Hyōgo Prefecture

Last updated
Hyōgo Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
   Japanese 兵庫県
   Rōmaji Hyōgo-ken
Night view of Rokko Island and Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Japan.jpg
Rokkō Island and Higashinada District, Kobe City, Hyōgo Prefecture at night, view from Maya Peak
Flag of Hyogo Prefecture.svg
Emblem of Hyogo Prefecture.svg
Anthem: Hyōgo Kenminka [note 1]
Map of Japan with highlight on 28 Hyogo prefecture.svg
Coordinates: 34°41′26.94″N135°10′59.08″E / 34.6908167°N 135.1830778°E / 34.6908167; 135.1830778 Coordinates: 34°41′26.94″N135°10′59.08″E / 34.6908167°N 135.1830778°E / 34.6908167; 135.1830778
CountryFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Region Kansai
Island Honshu
Capital Kobe
Subdivisions Districts: 8, Municipalities: 41
   Governor Motohiko Saitō (from August 2021)
  Total8,400.94 km2 (3,243.62 sq mi)
  Rank 12th
 (1 June 2019)
  Rank 7th
  Density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-28
Website web.pref.hyogo.lg.jp/fl/english/
Bird Oriental white stork (Ciconia boyciana)
FlowerNojigiku ( Chrysanthemum japonense )
Tree Camphor tree ( Cinnamomum camphora )
Himeji Castle in Himeji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Himeji Castle The Keep Towers.jpg
Himeji Castle in Himeji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県, Hyōgo-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. [1] Hyōgo Prefecture has a population of 5,469,762 (as of 1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 8,400 square kilometres (3,200  sq mi ). Hyōgo Prefecture borders Kyoto Prefecture to the east, Osaka Prefecture to the southeast, and Okayama Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture to the west.


Kōbe is the capital and largest city of Hyōgo Prefecture, and the seventh-largest city in Japan, with other major cities including Himeji, Nishinomiya, and Amagasaki. [2] Hyōgo Prefecture's mainland stretches from the Sea of Japan to the Seto Inland Sea, where Awaji Island and a small archipelago of islands belonging to the prefecture are located. Hyōgo Prefecture is a major economic center, transportation hub, and tourist destination in western Japan, with 20% of the prefecture's land area designated as Natural Parks. Hyōgo Prefecture forms part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, the second-most-populated urban region in Japan after the Greater Tokyo area and one of the world's most productive regions by GDP.


Map of Hyogo Prefecture with former provincial boundaries and current prefectural offices.
1.#Kobe city (divided between Harima and Settsu)
2.#Settsu (Hanshin South office)
3.#Settsu (Hanshin North office)
4.#Harima East office
5.#Harima North office
6.#Harima Central office
7.#Harima West office
9.#Tanba office
8.#Tajima office
10.#Awaji office
Areas beyond Harima West belonged to Mimasaka (north) and Bizen (south) Map of Hyogo prefecture, with prefectural government branches and former borders.svg
Map of Hyogo Prefecture with former provincial boundaries and current prefectural offices.
1.Kobe city (divided between Harima and Settsu)
2.Settsu (Hanshin South office)
3.Settsu (Hanshin North office)
4.Harima East office
5.Harima North office
6.Harima Central office
7.Harima West office
9. Tanba office
8. Tajima office
10. Awaji office
Areas beyond Harima West belonged to Mimasaka (north) and Bizen (south)

Present-day Hyōgo Prefecture includes the former provinces of Harima, Tajima, Awaji, and parts of Tanba and Settsu. [3]

In 1180, near the end of the Heian period, Emperor Antoku, Taira no Kiyomori, and the Imperial court moved briefly to Fukuhara, in what is now the city of Kobe. There the capital remained for five months.

Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in the city of Himeji.

Southern Hyōgo Prefecture was severely devastated by the 6.9 Mw Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, which destroyed major parts of Kobe and Awaji, as well as Takarazuka and neighboring Osaka Prefecture, killing nearly 6,500 people.


