JAPAN CITY BY PREFECTURE

Japan City: sorted by prefecture with brief description of each city and with links to detailed information on most Japan City.


Aichi Prefecture

Inuyama

Inuyama is a city famous for its castle, Inuyama Castle, which is one of the best preserved castles in Japan. Inuyama attractions include cormorant fishing on the Kiso River, Urakuen Japanese Garden with its JOAN tea house, which is considered to be one of the top three in Japan, Meiji Mura open air museum and Nihon Monkey Park. Inuyama also features other historical attractions from the time when it was a major administrative center and seat of power. Inuyama is around 23km to the north west of Nagoya.

Nagoya

Nagoya is in Aichi Prefecture, in the Chubu region of Honshu, the main island in Japan. The hub of the Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya is Japan's fourth-largest city. The focal points of this sprawling agglomeration are Nagoya station to the north, Sakae to the east and Kanayama to the south). Nagoya is close to the Ise Shrine, said to be the most venerable Shinto Shrine in Japan.

Akita Prefecture

Akita is the capital city of Akita Prefecture in the Tohoku the northeastern region of Honshu island. Akita is famous for its Onsen (hot springs) in and around Akita, plus its close proximity to the ski fields.

Aomori Prefecture

Aomori lies at the north end of Honshu. Aomori is the capital of Aomori Prefecture and the site of one side of the Seikan Tunnel which connects the island of Honshu to the island of Hokkaido. The major attractions of Aomori include museums and the Hakkoda Mountains, which are a good locations for trekking with hot spas.

Hachinohe is on the coastal area facing the Pacific Ocean in Aomori Prefecture Tohoku Region at the northern end of Honshu Island. The main attractions in Hachinohe are Kabushima Shrine including its forty thousand Black tailed Gulls, Enburi Festival (February 17 -20) and the ruins of Hachinohe Castle and Ne Castle.

Hirosaki is in Aomori Prefecture Tohoku Region at the northern end of Honshu Island. The main attractions in Hirosaki are Hirosaki Castle and its surrounding park where 2,600 cherry blossom blossom in Golden Week (April). The Hirosaki Neputa Festival is held in the first week of August.

Chiba Prefecture

Chiba

Chiba city, to the east of central Tokyo, is the capital of Chiba Prefecture, but forms part of greater urban area of Tokyo. Chiba city is next to Tokyo Bay and close to Narita Airport. Chiba city attractions include Chiba Port Tower which includes an observation deck at 120m, the modern reconstruction of Chiba Castle, Chiba Urban Monorail which is the world's longest suspended monorail and Makuhari Messe, the site of the Tokyo Motor Show.

Narita

Narita is 70km from central Tokyo and is the location of the main international airport, Narita Airport.

Ehime Prefecture

Matsuyama is the capital city of Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Matsuyama is famous for Onsen (hot springs).

Fukui Prefecture

Fukui is the capital city of Fukui Prefecture, which is in Chubu Region. Fukui City is on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Fukui is famous for the Ichijodani Asakura Family Gardens, Fukui Castle, Kitanosho Castle and cherry blossom along Asuwa River.

Fukuoka Prefecture

Dazaifu

Dazaifu is a city close to Fukuoka with many attractions including Fukuoka National Museum, beautiful gardens and shrines. Dazaifu is the former capital of Kyushu.

Fukuoka

Fukuoka, also known by its traditional name Hakata, is the largest city on the island of Kyushu and the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture. Fukuoka is a modern city with mainly new buildings, which is famous for its festivals and its food including ramen. Fukuoka attractions include Canal City Hakata, Fukuoka Tower, Kyushu National Museum, Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Komyozenji Temple and Sumiyoshi Shrine.

Hakata

Hakata is a major part of central Fukuoka. Japanese often refer to Fukuoka as Hakata. Hakata has several key features including Hakata Station (the main railway station and Shinkansen terminal) and Canal City Hakata.

Kanda is a coastal town in Fukuoka Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Kanda is very close to large city Kitakyushu and is effectively a suburb of Kitakyushu.

Kitakyushu is a large city in Fukuoka Prefecture on the coastline of the southern island of Kyushu right near the main island of Honshu. Kitakyushu is famous for the Kokura Castle.

Kurume is a city known for being the birth place of the Bridgestone Tire Corporation, who originally developed rubber covered tabi footware for the farmer to protect their feet from parasitic worms. Kurume is also famous for its traditional Japanese products including trays and bowls made from rantai shikki (lacquered bamboo) and kasuri, a rough cloth which as been dyed indigo. Kurume is in Fukuoka Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.

Fukushima Prefecture

Aizu Wakamatsu is a city in the western part of Fukushima Prefecture. During the Boshin War, the then town of Aizu Wakamatsu with its Aizu Wakamatsu Castle were besieged by Imperial forces, and although they surrended the people were badly treated afterwards. Aizu Wakamatsu attractions include the reconstructed Aizu Wakamatsu Castle, Tsuruga Castle Park, which is most famous for its cherry blossom and is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots, and Aizu Matsudaira's Royal Garden.

Fukushima City is the capital of Fukushima Prefecture and is 63km north west of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and around 250km north of Tokyo.

Gifu Prefecture

Gifu

Gifu is the capital city of Gifu Prefecture in the Chubu region of central Japan. Gifu is close to Nagoya. Gifu is famous for Gifu Castle, Gifu Park, Mt. Kinka Cable Car and many museums in the city.

Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go is a small village, in Gifu Prefecture and surrounded by mountains. This isolated location lead to survival of a whole village featuring traditional Japanese houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs, which are the only examples which are in situ and have mantained continuous occupation. Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama" listing.

