Core cities of Japan

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# -- Designated cities
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― Designated cities
― Core cities
― Special cities

A core city (中核市, Chūkakushi) is a class or category of Japanese cities. It is a local administrative division created by the national government. [1] Core cities are delegated many functions normally carried out by prefectural governments, but not as many as designated cities. To become a candidate for core city status, a city must have a population greater than 300,000 and an area greater than 100 square kilometers, although special exceptions may be made by order of the cabinet for cities with populations under 300,000 but over 200,000. [2] After the abolition of special city status on April 1, 2015, any city with a population above 200,000 may apply for core city status. [3]


Application for designation is made by a city with the approval of both the city and prefectural assemblies.


The term "core city" was created by the first clause of Article 252, Section 22 of the Local Autonomy Law of Japan. [4]

List of core cities

As of 1 April 2021, 62 cities have been designated core cities: [3]

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)Population (2012)Date of designationRegionPrefectureMap
Akashi 明石市 Flag of Akashi, Hyogo.svg Emblem of Akashi, Hyogo.svg 49.22290,9272018-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo Akashi in Hyogo Prefecture Ja.svg
Akita 秋田市 Flag of Akita, Akita.svg Symbol of Akita, Akita.svg 906.07322,2241997-04-01 Tōhoku Akita Akita in Akita Prefecture Ja.svg
Amagasaki 尼崎市 Flag of Amagasaki, Hyogo.svg Emblem of Amagasaki, Hyogo.svg 49.77451,3532009-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture Ja.svg
Aomori 青森市 Flag of Aomori, Aomori.svg Aomori City Emblem.svg 824.61297,3482006-10-01 Tōhoku Aomori Aomori in Aomori Prefecture Ja.svg
Asahikawa 旭川市 Flag of Asahikawa, Hokkaido.svg Emblem of Asahikawa, Hokkaido.svg 747.6351,7652000-04-01 Hokkaidō Asahikawa in Hokkaido Prefecture Ja.svg
Fukui 福井市 Flag of Fukui, Fukui.svg Emblem of Fukui, Fukui.svg 536.41266,6122019-04-01 Chūbu Fukui Fukui in Fukui prefecture Ja.svg
Fukushima 福島市 Flag of Fukushima, Fukushima.svg Emblem of Fukushima, Fukushima.svg 767.72289,3552018-04-01 Tōhoku Fukushima Fukushima in Fukushima Prefecture Ja.svg
Fukuyama 福山市 Flag of Fukuyama, Hiroshima.svg Symbol of Fukuyama Hiroshima.svg 518.14462,1441998-04-01 Chūgoku Hiroshima Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Funabashi 船橋市 Flag of Funabashi, Chiba.svg Emblem of Funabashi, Chiba.svg 85.62610,4922003-04-01 Kantō Chiba Funabashi in Chiba Prefecture Ja.svg
Gifu 岐阜市 Flag of Gifu, Gifu.svg Emblem of Gifu, Gifu.svg 203.60412,7181996-04-01 Chūbu Gifu Gifu in Gifu Prefecture Ja.svg
Hachinohe 八戸市 Flag of Hachinohe, Aomori.svg Symbol of Hachinohe Aomori.svg 305.56241,6132017-01-01 Tōhoku Aomori Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture Ja.svg
Hachiōji 八王子市 Flag of Hachioji, Tokyo.svg Emblem of Hachioji, Tokyo.svg 186.38579,7992015-04-01 Kantō Tokyo Hachioji in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg
Hakodate 函館市 Flag of Hakodate, Hokkaido.svg Symbol of Hakodate, Hokkaido.svg 677.89279,0562005-10-01 Hokkaidō Hakodate in Hokkaido Prefecture Ja.svg
Higashiōsaka 東大阪市 Flag of Higashiosaka, Osaka.svg Emblem of Higashiosaka.svg 61.78508,2672005-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Himeji 姫路市 Flag of Himeji, Hyogo.svg Symbol of Himeji, Hyogo.svg 534.43536,2181996-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture Ja.svg
