Map of the regions of Japan. From northeast to southwest: Hokkaidō (red), Tōhoku (yellow), Kantō (green), Chūbu (cyan), Kansai (violet), Chūgoku (orange), Shikoku (purple), and Kyūshū & Okinawa (grey).
Map of the regions of Japan. From northeast to southwest: Hokkaidō (red), Tōhoku (yellow), Kantō (green), Chūbu (cyan), Kansai (violet), Chūgoku (orange), Shikoku (purple), and Kyūshū & Okinawa (grey).

Japan is divided into eight regions. They are not official administrative units, though they have been used by government officials for statistical and other purposes since 1905. They are widely used in, for example, maps, geography textbooks, and weather reports, and many businesses and institutions use their home regions in their names, for example Kinki Nippon Railway, Chūgoku Bank, and Tōhoku University.

Each region contains one or more of the country's 47 prefectures. Of the four main islands of Japan, Hokkaidō, Shikoku, and Kyūshū make up one region each, the latter also containing the Satsunan Islands, while the largest island Honshū is divided into five regions. Okinawa Prefecture is usually included in Kyūshū, but is sometimes treated as its own ninth region.[1][2][3]

Japan has eight High Courts, but their jurisdictions do not correspond to the eight regions (see Judicial system of Japan for details).

Table

Region Population Area in km2[4] Prefectures contained
Hokkaidō 5.4 million[5] 83,000 Hokkaidō
Tōhoku 8.9 million[6] 67,000 Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata
Kantō 43.3 million[7] 32,000 Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi, Tōkyō
Chūbu 21.4 million[8] 67,000 Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano,
Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi
Kansai (also known as Kinki) 22.5 million[9] 33,000 Hyōgo, Kyōto, Mie, Nara, Ōsaka, Shiga, Wakayama
Chūgoku 7.3 million[10] 32,000 Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, Yamaguchi
Shikoku 3.8 million[11] 19,000 Ehime, Kagawa, Kōchi, Tokushima
Kyūshū & Okinawa 14.3 million[12] 44,000 Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto,
Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Ōita, Okinawa, Saga

Regions and islands

This is a list of Japan's major islands, traditional regions, and subregions, going from northeast to southwest.[13][14] The eight traditional regions are marked in bold.

Other regional divisions

In many contexts in Japan (government, media markets, sports, regional business or trade union confederations), regions are used that deviate from the above-mentioned common geographical 8-region division that is sometimes referred to as "the" regions of Japan in the English Wikipedia and some other English-language publications. Examples of regional divisions of Japan as used by various institutions are:

National Police Agency regional supervisory offices[15]
Region Prefectures
Hokkaidō (separate liaison office with the National Police Agency)
Tōhoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Tokyo (separate liaison office with the National Police Agency)
Kantō Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, Shizuoka
Chūbu Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Gifu, Aichi, Mie
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Kyūshū Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa
NHK broadcasting regions[16]
Region Prefectures
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō
Tōhoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Kantō-Kōshin'etsu Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi
Tōkai-Hokuriku Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Shizuoka, Gifu, Aichi, Mie
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Kyūshū Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa
MLIT regional development offices[17]
Region Prefectures (Nagano is split)
Hokkaidō (originally had a separate, cabinet-level development agency, now a separate MLIT department)
Tōhoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Kantō Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano (northern part)
Hokuriku Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa
Chūbu Nagano (southern part), Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama, Fukui
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Kyūshū Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima
Okinawa (originally had a separate, cabinet-level development agency, now a department in the Cabinet Office)
JMA weather forecast regions[18]
Region Prefectures
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō
Tōhoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Kantō-Kōshin Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano
Hokuriku Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui
Tōkai Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Northern Kyūshū Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita
Southern Kyūshū-Amami Miyazaki, Kagoshima
Okinawa Okinawa
Regional proportional representation constituencies for the lower house of the Japanese parliament
Regional proportional representation constituencies for the lower house of the Japanese parliament
Proportional constituencies ("blocks") for elections to the House of Representatives
Constituency Prefectures
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō
Tōhoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Northern Kantō Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama
Tokyo Tokyo
Southern Kantō Chiba, Kanagawa, Yamanashi
Hokuriku-Shin'etsu Niigata, Nagano, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui
Tōkai Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Kyūshū Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa
High Court jurisdictions
High court Prefectures
Sapporo Hokkaidō
Sendai Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Tokyo Tokyo, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka
Nagoya Aichi, Mie, Gifu, Ishikawa, Fukui, Toyama
Osaka Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Hiroshima Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Takamatsu Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Fukuoka Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa
Regional qualifiers for the "spring Kōshien"
(Japanese High School Baseball Invitational Tournament)
Region Prefectures
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō
Tōhoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Kantō Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Yamanashi
Tokyo Tokyo
Tōkai Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie
Hoku-Shin'etsu Niigata, Nagano, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Kyūshū Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa
Football regions of Japan
Football regions of Japan
Regional football/soccer leagues
Region Prefectures
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō
Tōhoku North: Aomori, Iwate, Akita
South: Miyagi, Yamagata, Fukushima
Kantō Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi
Tōkai Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie
Hoku-Shin'etsu Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Nagano
Kansai Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Kyūshū Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa
Regions used in the Bank of Japan regional economical report ("Sakura report")[19]
Region Prefectures
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō
Tōhoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima
Hokuriku Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui
Kantō-Kōshin'etsu Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano
Tōkai Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Nara, Wakayama
Chūgoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, Kōchi
Kyūshū-Okinawa Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Ōita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Okinawa

See also

References

Media related to Regions of Japan at Wikimedia Commons