Takayama

Takayama is a city near the northern Japan Alps of Gifu prefecture, in the Chubu region of Japan. Takayama is also known as Hida-Takayama. Takayama is a historical village that has lay forgotten in the Japanese Alps for centuries. Takayama features the Hida Folk Village, Takayama Jinya (former administrative complex), temples and streets lined with old wooden houses.

Gunma Prefecture

Kusatsu is a town on a 1200m high plateau in Gunma Prefecture, but close to the border with Nagano Prefecture. Kusatsu is famous for its traditional style Onsen (hot springs).

Maebashi is the capital of Gunma Prefecture and is at the base of Mt Akagi on the north eastern corner of the Kanto Plain. Maebashi is only one hour from Tokyo by train. Maebashi attractions include the Akagi Nanmen Senbon-Zakura which is a two kilometer long line of cherry blossom trees, which is a spectacular site in spring. Maebashi is surrounded by many pick your own apple, strawberry and blueberry farms. Maebashi is also famous for its pork dishes.

Minakami is a popular hot springs resort and ski resort area. The Minakami Onsen section of the town features nine onsen resorts which are located along the river. There are more than ten ski resorts around Minakami, which features a ski season running from December to the end of February. Minakami is surrounded by large areas of natural beauty, so there are many other outdoor activities which are available in the area including white water rafting on the Tone River or trekking into the base of Ichinokurasawa-deai to see the great expanse of Autumn leaves below the rugged rock face.

Hiroshima Prefecture

Fukuyama is a city to the east of Hiroshima city on the Ashida River in Hiroshima Prefecture. Fukuyama attractions include Fukuyama Castle, Myooin Temple, Taichoro Temple Hall, Kusado Sengen (historic city which has been excavated) and the nearby town of Tomonoura which is a fishing port featuring many interesting temples and shrines.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima, in in the western of Japan in Chugoku region. Hiroshima is of course famous for the atomic bombing and there are many memorials relating to this in and around Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park including the World Heritage Site of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Hiroshima has other attractions including Hiroshima Castle and Skukkeien Garden. From Hiroshima a day trip or a very brief half day trip can be taken to the World Heritage Itsukushima Shrine with its famous Miyajima Torii, on the island of Miyajima.

Miyajima - Town

Miyajima is the name of a town on the island of Itsukushima, which commonly referred to as Miyajima, which is famous for the World Heritage Site of Itsukushima Shrine. Itsukushima Shrine and its famous Miyajima Torii form one the Three Views of Japan. Miyajima also features many other temples, shrines, rare forest, wild deer and monkeys. Miyajima is in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Hokkaido Prefecture

Abashiri on the northern coastline of Hokkaido. Abashiri attractions include the Old Abashiri Prison which was used to hold political prisoners in the Meiji Period.

Akanko Onsen is an onsen resort town on the edge of Lake Akanko on the northern island Hokkaido. Akanko Onsen attractions are views of the lake and of course the onsen.

Asahikawa is the second largest city in the northern island Hokkaido. Asahikawa is also officially the coldest city in Japan. Asahikawa has many nearby ski resorts, has a famous winter festival and features a wide varity of restaurants.

Esashi is a town in the Hiyama District of Hokkaido, which is on the western coastline in the south of the island. Esashi is one of the oldest towns in Hokkaido, and derives its name from the word konbu, which is Ainu for a type of edible kelp. Esashi is famous as the birthplace of Esashi Oiwake, a form of traditional folk music.

Furano is a popular ski destination in the centre of the northern island of Hokkaido. Furano is famous for its large quantities of dry powder snow which is popular with skiers and snowboarders alike. Furano is also famous for its beautiful fields of lavender, vineyards, and its unique Hokkai-Heso Matsuri - the Hokkaido Belly Button Festival.

Hakodate is a city and port in Oshima, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the capital city of Oshima Subprefecture. Hakodate is dominated by Hakodateyama (Mount Hakodate), a totally forested mountain, and the sea. Hakodate is also famous for its European-style Goryokaku fort, which was built in the shape of a five-pointed star in 1866.

Kamikawa is a town near the Daisetsuzan National Park on the northern island of Hokkaido. Kamikawa is only 30 minutes by car from the associated Sounkyo Onsen village with its famous hot springs and waterfalls. Sounkyo Onsen attracts 3 million visitors a year and is famous for its winter Sounkyo Hyobaku Festival with its illuminated ice sculptures.

Kawakami is near Lake Kussharo in the northern island of Hokkaido. Kawakami attractions include the many hot springs and Onsen in the area.

Kitami is a city in the northern part of the northern island of Hokkaido. Kitami attractions include Onneyu Azalea Hill where 28,000 purple azaleas bloom in May and the Wakka Wild Flower Park where 300 different kinds of wild flowers bloom between May and September. Kitami also has five golf courses and many more gold parks. In winter you can enjoy skiing in the ski fields surrounding Kitami.

Kushiro is a port city on the eastern coast of the island of Hokkaido, which has the distinction of being one of the few reliably ice free ports during winter. Kushiro, also known as The Town of Mist, features Kushiro Marsh, a national park and Japan's largest marshland and Kushiro Tancho Nature Park, which was the first to breed tancho cranes (Japanese cranes).

Muroran is a port city on the south eastern coastline of the northern island of Hokkaido. Muroran is the capital city of the Iburi Subprefecture. Muroran attractions include the eight scenic sites, Muroran-Hakkei, with the Chikyu Misaki (Earth Cape), which features the light house, being the most popular. The other main Muroran attraction is the Hakucho Bridge, which features a main span of 720m.

Niseko is a popular ski resort town on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. Niseko has excellent deep powder snow and a long ski season. Niseko is widely regarded as the best ski resort in Japan for three main reasons: weather, size and infrastructure.