Hirakata 枚方市 Flag of Hirakata, Osaka.svg Emblem of Hirakata, Osaka.svg 65.08407,9972014-04-01 Kansai Osaka Hirakata in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Ichinomiya 一宮市 Flag of Ichinomiya, Aichi.svg Emblem of Ichinomiya, Aichi.svg 113.82379,6542021-04-01 Chūbu Aichi Ichinomiya in Aichi Prefecture Ja.svg
Iwaki いわき市 Flag of Iwaki, Fukushima.svg Symbol of Iwaki Fukushima.svg 1,232.02332,9941999-04-01 Tōhoku Fukushima Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture Ja.svg
Kagoshima 鹿児島市 Flag of Kagoshima, Kagoshima.svg Symbol of Kagoshima, Kagoshima.svg 547.58607,2571996-04-01 Kyushu Kagoshima Location of Kagoshima city Kagoshima prefecture Japan.svg
Kashiwa 柏市 Flag of Kashiwa, Chiba.svg Qian Xie Xian Bo Shi Shi Zhang .svg 114.74404,8632008-04-01 Kantō Chiba Kashiwa in Chiba Prefecture Ja.svg
Kanazawa 金沢市 Flag of Kanazawa, Ishikawa.svg Emblem of Kanazawa, Ishikawa.svg 468.64462,7961996-04-01 Chūbu Ishikawa Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Kawagoe 川越市 Flag of Kawagoe, Saitama.svg Emblem of Kawagoe, Saitama.svg 109.13345,3612003-04-01 Kantō Saitama Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture Ja.svg
Kawaguchi 川口市 Flag of Kawaguchi, Saitama.svg Qi Yu Xian Chuan Kou Shi Shi Zhang .svg 61.95561,7882018-04-01 Kantō Saitama Kawaguchi in Saitama Prefecture Ja.svg
Kōchi 高知市 Flag of Kochi, Kochi.svg Emblem of Kochi, Kochi.svg 309.22342,5681998-04-01 Shikoku Kōchi Kochi in Kochi Prefecture Ja.svg
Kōfu 甲府市 Flag of Kofu, Yamanashi.svg Shan Li Xian Jia Fu Shi Shi Zhang .svg 212.47197,3182019-04-01 Chūbu Yamanashi Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture Ja.svg
Kōriyama 郡山市 Flag of Koriyama, Fukushima.svg Symbol of Koriyama Fukushima.svg 757.20331,1401997-04-01 Tōhoku Fukushima Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture Ja.svg
Koshigaya 越谷市 Flag of Koshigaya, Saitama.svg Emblem of Koshigaya, Saitama.svg 60.24328,0792015-04-01 Kantō Saitama Koshigaya in Saitama Prefecture Ja.svg
Kurashiki 倉敷市 Flag of Kurashiki, Okayama.svg Kurashiki Okayama chapter.JPG 355.63477,0862002-04-01 Chūgoku Okayama Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Kure 呉市 Flag of Kure, Hiroshima.svg Emblem of Kure, Hiroshima.svg 352.80236,5952016-04-01 Chūgoku Hiroshima Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture Ja.svg
Kurume 久留米市 Flag of Kurume, Fukuoka.svg Emblem of Kurume, Fukuoka.svg 229.96301,8212008-04-01 Kyushu Fukuoka Kurume in Fukuoka Prefecture Ja.svg
Maebashi 前橋市 Flag of Maebashi, Gunma.svg Symbol of Maebashi, Gunma.svg 311.59338,4812009-04-01 Kantō Gunma Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture Ja.svg
Matsue 松江市 Flag of Matsue, Shimane.svg Emblem of Matsue, Shimane.svg 572.99208,1602018-04-01 Chūgoku Shimane Matsue in Shimane Prefecture Ja.svg
Matsumoto 松本市 Flag of Matsumoto, Nagano.svg Symbol of Matsumoto, Nagano.svg 978.47239,4662021-04-01 Chūbu Nagano Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture Ja.svg
Matsuyama 松山市 Flag of Matsuyama, Ehime.svg Emblem of Matsuyama, Ehime.svg 429.40516,8232000-04-01 Shikoku Ehime Ehime-matsuyama-city.svg
Mito 水戸市 Flag of Mito, Ibaraki.svg Symbol of Mito Ibaraki.svg 217.32269,1622020-04-01 Kantō Ibaraki Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture Ja.svg
Miyazaki 宮崎市 Flag of Miyazaki, Miyazaki.svg Emblem of Miyazaki, Miyazaki.svg 643.67402,2891998-04-01 Kyushu Miyazaki Miyazaki in Miyazaki Prefecture Ja.svg
Morioka 盛岡市 Flag of Morioka, Iwate.svg Emblem of Morioka, Iwate.svg 886.47299,7342008-04-01 Tōhoku Iwate Morioka in Iwate Prefecture Ja.svg
Naha 那覇市 Flag of Naha, Okinawa.svg Symbol of Naha, Okinawa.svg 39.98321,6952013-04-01 Kyushu Okinawa Naha in Okinawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Nagano 長野市 Flag of Nagano, Nagano.svg Symbol of Nagano Nagano.svg 834.81380,5811999-04-01 Chūbu Nagano Nagano in Nagano Prefecture Ja.svg
