Prefectures of Japan

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 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

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


List of  47 Prefectures of Japan

#PrefectureJapaneseCapitalRegionIsland
1Aichi愛知県NagoyaChūbuHonshū
2Akita秋田県AkitaTōhokuHonshū
3Aomori青森県AomoriTōhokuHonshū
4Chiba千葉県ChibaKantōHonshū
5Ehime愛媛県MatsuyamaShikokuShikoku
6Fukui福井県FukuiChūbuHonshū
7Fukuoka福岡県FukuokaKyūshūKyūshū
8Fukushima福島県FukushimaTōhokuHonshū
9Gifu岐阜県GifuChūbuHonshū
10Gunma群馬県MaebashiKantōHonshū
11Hiroshima広島県HiroshimaChūgokuHonshū
12Hokkaidō北海道SapporoHokkaidōHokkaidō
13Hyōgo兵庫県KobeKansaiHonshū
14Ibaraki茨城県MitoKantōHonshū
15Ishikawa石川県KanazawaChūbuHonshū
16Iwate岩手県MoriokaTōhokuHonshū
17Kagawa香川県TakamatsuShikokuShikoku
18Kagoshima鹿児島県KagoshimaKyūshūKyūshū
19Kanagawa神奈川県YokohamaKantōHonshū
20Kōchi高知県KōchiShikokuShikoku
21Kumamoto熊本県KumamotoKyūshūKyūshū
22Kyoto京都府KyotoKansaiHonshū
23Mie三重県TsuKansaiHonshū
24Miyagi宮城県SendaiTōhokuHonshū
25Miyazaki宮崎県MiyazakiKyūshūKyūshū
26Nagano長野県NaganoChūbuHonshū
27Nagasaki長崎県NagasakiKyūshūKyūshū
28Nara奈良県NaraKansaiHonshū
29Niigata新潟県NiigataChūbuHonshū
30Ōita大分県ŌitaKyūshūKyūshū
31Okayama岡山県OkayamaChūgokuHonshū
32Okinawa沖縄県NahaKyūshūRyūkyū Islands
33Osaka大阪府OsakaKansaiHonshū
34Saga佐賀県SagaKyūshūKyūshū
35Saitama埼玉県SaitamaKantōHonshū
36Shiga滋賀県OtsuKansaiHonshū
37Shimane島根県MatsueChūgokuHonshū
38Shizuoka静岡県ShizuokaChūbuHonshū
39Tochigi栃木県UtsunomiyaKantōHonshū
40Tokushima徳島県TokushimaShikokuShikoku
41Tokyo東京都ShinjukuKantōHonshū
42Tottori鳥取県TottoriChūgokuHonshū
43Toyama富山県ToyamaChūbuHonshū
44Wakayama和歌山県WakayamaKansaiHonshū
45Yamagata山形県YamagataTōhokuHonshū
46Yamaguchi山口県YamaguchiChūgokuHonshū
47Yamanashi山梨県KofuChūbuHonshū

Travel guide: Are you planning to visit Japan? Then, discover the 10 Must-Visit Prefectures in Japan (by Tripzilla) and the list of 40 basic verbs in Japanese.

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