Noboribetsu is on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. Noboribetsu actually comprises the nearby towns of Noboribetsu, Horobetsu and Washibetsu. The main attraction is the hot spring village of Noboribetsu Onsen, 6 km inland from Noboribetsu itself. The vast majority of tourists are drawn to the 11 types of water found in the local hot springs, which contains sulfur and iron.

Obihiro is in the southern part of the northern island of Hokkaido. Obihiro attractions include the Obihiro Centennial Memorial Hall which depicts the natural history of the Tokachi Plan, local archaeology and pioneer history. Another Obihiro attraction is the Obihiro Racecourse where the Hokkaido style of Banei horse racing can be seen, where the horses drag steel sleds weighing around 500kg.

Otaru is a port city on the coastline of Ishikari Bay, which joins to the Sea of Japan, on the island of Hokkaido and is north west of the nearby Sapporo. Otaru is both a popular tourist destination and satellite city of Sapporo, with many residents driving the 25 minutes to Sapporo each day for work. Otaru attractions include the Nishin Goten (mansion), a large wooden building constructed in 1897 and once the home to the herring fishing magnate Hunkumatsu Tanakaa. Other Otaru attractions include the nearby ski fields. Otaru is famous for its fresh sushi and Otaru Beer.

Sapporo is the capital and largest city of the northern island of Hokkaido. Sapporo is known as the home of the Sapporo beer and miso-flavored Sapporo ramen, plus the famous Sapporo Snow Festival. The 1972 Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo as it also famous for its winter activities including skiing.

Shari (Shari-cho) is the main town servicing the UNESCO World Heritage Shiretoko National Park at the eastern end of the northern coast of the island of Hokkaido. Shari is where of most of the accommodation for people visiting Shiretoko National Park is located. Shari is famous for its hot springs (onsen) and sea food. Shari-cho includes the Utoro area.

Tomakomai is a port city and transport hub on the southern coast line of the northern island of Hokkaido. The Tomakomai Port services many other parts of Hokkaido via six different passenger ferries. Tomakomai is the junction of three rail lines: JR Muroran, Hidaka and Chitose. In addition Tomakomai is around 30km from New Chitose Airport, the main international airport on the island of Hokkaido.

Wakkanai is the northern most city in Japan, on the northern tip of the island of Hokkaido. Wakkanai attractions include the nearby ski fields and the Daisuke Matsuzaka Museum.

Hyogo Prefecture

Himeji

Himeji is a city in Hyogo Prefecture, at the western edge of the Kansai region. Himeji is most famous for its World Heritage Listed Himeji Castle, which is the best example of intact Japanese Castle.

Kobe

Kobe is a city in Kansai, close to Osaka and Kyoto. Kobe is a cosmopolitan port city with an international flavour, hemmed in by Mt. Rokko. Kobe is known worldwide for its exquisitely marbled premium Kobe beef. Kobe attractions include Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (world's longest suspension bridge), Kobe Harborland, Kobe Port Tower and Kobe Maritime Museum.

Ibaraki Prefecture

Mito

Mito is about 100km northeast of Tokyo in Ibaraki Prefecture. This close proximity to Tokyo, has made location Mito a satellite city of Tokyo, with many people living in Mito and working in Tokyo. Mito is famous for three things: Kairakuen, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Mito Komon, a famous ruler in 17th century, and Natto, fermented beans.

Ishikawa Prefecture

Kaga is a city in the most southern part of Ishikawa Prefecture in the Chubu region. Kaga is a historic city which still features many great attractions including Yamashiro Hot Spring with 1300 years of history, Kutani Kiln Museum, Dainichizakari Brewery Museum, Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice, Kitamae-bune no Sato Museum, Zorokuen Garden and Kutaniyaki Art Museum. In addition there is the beautiful Katayamazu Hot Spring with its views of Lake Shibayamagata.

Kanazawa

Kanazawa is a very attractive city with its famous Kenrokuen Garden (one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan), Kanazawa Castle, nostalgic Geisha town (second only to Kyoto), many museums and its food culture. Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, is along the western coast of Honshu on the Sea of Japan.

Komatsu is the second largest city in Ishikawa Prefecture in the Chubu region. The name Komatsu has been made famous around the world as it is the brand of earth moving equipment, which is based in Komatsu city. The Komatsu company built a park on the site of its old factory, which includes a recreation of the original head office building and a model of the world's largest class of dump truck. The main airport for Ishikawa Prefecture, Komatsu Airport, is on the edge of the city. Komatsu attractions include Nata -dera Temple which was established in 717AD, Motorcar Museum of Japan which is the largest car museum in Japan and has over 500 vehicles, and Rojo Koen, a beautiful traditional Japanese garden.

Iwate Prefecture

Hiraizumi is a town in Iwate Prefecture of Tohoku region, which is famous for the three temples which form the World Heritage Site known as the "Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi". The three temples include Chusonji Temple, Kanjizaio-in Temple and Motsuji Temple. Hiraizumi was the base for Hiraizumi Fujiwaras and thus has several historic sites, which also include the ruins of Muryoko-in Temple and Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamon Hall.

Morioka is the capital city of Iwate Prefecture which is in the Tohoku Region. Morioka is famous for its brewing industry, Nambu Senbei (rice cracker) and noodles. Until 803 the area around Morioka was controlled by the Emishi people who were an indigenous group of people who lived in the area for thousands of years. In 803 Sakanoue no Tamuramaro built Shiwa Castle.

Kagawa Prefecture

Kotohira

Kotohira is a city in Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Kotohira is the site of the famous Konpira Shrine, also known as Kotohira-gu, which is a Shinto Shrine half way up Mt Zozu. Konpira Shrine is famous for the large number of steps on the way up to the shrine: 785 to the outer shrine and a total of 1,368 to the inner shrine. Kotohira attractions also include Japan's oldest Kabuki playhouse, Kanamaru-zu.