Nagasaki 長崎市 Flag of Nagasaki, Nagasaki.svg Nagasaki Nagasaki chapter.svg 240.71440,9111997-04-01 Kyushu Nagasaki Nagasaki in Nagasaki Prefecture Ja.svg
Nara 奈良市 Flag of Nara, Nara.svg Emblem of Nara, Nara.svg 276.84365,4212002-04-01 Kansai Nara Nara in Nara Prefecture Ja.svg
Neyagawa 寝屋川市 Flag of Neyagawa, Osaka.svg Symbol of Neyagawa, Osaka.svg 24.73238,8192019-04-01 Kansai Osaka Neyagawa in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Nishinomiya 西宮市 Flag of Nishinomiya, Hyogo.svg Emblem of Nishinomiya, Hyogo.svg 99.96483,8782008-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo Nishinomiya in Hyogo Prefecture Ja.svg
Ōita 大分市 Flag of Oita, Oita.svg Symbol of Oita Oita.svg 502.38476,0081997-04-01 Kyushu Ōita Oita in Oita Prefecture Ja.svg
Okazaki 岡崎市 Flag of Okazaki, Aichi.svg Emblem of Okazaki, Aichi.svg 387.20374,0852003-04-01 Chūbu Aichi Okazaki in Aichi Prefecture Ja.svg
Ōtsu 大津市 Flag of Otsu, Shiga.svg Emblem of Otsu, Shiga.svg 464.51339,4692009-04-01 Kansai Shiga Otsu in Shiga Prefecture Ja.svg
Sasebo 佐世保市 Flag of Sasebo, Nagasaki.svg Emblem of Sasebo, Nagasaki.svg 426.06259,6762016-04-01 Kyushu Nagasaki Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture Ja.svg
Shimonoseki 下関市 Flag of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.svg Emblem of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.svg 716.14277,9372005-10-01 Chūgoku Yamaguchi Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture Ja.svg
Suita 吹田市 Flag of Suita, Osaka.svg Suita Osaka chapter.JPG 36.11357,9172020-04-01 Kansai Osaka Suita in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Takamatsu 高松市 Flag of Takamatsu, Kagawa.svg Emblem of Takamatsu, Kagawa.svg 375.41420,3561999-04-01 Shikoku Kagawa Kagawa-takamatsu-city.svg
Takasaki 高崎市 Flag of Takasaki, Gunma.svg Qun Ma Xian Gao Qi Shi Shi Zhang .svg 459.16371,8202011-04-01 Kantō Gunma Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture Ja.svg
Takatsuki 高槻市 Flag of Takatsuki, Osaka.svg Emblem of Takatsuki, Osaka.svg 105.31355,8402003-04-01 Kansai Osaka Takatsuki in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Tottori 鳥取市 Flag of Tottori, Tottori.svg Emblem of Tottori, Tottori.svg 765.31196,5382018-04-01 Chūgoku Tottori Tottori City in Tottori Prefecture Ja.svg
Toyama 富山市 Flag of Toyama, Toyama.svg Symbol of Toyama, Toyama.svg 1,241.77421,3932005-04-01 Chūbu Toyama Toyama in Toyama Prefecture Ja.svg
Toyohashi 豊橋市 Flag of Toyohashi, Aichi.svg Emblem of Toyohashi, Aichi.svg 261.86375,8041999-04-01 Chūbu Aichi Toyohashi in Aichi Prefecture Ja.svg
Toyonaka 豊中市 Flag of Toyonaka, Osaka.svg Emblem of Toyonaka, Osaka.svg 36.38390,4572012-04-01 Kansai Osaka Toyonaka in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Toyota 豊田市 Flag of Toyota, Aichi.svg Emblem of Toyota, Aichi.svg 918.32420,6801998-04-01 Chūbu Aichi Toyota in Aichi Prefecture Ja.svg
Utsunomiya 宇都宮市 Flag of Utsunomiya, Tochigi.svg Emblem of Utsunomiya, Tochigi.svg 416.85513,7221996-04-01 Kantō Tochigi Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture Ja.svg
Wakayama 和歌山市 Flag of Wakayama, Wakayama.svg Symbol of Wakayama, Wakayama.svg 210.25368,6841997-04-01 Kansai Wakayama Wakayama in Wakayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Yamagata 山形市 Flag of Yamagata, Yamagata.svg Emblem of Yamagata, Yamagata.svg 381.58254,5192019-04-01 Tōhoku Yamagata Yamagata in Yamagata Prefecture Ja.svg
Yao 八尾市 Flag of Yao, Osaka.svg Emblem of Yao, Osaka.svg 41.71270,7352018-04-01 Kansai Osaka Yao in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Yokosuka 横須賀市 Flag of Yokosuka, Kanagawa.svg Shen Nai Chuan Xian Heng Xu He Shi Shi Zhang .svg 100.7415,2592001-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture Ja.svg

