Prefectures Maps of Japan

Japan is a unitary nation. The primary government delegates multiple functions (such as education, health care, transport system, police force) to the prefectures and municipalities but maintains the overall right to control them. 

Japan is split into 47 prefectures, making the nation’s first level of administrative and jurisdiction division. They include 43 usual prefectures, two urban prefectures (Osaka and Kyoto), one “territory” (Hokkaido), and one “metropolis” (Tokyo). The first prefectures were formed in 1868 to substitute the urban and rural administrators in the country’s parts before managed directly by the shogunate. In many waves of territorial consolidation, currents 47 prefectures were created by the turn of the century. 

Japan Prefectures Map
Reddit user: Citizen_JHS

The map below shows Japanese prefecture names translated to English.

Map shows Japanese prefecture names translated to English
Reddit user: sjiveru

Every prefecture’s chief administrator is a directly-elected governor. Laws and budgets are established by a unicameral assembly whose members are chosen for four-year terms.

Quick facts about Japan’s prefectures

Largest prefecture – Hokkaido
Smallest prefecture – Kagawa
Prefecture with the highest population density – Tokyo
Prefecture with the smallest population – Tottori
Poorest prefecture – Okinawa
Prefecture with the most islands – Nagasaki
Prefectures with both Pacific and Japan Sea coasts – Aomori, Hokkaido, Hyogo, and Yamaguchi
Prefecture with the most cows – Hokkaido
Prefecture with the most extensive rice yield – Niigata
Prefecture with the most dogs – Aichi

List of Japanese prefectures
PrefectureTranslatedCapitalRegionIslandPopulation1Area (km2)Density (/km2)
AichiLoving KnowledgeNagoyaChūbuHonshū7,483,1285,172.481,446.72
AkitaAutumn FieldAkitaTōhokuHonshū1,023,11911,637.5487.92
AomoriBlue ForestAomoriTōhokuHonshū1,308,2659,645.59135.63
ChibaThousand LeavesChibaKantōHonshū6,222,6665,157.651,206.49
EhimeBeloved PrincessMatsuyamaShikokuShikoku1,385,2625,676.11244.05
FukuiProsperity WellFukuiChūbuHonshū786,7404,190.49187.74
FukuokaProsperity HillFukuokaKyūshūKyūshū5,101,5564,986.401,023.09
FukushimaProsperity IslandFukushimaTōhokuHonshū1,914,03913,783.74138.86
GifuQifuGifuChūbuHonshū2,031,90310,621.29191.3
GummaHerd HorseMaebashiKantōHonshū1,973,1156,362.28310.13
HiroshimaWide IslandHiroshimaChūgokuHonshū2,843,9908,479.45335.4
HokkaidoNorth Sea Circuit SapporoHokkaidōHokkaidō5,381,73383,424.3164.51
HyogoSoldier WarehouseKobeKansaiHonshū5,534,8008,400.96658.83
IbarakiThorn CastleMitoKantōHonshū2,916,9766,097.06478.42
IshikawaStone RiverKanazawaChūbuHonshū1,154,0084,186.09275.68
IwateBoulder HandMoriokaTōhokuHonshū1,279,59415,275.0183.77
KagawaFragrant RiverTakamatsuShikokuShikoku976,2631,876.72520.2
KagoshimaDeer Child IslandKagoshimaKyūshūKyūshū1,648,1779,186.94179.4
KanagawaRiver of spiritYokohamaKantōHonshū9,126,2142,415.833,777.67
KochiHigh KnowledgeKōchiShikokuShikoku728,2767,103.93102.52
KumamotoBear SourceKumamotoKyūshūKyūshū1,786,1707,409.35241.07
KyotoCapital CItyKyotoKansaiHonshū2,610,3534,612.19565.97
MieThree LayersTsuKansaiHonshū1,815,8655,774.40314.47
MiyagiShrine CastleSendaiTōhokuHonshū2,333,8997,282.22320.49
MiyazakiShrine PointMiyazakiKyūshūKyūshū1,104,0697,735.31142.73
NaganoLong PlainNaganoChūbuHonshū2,098,80413,561.56154.76
NagasakiLong PointNagasakiKyūshūKyūshū1,377,1874,132.09333.29
NaraThe FlatNaraKansaiHonshū1,364,3163,690.94369.64
NiigataNew LagoonNiigataChūbuHonshū2,304,26412,584.10183.11
OitaGreat PartOitaKyūshūKyūshū1,166,3386,340.71183.94
OkayamaHill MountainOkayamaChūgokuHonshū1,921,5257,114.50270.09
OkinawaDeepwater NetNahaKyūshūRyūkyū1,433,5662,281.12628.45
OsakaGreat HillOsakaKansaiHonshū8,839,4691,905.144,639.80
SagaReverseSagaKyūshūKyūshū832,8322,440.68341.23
SaitamaCape BallSaitamaKantōHonshū7,266,5343,797.751,913.38
ShigaRocky PlaceŌtsuKansaiHonshū1,412,9164,017.38351.7
ShimaneIsland RootMatsueChūgokuHonshū694,3526,708.24103.51
ShizuokaQuiet HillShizuokaChūbuHonshū3,700,3057,777.42475.78
TochigiChestnut TreeUtsunomiyaKantōHonshū1,974,2556,408.09308.09
TokushimaVirtue IslandTokushimaShikokuShikoku755,7334,146.65182.25
TokyoEastern CapitalTokyoKantōHonshū13,515,2712,190.936,168.74
TottoriBird CatchingTottoriChūgokuHonshū573,4413,507.05163.51
ToyamaWealth MountainToyamaChūbuHonshū1,066,3284,247.61251.04
WakayamaMoutain of Japanese PoetryWakayamaKansaiHonshū963,5794,724.69203.95
YamagataMountain ShapeYamagataTōhokuHonshū1,123,8919,323.15120.55
YamaguchiMountain EntranceYamaguchiChūgokuHonshū1,404,7296,112.30229.82
YamanashiMountain PearKōfuChūbuHonshū834,9304,465.27186.98

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