Naoshima is a small town on Naoshima Island which is in the Seto Inland Sea. Naoshima is part of Kagawa Prefecture. Naoshima is famous for it many art galleries and museums including the Chichu Art Museum which features works by Claude Monet. Other include the Benesse House and the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum.

Takamatsu

Takamatsu is a port city on the north eastern end of Shikoku Island on the Seto Inland Sea. Takamatsu is the closest port to Honshu. The main attractions in Takamatsu are Ritsurin Garden; a historic and beautiful Japanese garden which is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Takamatsu Castle.

Kagoshima Prefecture

Ibusuki is a sub-tropical coastal city famous for its sunamushi onsen, black-sand spas, which are fed from natural hot springs. In addition to many other onsen (hot springs), Ibusuki also features a traditional section of town with old samurai residences.

Kagoshima

Kagoshima, on the south western tip of Kyushu, is frequently referred to as the "Naples of Japan", as it features a semi tropical climate, a bay side location and is dominated by a massive volcano, Sakurajima. Kagoshima City is the capital of Kagoshima Prefecture. Kagoshima attractions include the ruins of Kagoshima Castle, also known as Tsurumarujo Castle, Kagoshima Aquarium, Museum of Meiji Restoration, Senganen Japanese garden and Siroyama Observatory.

Kirishima is the second largest city in Kagoshima Prefecture and is in the north eastern part of the prefecture. Kirishima is surrounded by the Kirishima Volcanic Chain which includes Mt Sakurajima, Yakushima Islands and ten crater lakes. Kirishima is at the entrance to Kirishima-Yaku National Park. Kirishima attractions include Kirishima Shrine, which is designated Important Cultural Property and the nearby hot springs at Myoban, Yunotani and Shin-yu.

Kanagawa Prefecture

Gora is a small town in the Hakone region, where the terminal station, Gora Station, for the Hakone Tozan Line and the Hakone Tozan Cable Car is located.

Hakone

Hakone is in the Ashigarashimo District, in the western more mountainous part of the Kanagawa Prefecture near Mt Fuji and is a popular day trip destination from Tokyo. Hakone is more a region than focused town and covers a fairly large area. Hakone is very popular and many people come to Hakone to relax, for treatment at the health resorts, or to enjoy the parks and mountains. The volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, centered around Ashi, is a popular tourist attraction well known for its Onsen hot springs and its views of Mt Fuji. There are also famous museums and art galleries.

Hakone-en

Hakone-en is a tourist area at the foot Mt Komagatake in the Hakone region. Hakone-en is on the edge of Lake Ashi. Hakone-en features Hakone-en Aquarium and the terminus for the Hakone Komagatake Ropeway.

Hakone-Yumoto

Hakone-Yumoto is the gateway as well as the main town of Hakone area, where you can find many souvenir shops and cafes. From Hakone-Yumoto Station you can travel via the Hakone Tozan Train, Japan's only mountain railway, further into the Hakone region. The Hakone Tozan Train starts at Hakone-Yumoto Station, which is 100 meters above sea level, taking 40 minutes to climb to Gora Station, which is at 500 meters. The climb is negotiated through a series of switchbacks, enabling travellers to enjoy scenic views.

Kamakura

Kamakura is famous for its many beautiful temples and shrines including the statue of the Great Buddha. Kamakura is a very popular tourist destination for both Japanese and foreigners as it 50 km south-west of Tokyo.

Kawasaki City is between Tokyo and Yokohama, so is part of the great urban area of Tokyo. The main attractions in Kawasaki are: Kawasaki Daishi (the second most popular Buddhist temple in the Kanto region), Nihon Minka-en (an open area museum featuring 20 traditional Japanese farm houses) and Koreatown.

Motohakone

Motohakone is a town in the Hakone region, next to Lake Ashi.

Odawara is a city in western Kanagawa Prefecture, on the island of Honshu, Japan. Odawara attractions include Odawara Castle and the clear coastal waters which are popular with scuba divers.

Sagamihara is technically a city within Kanagawa Prefecture, but in reality is it a suburb of the greater Tokyo urban area. Sagamihara borders directly on the boundary of Tokyo Prefecture and is to the south west of central Tokyo. Sagamihara is famous for its Yogen Temple, but other attractions include Sagami Lake and Sagamihara Prefectural Park.

Togendai

Togendai is the site of a port on Lake Ashi and a station for the Hakone Ropeway.

Yokohama

Yokohama is on the western coast of Tokyo Bay directly south of Tokyo in the Kanto region. Yokohama is effectively part of greater Tokyo area. Yokohama attractions include Yokohama Landmark Tower (Japan's tallest skyscraper), Yokohama Marine Tower , Yokohama Port Museum and Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum.

Yugawara

Yugawara is a quiet haven nestled peacefully between the natural beauties of the Izu - Hakone Mountains and Sagami Bay. in the most south - westerly corner of Kanagawa Prefecture, this historic spa town reflects the traditions and tranquillity of a by - gone era. With its quiet, narrow streets, picturesque houses, and hospitable inns, Yugawara invites the visitor to come and relax a while, and enjoy the many pleasures that make Yugawara a hidden treasure to be discovered.

Kochi Prefecture

Kochi City is the capital of Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Kochi is at the head of Urado Bay on an alluvial plain. The major attraction of Kochi is Kochi Castle which is the only Japanese Castle which retains both an original keep and palace.

Kumamoto Prefecture

Kumamoto

Kumamoto is the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture on Kyushu island of Japan. The city's most famous landmark is Kumamoto Castle, a large, and in its day, an extremely well fortified Japanese Castle and Suizenji Park, a formal garden neighbouring the Suizenji Temple.

Kyoto Prefecture

Amanohashidate, the town is next to Amanohashidate (Bridge to Heaven) Scenic Area, one of the Three Views of Japan. Amanohashidate is near the Sea of Japan in Kyoto Prefecture.