Former core cities

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)PopulationDate of designationDate of reclassificationRegionPrefectureMap
Hamamatsu 浜松市 Flag of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka.svg Symbol of Hamamatsu Shizuoka chapter.svg 1,558.06795,3501996-04-012007-04-01 (Designated city) Chūbu Shizuoka Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture Ja.svg
Kumamoto 熊本市 Flag of Kumamoto, Kumamoto.svg Emblem of Kumamoto, Kumamoto.svg 390.32737,8121996-04-012012-04-01 (Designated city) Kyushu Kumamoto Kumamoto in Kumamoto Prefecture Ja.svg
Niigata 新潟市 Flag of Niigata, Niigata.svg Emblem of Niigata, Niigata.svg 726.45807,4501996-04-012007-04-01 (Designated city) Chūbu Niigata Niigata in Niigata Prefecture Ja.svg
Okayama 岡山市 Flag of Okayama, Okayama.svg Emblem of Okayama, Okayama.svg 789.95720,8411996-04-012009-04-01 (Designated city) Chūgoku Okayama Okayama in Okayama Prefecture Ja.svg
Sagamihara 相模原市 Flag of Sagamihara, Kanagawa.svg Shen Nai Chuan Xian Xiang Mo Yuan Shi Shi Zhang .svg 328.91720,9862003-04-012010-04-01 (Designated city) Kantō Kanagawa Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Sakai 堺市 Flag of Sakai, Osaka.svg Emblem of Sakai, Osaka.svg 149.82833,5441996-04-012006-04-01 (Designated city) Kansai Osaka Sakai in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Shizuoka 静岡市 Flag of Shizuoka, Shizuoka.svg Emblem of Shizuoka, Shizuoka.svg 1,411.90697,5781996-04-012005-04-01 (Designated city) Chūbu Shizuoka Location of Shizuoka city Shizuoka prefecture Japan.svg

