic silver mine; and the Adachi Art Museum with its wonderful garden.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Western Honshu  |  Tags: ,


Tokushima Prefecture is situated on the eastern side of Shikoku and the prefectural capital is Tokushima City. Its is connected to mainland Japan by the Akashi-Kaikyo and Naruto Bridges, and can be reached from Osaka in two and a half hours. The prefecture is best known for the Awa Odori, a dance festival held in…

Type: Regions  |  Category: Shikoku  |  Tags: , , ,


Yamanashi is a landlocked prefecture west of Tokyo in the Chubu Region. The northern half of Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes region are located in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Type: Regions  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: , ,