Kyoto

Kyoto, a former capital of Japan, in the Kansai region, it is famous for its history and culture. Kyoto features 17 World Heritage Sites, 1,600 temples, 400 shrines, many beautiful Japanese gardens and is one of few places where you can still see Geisha walking between traditional tea houses. Some of the top Kyoto attractions include Kinkakuji - Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) and Heian Jingu Shine.

Mizayu is on the Sea of Japan coastline in Kyoto Prefecture in the Kansai region, however it is quite some distance from Kyoto City. Mizayu attractions include the famous is Amanohashidate (the bridge to heaven), which is considered to be one of Japan's Three Most Beautiful Sights. Amanohashidate is a naturally formed land bridge in Miyazu Bay which is covered by 7,000 pine trees.

Uji

Uji is a city on the southern outskirts of the city of Kyoto. Uji is famous for it tea making and for several World Heritage Site including Byodoin Temple. Uji is focused around the Uji River.

Mie Prefecture

Ise is city on the coast of Ise Bay Mie Prefecture, situated south of Nagoya. Ise is the site of the famous Ise Grand Shrine, which is considered to be Shinto's most important sites. The Ise Grand Shrine complex includes 123 shrines focused around two primary shrines; Naiku (The Inner Shrine Kotai Jingu) and Geku (The Outer Shrine or Toyouke Daijingu). Naiku is south of central Ise City in Uji-tachi and is dedicated to the worship of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu-omikami. Geku is 6km from Naiku and is dedicated to the worship of deity of agriculture and industry, Toyouke no omikami.

Shima is a coastal city in the middle of Shima Peninsula and next to the Ise-Shima National Park in eastern Mie Prefecture. Historically and still today, Shima is famous for pearls that come from Ago Bay. Shima is also famous for its oysters which come from Matoya Bay. The coastline around Shima also provides some beautiful coastal views which include the nearby islands.

Toba is a coastal city famous for being the place where pearls were cultured for the first time in the world. This achievement by Kokichi Mikimoto in 1893 lead to the development of a world famous brand. One of the Toba's attractions is the Pearl Museum and model factory. Other attractions include the Toba Aquarium and the various islands where the pearl diving demonstrations by women divers, known as ama, occur. Toba is also very close to the most important shrine in Japan, Ise Jingu Shrine.

Tsu is the capital of Mie Prefecture in the Kansai region, but is actually close to Nagoya. Tsu is on coastline of Ise Bay. Tsu attractions include Mitake is a small village which is famous for its cherry blossom and Tsu Castle. Tsu is only 40km from Ise Shrine complex, which is considered to be Shinto's most important sites.

Miyagi Prefecture

Matsushima

Matsushima is famous for featuring what is considered to be one of the Three Most Scenic Views of Japan. Matsushima is a coastal area which looks out onto Matsushima Bay which is filled with 260 islands covered with pine trees. Matsushima, in Miyagi Prefecture Tohoku (northeast) region of Japan, is only 30 minutes by train from Sendai .

Sendai

Sendai is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, and the largest city in the Tohoku (northeast) region of Japan. The Sendai is well known by its nickname, the City of Trees.

Miyazaki Prefecture

Miyazaki is a coastal resort city, in Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Miyazaki is the capital of Miyazaki Prefecture. Miyazaki attractions include Miyazaki Jingu Shrine, Heiwadai Tower (Hakko ichiu monument), Aoshima Subtropical Botanical Garden, golf courses, Miyazaki Sea Gaia (resort) and several popular surfing beaches including Kizakihama, Aoshima, and Shirahama.

Nagano Prefecture

Hakuba is one of the best ski areas in Japan. Hakuba features 14 ski areas joining together to form six large ski resorts. Hakuba is ideal for skiing and snowboarding. Hakuba is in Nagano Prefecture.

Karuizawa is a well known mountain resort town in Nagano Prefecture in the foothills of the Japanese Alps. Karuizawa is famous for bird watching and hiking.

Matsumoto

Matsumoto is in Nagano Prefecture at the eastern end of the Japan Alps. Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views, hiking and climbing in the mountains. Matsumoto attractions include Matsumoto Castle, which is one of the four best preserve Japanese Castle.

Nagano is the capital city of Nagano Prefecture, situated near the junction of the Chikuma River and the Sai River on the island of Honshu, in the Chubu region. Nagano was the host city to the 1998 Winter Olympics and thus is clearly related to winter tourism activities. The Olympics also brought with them new infrastructure including a Shinkansen link to Tokyo. Nagano attractions include Zenkoji Temple and the nearby Snow Monkeys.

Saku is a city famous for its ski resort, Saku Ski Garden Parada, which features seven lifts servicing six courses. Saku Ski Garden Parada does feature some sections for more advanced skiers, but most of the courses will suit the beginners. The ski season runs from mid December to the end of March. Saku Ski Garden Parada is located right next to the Joshinetsu Expressway and only 5km from Sakudaira Station.

Ueda is a city which is famous for Ueda Castle, the distinctive octagonal three storied pagoda, a National Treasure, at Anraku-ji Temple and the Utsukushigahara Open-air Museum with its sculptures. Ueda is in the mountainous Nagano Prefecture.

Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki

Nagasaki is the largest city and capital of the island of Kyushu. Nagasaki is famous for having an atomic bomb dropped on it, but it also has long and diverse history, much of which survived the bombing.

Nara Prefecture

Asuka is a town in Nara Prefecture, which includes the ruins of the former Imperial capital of Japan; Asuka (written differently in Japanese to modern town). Asuka the Imperial capital between 538AD to 710AD. Today there are stone pillars for the base of several Palaces plus three tombs (Kofun).