Scheduled to become a core city

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)Population (2012)Scheduled dateRegionPrefectureMap
Chigasaki 茅ヶ崎市 Flag of Chigasaki, Kanagawa.svg Shen Nai Chuan Xian Mao keQi Shi Shi Zhang .svg 35.71236,2222020-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa Chigasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Fuji 富士市 Flag of Fuji, Shizuoka.svg Emblem of Fuji, Shizuoka.svg 244.95253,455TBD Chūbu Shizuoka Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture Ja.svg
Kishiwada 岸和田市 Flag of Kishiwada, Osaka.svg Emblem of Kishiwada, Osaka.svg 72.68198,6152020-04-01 Kansai Osaka Kishiwada in Osaka Prefecture Ja.svg
Odawara 小田原市 Flag of Odawara, Kanagawa.svg Shen Nai Chuan Xian Xiao Tian Yuan Shi Shi Zhang .svg 113.79197,4132020-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa Ji Chu Zi Zhi Ti Wei Zhi Tu 14206.svg
Tsukuba つくば市 Flag of Tsukuba, Ibaraki.svg Symbol of Tsukuba Ibaraki.svg 283.72216,221TBD Kantō Ibaraki Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture Ja.svg
Tokorozawa 所沢市 Flag of Tokorozawa, Saitama.svg Emblem of Tokorozawa, Saitama.svg 72.11342,321TBD Kantō Saitama Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture Ja.svg
Yokkaichi 四日市市 Flag of Yokkaichi, Mie.svg Emblem of Yokkaichi, Mie.svg 206.44307,5992020 (aiming) Kansai Mie Yokkaichi in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg

Cities that meet the requirements but have not yet been nominated

The following cities have populations greater than 200,000 but have not yet been nominated. (Cities planning to apply for core city status are not shown.)

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)PopulationRegionPrefectureMap
Ageo 上尾市 Flag of Ageo, Saitama.svg Emblem of Ageo, Saitama.svg 45.51229,517 Kantō Saitama Ageo in Saitama Prefecture Ja.svg
Chōfu 調布市 Flag of Chofu, Tokyo.svg Emblem of Chofu, Tokyo.svg 21.58240,668 Kantō Tokyo Chofu in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg
Fuchū 府中市 Flag of Fuchu, Tokyo.svg Dong Jing Du Fu Zhong Shi Shi Zhang .svg 29.43260,891 Kantō Tokyo Fuchu in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg
Fujisawa 藤沢市 Flag of Fujisawa, Kanagawa.svg Shen Nai Chuan Xian Teng Ze Shi Shi Zhang .svg 69.57420,254 Kantō Kanagawa Fujisawa in Kanagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Ichihara 市原市 Flag of Ichihara, Chiba.svg Emblem of Ichihara, Chiba.svg 368.17274,117 Kantō Chiba Ichihara in Chiba Prefecture Ja.svg
Ichikawa 市川市 Flag of Ichikawa, Chiba.svg Qian Xie Xian Shi Chuan Shi Shi Zhang .svg 56.39491,804 Kantō Chiba Ichikawa in Chiba Prefecture Ja.svg
Machida 町田市 Flag of Machida, Tokyo.svg Emblem of Machida, Tokyo.svg 71.80429,040 Kantō Tokyo Machida in Tokyo Prefecture Ja.svg
Matsudo 松戸市 Flag of Matsudo, Chiba.svg Matsudo Chiba chapter.svg 61.38498,575 Kantō Chiba Matsudo in Chiba Prefecture Ja.svg
Tokushima 徳島市 Flag of Tokushima, Tokushima.svg Emblem of Tokushima, Tokushima.svg 191258,554 Shikoku Tokushima Tokushima in Tokushima Prefecture Ja.svg
Tsu 津市 Flag of Tsu, Mie.svg Emblem of Tsu, Mie.svg 711.11279,304 Kansai Mie Tsu in Mie prefecture Ja.svg

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