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Regions & Prefectures

regionsJapan is divided into 9 regions, which are split into 47 smaller prefectures. 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 region is traditional. They are numbered based on their location from north to south.

The following pages contain a presentation for each prefecture providing a general overview about their economy (local industries specialisation, opportunities, available incentives and support for EU companies...), advancement of local research and science, local culture, geography, landscape and environment. 

The NHK made some videos presenting the 47 Prefectures of Japan they are available here (click on the "more" icon at the bottom of the page, just under the small map of Japan).

 

Regions

Hokkaido

The main advantage of this region is its natural environment, allowing the area to have the highest levels of production in agriculture and fisheries.

Tohoku

Tohoku region is specialized in the electrical machinery and food industry sectors. Among Tohoku’s trading partners, Asia and North America are in top positions.

Kanto

Kanto region functions as Japan’s greatest launch-pad for new businesses and industries, and with Tokyo located in it, the region can be considered Japan's engine.

Chubu

Chubu region accounts for 20% of the nationwide share in shipments of manufactured goods and is a catalyst driving the Japanese economy with its manufacturing base.

Kansai

The Kansai region in Japan is located in the heart of Japan. Including the three major cities of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, the Kansai region has the nation’s second-largest economy, with a population of over 20 million.

Chugoku

The Chugoku Region includes research and development businesses in the fields of electronics, biotechnology, and new materials, and is leading the world with its advanced technical power.

Shikoku

Agriculture industries are well developed in the region and provide a gross domestic product that is higher than the average when compared to other areas of Japan.

Kyushu & Okinawa  

Thanks to their location, both Kyushu and Okinawa are strategic regions for Japan to connect with nearby Korea, China and the whole East Asia region in general.

 

Expert Reports

 

Picture: Map of 1600's Feudal Japan
Picture copyrights: public domain

Aichi Prefecture

Main City: Nagoya

Population: 7,484,000 people, ranking 4/47 prefectures (2015) [1]

Area: 5,153 km2 [2]

Akita Prefecture

Main City: Akita

Population: 966,000 people ranking 38/47 (2019)

Area:  11,638 km2

Aomori Prefecture

Main City: Aomori

Population: 1,221,000 people, ranking 31/47 prefectures (2021)

Area: 9,645 km2

Geographical / Landscape description

Chiba Prefecture

Main City: Chiba

Population: 6,224,000 people, ranking 6/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 5,156.15 km² [2]

Geographical / Landscape description

Chubu

Although the Chubu area only comprises about 10% of the national area in geographical terms, it accounts for 20% of the nationwide share in shipments of manufactured goods and is a catalyst driving Japanese economy with its manufacturing base.

Chugoku

The Chugoku Region is located in the western part of Japan. It borders the regions of Kyushu, Shikoku and Kansai, making it a transportation hub for all of western Japan.

Ehime Prefecture

Main City: Matsuyama

Population: 1,386,000 people, ranking 28/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 5,676 km2 [2]

Fukui Prefecture

Main City: Fukui

Population: 787,000 people ranking 43/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 4,188 km2 [2]

Fukuoka Prefecture

Main City: Fukuoka

Population: 5,103,000 people, ranking 9/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 4,846 km2 [2]

Fukushima Prefecture

Main City: Fukushima

Population: 1,846,000 people, ranking 21/47 prefecture (2019)

Area: 13,784 km

Gifu Prefecture

Main City: Gifu

Population:  2,033,000 people ranking 17/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 10,621 km2 [2]

Gunma Prefecture

Main City: Maebashi

Population: 1,973,000 people ranking 19/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 6,363 km2 [2]

Hiroshima Prefecture

Main City: Hiroshima

Population: 2,845,000 people, ranking 12/47 prefectures (2015) [1]

Area: 8,476 km2 [2]

Hokkaido

Hokkaido is unique in that it is considered both as a region and as a prefecture due to its size and localisation.

Hokkaido Prefecture

Overview

Main City: Sapporo                                                      

Hyogo Prefecture

Main City: Kobe

Population:  5,537,000 people, ranking 7/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 8,396 km2 [2]

Ibaraki Prefecture

Main City: Mito

Population: 2,918,000 people, ranking 11/47 prefectures (2015) [1]

Area: 6,095.58 km² [2]

Ishikawa Prefecture

Main City: Kanazawa

Population: 1,154,000 people, ranking 34/47 prefectures (2015) [1]

Area: 4,185 km2

Iwate Prefecture

Main City: Morioka

Population: 1,196,000 people, ranking 32/47 prefecture (2021)

Area: 15,275 km2

Kagawa Prefecture

Main City: Takamatsu

Population: 977,000 people, ranking 39/47 prefecture (2015) [1]

Area: 1,876 km2 [2]