Kashihara is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. Kashihara is the second largest city in Nara Prefecture. Kashihara attractions include Kashihara Shrine. The modern city of Kashihara includes the location of the former (Imperial) capital of Japan, Fujiwara-kyo, from 694AD to 710AD.

Nara

Nara is in Kansai region on the main island of Honshu. Nara, the capital of Nara Prefecture, is a former capital of Japan and features many great monuments from that period with ten World Heritage Sites from two listing including Horyuji Temple (containing the world's oldest wooden structure), Todaiji Temple (world's largest wooden structure) and Heijo Palace. There are more World Heritage Sites in the surrounding Nara Prefecture.

Sakurai is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. Sakurai attractions include Omiwa Shrine, considered to be one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and dedicated to the god of sake, Tanzan Shrine, Hase-dera (main temple of the Buzan sect of Shingon Buddhism) and Abe Monju-in Temple.

Tenri is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. The name Tenri is derived from the religious movement; Tenrikyo, that has it headquarters in the city. In addition to the Tenri (religious) Headquarters, there is the Tenri School, Tenri Reference Museum and the historicially significant Shinto shrine; Isononkami Shrine.

Yamatotakada is a city in Nara Prefecture, Japan. The city of Yamatotakada includes some archaeologically significant sites which date back to the Paleolithic age and some burial mounds (kofun) which date back to the 5th century.

Yoshino, in Nara Precture, is famous for the best cherry blossom in Japan. Mount Yoshino features around 30,000 cherry blossom trees. Yoshino is also the location of four World Heritage Sites.

Niigata Prefecture

Niigata is the capital city of Niigata Prefecture in the Chubu region of Japan. Niigata became a free port following the Meiji Restoration, and today is the largest city along the Sea of Japan coast.

Oita Prefecture

Beppu

Beppu is a coastal city famous for its traditional Japanese bath houses, onsen which are fed from natural hot springs in the area. Beppu is in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.

Oita is the capital city of Oita Prefecture on the Kyushu island of Japan. Oita is famous for their puffer fish (fugu). Outside Oita city, nearby scenery includes seaside fishing villages, Takasaki-yama mountain inhabited by monkeys, towns renowned for onsen (geothermal hot springs), and mountain plateaus. This area also includes the nearby town of Beppu which is considered Japan's capital of Onsen.

Yufuin is a town near the center of Oita Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu. Yufuin is a famous Onsen (spa) town, which also features many art museums, galleries, restaurants and coffee shops.

Okayama Prefecture

Kurashiki

Kurashiki is a historic city which has some well preserved merchant areas. Kurashiki is close to Okayama.

Okayama

Okayama is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture Chugoku, on the southern coast of Honshu. Okayama is famous for having one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Korakuen Garden, the beautiful black Okayama Castle, and historical town Kurashiki.

Okinawa Prefecture

Nago

Nago is a tourist town located in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa. Nago is particularly popular because of its beautiful beaches including the main beach, also known as Nago Beach, which features lifeguard and net to protect swimmers from dangerous sea life. Nago other attractions include Nago Castle ruins, Pineapple Park, Okinawa Fruits Land and the last remaining wild dugongs in Japan.

Naha

Naha is a coastal city on the southern part of Okinawa Island facing the East China Sea. Naha is the largest city and capital of Okinawa Prefecture. Naha features banks, many shopping malls, a long shopping strip, restaurants, bars and tourist gift shops. Naha also features Shuri Castle, a World Heritage Site, which is a reconstruction of the most important Okinawan Castle and the former Ryukyu Dynasty palace.

Osaka Prefecture

Ikeda is a city in Osaka Prefecture and a popular day trip destination. Ikeda has many things to offer from its beautiful Satsukiyama (Mt Satsuki), many significant temples and shrines plus the birthplace of instant noodle. Ikeda is located to the north of central Osaka.

Izumi is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Izumiotsu is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Izumisano

Izumisano is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Izumisano is home to the offshore Kansai International Airport, and to the 256m/840ft Rinku Gate Tower Building, the second tallest building in Japan.

Kadoma is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Kaizuka (Kaidzuka) is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan on Osaka Bay, southwest of the prefectural capital of Osaka.

Kashiwara is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Kawachinagano is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Kishiwada

Kishiwada is a city in the South of Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Kishiwada is famous for its Kishiwada Castle.

Kumatori is a town in Sen'nan District, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Matsubara is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Mino is a popular day trip destination from Osaka. Mino is 15Km north of central Osaka. It features museums, temples and park lands.

Nose is a beautiful town surrounded by mountains, rice paddies, many native fauna and flora. You will be amazed to see the rural scenery for only one hour trip from the second busiest city in Japan. Nose is located in the northernmost part of Osaka Prefecture. Nose is famous for the Nose Myokensan Temple and Joruri Theatre.

Osaka

Osaka is in Kansai region on the main island of Honshu. Osaka is Japan's second largest city and is a major industrial, port and economic centre. Osaka attractions include Osaka Castle and Umeda Sky Building. Osaka, being close to Kansai Airport, is a good location to base yourself to visit near by Kyoto, Kobe and Nara

Sakai

Sakai is a city in Osaka Prefecture. Sakai has been one of the largest and most important seaports of Japan since the Medieval era. Sakai is known for its keyhole-shaped burial mounds, or kofun, which date from the 5th century. The largest of these, Daisen Kofun, is believed to be the grave of the Emperor Nintoku and is the largest grave in the world by volume.

Sennan is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Tadaoka is a town in Senboku District, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Takaishi is a city in Osaka Prefecture.

Tondabayashi is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Yao is a city in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Saga Prefecture

Saga is the capital of Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Saga attractions include Saga Castle and Kakurintei Tea House in Kono Koen (Park). In Autumn there is the Saga International Balloon Fiesta which attracts hot air balloonists from all over the world.

