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Prefectures of Japan

List of Japan's 47 Prefectures by Area

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Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto

Adam Hester/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Japan is an island nation located in eastern Asia in the Pacific Ocean. It is to the east of China, Russia, North Korea and South Korea. Japan is an archipelago that is made up of over 6,500 islands, the largest of which are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. It is one of the world's largest countries by population and it has one of the largest economies in the world due to its many international companies and highly advanced technologies.

Because of Japan's large size it is divided into 47 different prefectures for local administration (map). Prefectures in Japan are the highest level of government that an area can have as it is right below the federal government. They are similar to the 50 states of the United States and the 28 states of India or the provinces of Canada. Each prefecture has its own governor and they are subdivided into districts and municipalities.

The following is a list of Japan's prefectures by area. For reference capital cities have also been included.

1) Hokkaido
Area: 32,221 square miles (83,452 sq km)
Capital: Sapporo

2) Iwate
Area: 5,899 square miles (15,278 sq km)
Capital: Morioka

3) Fukushima
Area: 5,321 square miles (13,782 sq km)
Capital: Fukushima City

4) Nagano
Area: 4,864 square miles (12,598 sq km)
Capital: Nagano

5) Niigata
Area: 4,857 square miles (12,582 sq km)
Capital: Niigata

6) Akita
Area: 4,483 square miles (11,612 sq km)
Capital: Akita

7) Gifu
Area: 4,092 square miles (10,598 sq km)
Capital: Gifu

8) Aomori
Area: 3,709 square miles (9,606 sq km)
Capital: Aomori

9) Yamagata
Area: 3,599 square miles (9,323 sq km)
Capital: Yamagata

10) Kagoshima
Area: 3,526 square miles (9,132 sq km)
Capital: Kagoshima

11) Hiroshima
Area: 3,273 square miles (8,477 sq km)
Capital: Hiroshima

12) Hyogo
Area: 3,240 square miles (8,392 sq km)
Capital: Kobe

13) Shizuoka
Area: 2,829 square miles (7,328 sq km)
Capital: Shizuoka

14) Miyagi
Area: 2,813 square miles (7,285 sq km)
Capital: Sendai

15) Kochi
Area: 2,743 square miles (7,104 sq km)
Capital: Kochi

16) Okayama
Area: 2,706 square miles (7,008 sq km)
Capital: Okayama

17) Kumamoto
Area: 2,667 square miles (6,908 sq km)
Capital: Kumamoto

18) Shimane
Area: 2,589 square miles (6,707 sq km)
Capital: Matsue

19) Miyazaki
Area: 2,581 square miles (6,684 sq km)
Capital: Miyazaki

20) Tochigi
Area: 2,474 square miles (6,408 sq km)
Capital: Utsunomiya

21) Gunma
Area: 2,457 square miles (6,363 sq km)
Capital: Maebashi

22) Yamaguchi
Area: 2,359 square miles (6,111 sq km)
Capital: Yamaguchi

23) Ibaraki
Area: 2,353 square miles (6,095 sq km)
Capital: Mito

24) Oita
Area: 2,241 square miles (5,804 sq km)
Capital: Oita

25) Mie
Area: 2,224 square miles (5,761 sq km)
Capital: Tsu

26) Ehime
Area: 2,191 square miles (5,676 sq km)
Capital: Matsuyama

27) Chiba
Area: 1,991 square miles (5,156 sq km)
Capital: Chiba

28) Aichi
Area: 1,990 square miles (5,154 sq km)
Capital: Nagoya

29) Fukuoka
Area: 1,919 square miles (4,971 sq km)
Capital: Fukuoka

30) Wakayama
Area: 1,824 square miles (4,725 sq km)
Capital: Wakayama

31) Kyoto
Area: 1,781 square miles (4,613 sq km)
Capital: Kyoto

32) Yamanashi
Area: 1,724 square miles (4,465 sq km)
Capital: Kofu

33) Toyama
Area: 1,640 square miles (4,247 sq km)
Capital: Toyama

34) Fukui
Area: 1,617 square miles (4,189 sq km)
Capital: Fukui

35) Ishikawa
Area: 1,616 square miles (4,185 sq km)
Capital: Kanazawa

36) Tokushima
Area: 1,600 square miles (4,145 sq km)
Capital: Tokushima

37) Nagasaki
Area: 1,580 square miles (4,093 sq km)
Capital: Nagasaki

38) Shiga
Area: 1,551 square miles (4,017 sq km)
Capital: Otsu

39) Saitama
Area: 1,454 square miles (3,767 sq km)
Capital: Saitama

40) Nara
Area: 1,425 square miles (3,691 sq km)
Capital: Nara

41) Tottori
Area: 1,354 square miles (3,507 sq km)
Capital: Tottori

42) Saga
Area: 942 square miles (2,439 sq km)
Capital: Saga

43) Kanagawa
Area: 932 square miles (2,415 sq km)
Capital: Yokohama

44) Okinawa
Area: 877 square miles (2,271 sq km)
Capital: Naha

45) Tokyo
Area: 844 square miles (2,187 sq km)
Capital: Shinjuku

46) Osaka
Area: 731 square miles (1,893 sq km)
Capital: Osaka

47) Kagawa
Area: 719 square miles (1,862 sq km)
Capital: Takamatsu

Reference

Wikipedia.org. (23 March 2011). Prefectures of Japan - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefectures_of_Japan

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