Prefectures of Japan


Prefectures of Japan is something unique to the Island of Japan. Let’s begin with a simple question of what is a prefecture? The prefecture is Japan’s jurisdiction and there are 47 prefectures or jurisdictions.  

In Japanese, the prefectures of Japan are commonly referred toas todōfuken. The prefectures are governmental bodies larger than cities, towns, and villages.

The elected governor is the chief executive of each prefecture. Each prefecture is subdivided into cities (市 shi) and districts (郡 gun), then the district is further subdivided into towns (町 chō or machi) and villages (村 son or mura).

Prefecture Background

The current system of Prefecture came into existence after the abolition of the Han system in July 1871. The Meiji government reduced the Han system’s 300 prefectures to 72 in the latter part of 1871, and 47 in 1888. 

Though the Japanese language classes remains the official language of Japan, a number of indigenous languages are still spoken in each prefecture. 

From the map below, try to find out out what prefecture is Tokyo in or what prefecture is Osaka in?

Map – 47 Prefectures of Japan


  1. Hokkaido
  2. Tohoku
  3. Kanto
  4. Kansai
  5. Shikoku
  6. Kyushu
  7. Chugoku
  8. Chubu
Map of Prefectures of Japan

Tokyo is in Tokyo prefecture (however Tokyo Megalopolis Region consists of Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. Osaka is in Osaka prefecture.

Check out Common Phrases in the Japanese Language.

List of  47 Prefectures of Japan

Travel guide: Are you planning to visit Japan? Then, discover the 10 Must-Visit Prefectures in Japan (by Tripzilla).

Frequently Asked Questions

Most institutes offer courses starting from beginner level (A1) to advanced levels (C1/C2). If you’re a complete beginner, you can start with A1 level classes.

Tab Item C

The duration varies depending on the institute and the intensity of the course. Generally, A1 level can be completed in about 2-3 months with regular classes.


Prefectures of Japan
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