Tosu is a city in eastern part of Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Tosu is a major transport hub point where the Nagasaki Main Line and the Kagoshima Main Line connect, along with the junction of the Kyushu Expressway, Nagasaki Expressway and the Oita Expressway. Tosu attractions include the Katsuo Castle ruins and the Mount Asahi Castle ruins.

Saitama Prefecture

Saitama city is only 30km north west of central Tokyo, but while being in Saitama Prefecture and being the capital of the prefecture, Saitama city is effectively part of the greater urban area of Tokyo with many residents commuting to central Tokyo each day. Saitama attractions include Omiya Park which is famous for its cherry blossom and the Railway Museum.

Shiga Prefecture

Hikone

Hikone is a historically significant castle city to the North West of Kyoto, but in Shiga Prefecture. Hikone is on the edge of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. Much of the history of Hikone revolves around Kyoto, particularly when it was the capital of Japan. Hikone attractions include Hikone Castle (one of the four best preserved Japanese Castle) and Lake Biwa.

Nagahama

Nagahama is a charming castle town, next to Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture and close to Kyoto. Shiga features many historical attractions including the reconstructed Nagahama Castle, the former Nagahama Station which is the oldest train station in Japan and the famous Keiunkan Guest House. Nagahama also features Ho Koen which is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.

Otsu is the capital of Shiga Prefecture and is on next to Lake Biwa and close to Kyoto. Otsu was the capital of Japan (667AD) before it was largely destroyed in the Jinshin War and the capital was moved to Kyoto (794AD).

Shimane Prefecture

Matsue is between Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi along the Ohashi River which connects the two lakes, near the Sea of Japan in Shimane Prefecture Chugoku Region. Matsue, the capital of Shimane Prefecture, is sometimes called the water city because it features many canals. Matsue attractions include Matsue Castle and the nearby Izumo Taisha Shrine which is one of the oldest in Japan and is the second most important Shinto Shrine in Japan. Matsue is considered to one of the top three areas in Japan for Tea Ceremony.

Shizuoka Prefecture

Atami

Atami, on the coast line in Shizuoka Prefecture and is only 100Km from Tokyo and not far from Hakone. Atami is a beach and Onsen resort town which also features the reconstructed Atami Castle.

Fujinomiya is a city located to the south west of Mt Fuji, which is easily seen from many parts of the city. Fujinomiya is one of the key starting points for climbing Mt Fuji and the route taken by the first recorded ascent by a non-Japanese, Sir Rutherford Alcock, in 1860. Fujinomiya is also famous for the yakisoba noodles produced there.

Hamamatsu is a city in western Shizuoka Prefecture, Chubu. Hamamatsu is an important industrial hub, the city is home to many companies, including Honda Motor Company, Kawai Pianos, Yamaha, Sony, Suzuki Motor Company and Hamamatsu Photonics as well as a large air base for Japan's defence force. Hamamatsu attractions include Hamamatsu Castle, Act City Tower Observatory, Hamamatsu Flower Park and Hamamatsu Fruit Park.

Ito is a coastal city along the Pacific Ocean coastline on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture in the Chubu region. Ito faces Sagami Bay and part of the city is actually within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Ito is famous for its onsen and its close proximity to Tokyo make it a very popular destination. At the beginning of the 17th century, Ito became the site of the first shipyards in Japan involved in the construction on large ships.

Izu Kogen is an onsen town near the coast in the eastern part of Ito city on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Izu Nagaoka is an onsen resort town on the Izu Peninsula, south of Tokyo in Shizuoka Prefecture in the Chubu region. Izu Nagaoka attractions are the popular onsen spread around the town.

Mishima is a city with a long histroy, which has seen a more recent revival after it became one of the stops on Tokaido Shinkansen, allowing a relatively short travel time to Tokyo. Mishima originally built up around the Mishima Shrine, then in the Nara Period it became the capital of Izu Province.

Shimoda is a port city along the Pacific Ocean coastline on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture in the Chubu region. Shimoda is famous for its onsen and beaches. Shimoda features three main beaches; Tadadohama, Ohama and Iritahama, the later has been voted Japanese most beautiful beach many time.

Shizuoka is the capital of Shizuoka Prefecture Chubu. Shizuoka city features views of nearby Mt Fuji, but has several other attractions including the reconstructed Sunpu Castle and several shrines.

Tochigi Prefecture

Kinugawa Onsen is a popular hot springs resort town which can be a day trip from Tokyo. Kinugawa Onsen is in the city of Nikko, so it is not far from the World Heritage Sites in Nikko. The name Kinugawa Onsen comes from the name of the river that flows through the town, Kinugawa River (literially "angry demon river"). The natural hot springs were discovered in the Meiji Period and have been popular ever since. On the edge of the Kinugawa Onsen town is the Tobu World Square, that features over 100 miniture (1:25 scale) models of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Nikko

Nikko is famous for its temples and shrines including three which are World Heritage Sites. The township of Nikko is surrounded by beautiful forrest, and is close to the Nikko National Park with its picturesque Lake Chuzenji and its famous 97m high Kegon Falls.

Utsunomiya is the capital city of Tochigi Prefecture and while not officially considered to be part of the greater urban area of Tokyo, it effectively is. Utsunomiya is 100km north of Tokyo and 25km south east of the historic town of Nikko. Utsunomiya attractions include Utsunomiya Castle, Ohya Keikan-koen (Park), Magaibutsu (the oldest carving of Buddha in Japan), Ohya-ishi Quarry Ruins and many Buddhist temples. Utsunomiya is also famous for its roughly 200 gyoza (Chinese dumplings) specialty shops.

Tokushima Prefecture

Naruto is a city on the coastline of Tokushima Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Naruto City is the landing point of Naruto Bridge which joins Awaji Island to Shikoku Island. Naruto is famous for the Naruto Whirlpools, which are large whirlpools in the Naruto Straits caused by large tidal flows. Naruto also features Ryozen-ji and Gokuraku-ji temples which are the first and second temples on the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.

Tokushima is the capital of Tokushima Prefecture, on the eastern side of Shikoku Island. Tokushima is famous for its Awa-odori Dance Festival, which is held every year from 12th to 15th of August, and features shamisens (traditional Japanese guitar), drums and gongs playing music to go with the tradtional dance. Tokushima is a former castle town. Today Tokushima Castle Museum is on the site of the former Tokushima Castle, along with the beautiful Omotegoten Garden.

Tokyo Prefecture

Tokyo

Tokyo: one the mega cities of the world and the capital of Japan. Tokyo represents all that is modern Japan.

Tottori Prefecture

Tottori is the capital city of Tottori Prefecture in the Chugoku region on Honshu island. Tottori is a coastal city famous for the massive beach party, San In Beach Party, which is held at the beginning of each summer. Tottori is famous for its sand dunes and castle ruins, but Tottori is very beach focused with hang gliding, paragliding, camel rides and sandboarding.

Toyama Prefecture

Gokayama is a group of small villages, along the Shokawa River in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture and surrounded by mountains. This isolated location has lead to the survival of whole villages featuring traditional Japanese houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs, which along with those at Shirakawa-go, are the only examples which are in situ and have mantained continuous occupation. Many of these houses are over 300 years old. Gokayama is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama" listing.

Toyama is the capital city of Toyama Prefecture is in the Chubu region on Honshu island, Japan. Toyama is famous for its Toyama Castle, Museum of Modern Art and the Botanica Gardens of Toyama.

Wakayama Prefecture

Shirahama is a coastal resort town which has many natural hot springs that supply the local onsen. The beaches in Shirahama feature white sand, which is unusual for the area. The sand was imported from Australia. Shirahama is along the southern coastline of Wakayama Prefecture.

Wakayama is city to the south of Osaka on the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region. Wakayama is both the largest city and capital city of Wakayama Prefecture with a population of just under 400,000. The centre of Wakayama city is dominated by Wakayama Castle which is on Mt Torafusu. Wakayama attractions include onsen, Nachi waterfall and Konpon Daido (Mount Koya). Wakayama is famous for its umeboshi and mikan.

Yamagata Prefecture

Kaminoyama is a small city in eastern Yamagata Prefecture. Kaminoyama attractions include the reconstructed Kaminoyama Castle. Kaminoyama is serviced by the Yamagata Shinkansen.

Takahata

Takahata is a town in south eastern Yamagata Prefecture. Takahata attractions include Itsukushima Shrine.

Yamagata

Yamagata is the capital of Yamagata Prefecture and is in the mountains Tohoku. Yamagata features beautiful mountains and wide rice fields scenery, famous Risshakuji Temple, world class skiing at Zao and many Onsen (hot springs). Yamagata is a home of Yonezawa Beef (one of the best Wagyu), Japanese cherry, pears and various Sansai (highly nutritious mountain vegetables).

Zao Onsen

Zao Onsen is one of the most famous and popular onsen (hot spring) resort towns in Japan, where the natural hot springs were discovered in 110AD. Zao Onsen is also a very popular ski and snowboarding destination featuring excellent powder snow, 15 different slopes and 12 courses, with the longest course over 10km. Zao Onsen is also famous for its "Ice Monsters" (Juhyo), which form around the trees near the top of the mountain in the coldest months of winter (December to February). Zao Onsen is around 40 minutes by car from Yamagata city.

Yamaguchi Prefecture

Shimonoseki is a city at the very south western tip of Yamaguchi Prefecture Chugoku region on Honshu island and just seperated from Kitakyushu on the island of Kyushu by the narrow Kanmon Strait. Shimonoseki is sometimes referred to as the "Fugu Capital" as the city area is the largest producer of puffer fish in Japan. Shimonoseki attractions include Kaikyo Yume Tower, Akama Shrine, Kameyama Hachimangu Shrine and Kinzan Kozanji Temple (National Treasure).

Yamaguchi is in the center of Yamaguchi Prefecture Chugoku region on Honshu island. Yamaguchi City is the capital of Yamaguchi Prefecture. Yamaguchi attractions include Ruriko-ji Temple which features a five story pagoda and Catholic cathedral.

Yamanashi Prefecture

Fujiyoshida

Fujiyoshida, the largest city close to Mt Fuji. Fujiyoshida is the gateway for many people on their way to Mt Fuji from Tokyo.

Kawaguchiko

Kawaguchiko, also known as Fujikawaguchiko, is the township on the edge of Lake Kawaguchiko. Kawaguchiko is a very popular destination for viewing Mt Fuji. Kawaguchiko also features many other activities and attractions including museums, art galleries, shrines, temples and onsen.

Kofu is the capital of Yamanashi Prefecture and is close to Mt Fuji. Kofu attractions include Kofu Castle within Maizuru Castle Park, Kai-Zenko Temple, Takeda Shrine, Yumura Spa and Yamanashi Science Museum.


See also Japan Cities, Japan City and Japanese Cities.
Japan

JAPAN

JAPAN DESTINATIONS


Beppu
Fukuoka
Hakodate
Hakone
Himeji
Hiroshima
Kagoshima
Kamakura
Kanazawa
Kansai Airport
Kobe
Kyoto
Matsumoto
Matsuyama
Mt Fuji
Nagano
Nagasaki
Nagoya
Nara
Narita Airport
Nikko
Niseko
Okinawa
Osaka
Sapporo
Shirakawa-go
Takayama
Tokushima
Tokyo
Yamagata
Yokohama

REGIONS
Chubu
Chugoku
Hokkaido
Kansai
Kanto
Kyushu
Shikoku
Tohoku

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Prefectures


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