Kobe Kobe Biennale 2011 03s3.jpg
Takarazuka Takarazuka arban area No,2.JPG
Sumoto Sumoto city view from Sumoto Castle Awaji Island Japan01n.jpg
Tatsuno Ibo River Tatsuno Hyogo02n4272.jpg
Shiso Yamasakitown Shisocity Hyogopref arban area.JPG
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [4]

Hyōgo has coastlines on two seas: to the north, the Sea of Japan, to the south, the Seto Inland Sea. On Awaji Island, Hyōgo borders the Pacific Ocean coastline in the Kii Channel. The northern portion is sparsely populated, except for the city of Toyooka, and the central highlands are only populated by tiny villages. Most of Hyōgo's population lives on the southern coast, which is part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area. Awaji is an island that separates the Inland Sea and Osaka Bay, lying between Honshu and Shikoku.

Summertime weather throughout Hyōgo is hot and humid. As for winter conditions in Hyōgo, the north of Hyōgo tends to receive abundant snow, whilst the south receives only the occasional flurry.

Hyōgo borders on Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture.

As of 31 March 2008, 20% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Sanin Kaigan and Setonaikai National Parks; Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park; and Asago Gunzan, Harima Chūbu Kyūryō, Inagawa Keikoku, Izushi-Itoi, Kasagatayama-Sengamine, Kiyomizu-Tōjōko-Tachikui, Onzui-Chikusa, Seiban Kyūryō, Seppiko-Mineyama, Tajima Sangaku, and Taki Renzan Prefectural Natural Parks. [5]

Current municipalities

Map of Hyogo Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Aioi, Hyogo.svg
Aioi 相生市
Flag of Akashi, Hyogo.svg
Akashi 明石市
Flag of Ako, Hyogo.svg
Akō 赤穂市
Flag of Amagasaki, Hyogo.svg
Amagasaki 尼崎市
Flag of Asago, Hyogo.svg
Asago 朝来市
Flag of Ashiya, Hyogo.svg
Ashiya 芦屋市
Flag of Awaji Hyogo.svg
Awaji 淡路市
Flag of Himeji, Hyogo.svg
Himeji 姫路市
Flag of Itami, Hyogo.svg
Itami 伊丹市
Flag of Kakogawa, Hyogo.svg
Kakogawa 加古川市
Flag of Kasai, Hyogo.svg
Kasai 加西市
Flag of Kato, Hyogo.svg
Katō 加東市
Flag of Kawanishi, Hyogo.svg
Kawanishi 川西市
Flag of Kobe.svg
Kobe (capital)神戸市
Flag of Miki, Hyogo.svg
Miki 三木市
Flag of Minamiawaji, Hyogo.svg
Minamiawaji 南あわじ市
Flag of Nishinomiya, Hyogo.svg
Nishinomiya 西宮市
Flag of Nishiwaki, Hyogo.svg
Nishiwaki 西脇市
Flag of Ono, Hyogo.svg
Ono 小野市
Flag of Sanda, Hyogo.svg
Sanda 三田市
Flag of Shiso, Hyogo.svg
Shisō 宍粟市
Flag of Sumoto, Hyogo.svg
Sumoto 洲本市
Flag of Takarazuka, Hyogo.svg
Takarazuka 宝塚市
Flag of Takasago, Hyogo.svg
Takasago 高砂市
Flag of Sasayama Hyogo.JPG
Tamba-Sasayama 丹波篠山市
Flag of Tanba, Hyogo.svg
Tanba 丹波市
Flag of Tatsuno, Hyogo.svg
Tatsuno たつの市
Flag of Toyooka, Hyogo.svg
Toyooka 豊岡市
Flag of Yabu, Hyogo.svg
Yabu 養父市
Flag of Fukusaki Hyogo.JPG
Fukusaki 福崎町
Flag of Harima, Hyogo.svg
Harima 播磨町
Flag of Ichikawa, Hyogo.svg
Ichikawa 市川町
Flag of Inagawa, Hyogo.svg
Inagawa 猪名川町
Flag of Inami, Hyogo.svg
Inami 稲美町
Flag of Kami Hyogo.JPG
Kami 香美町
Flag of Kami Hyogo.JPG
Kamigōri 上郡町
Flag of Kamikawa Hyogo.JPG
Kamikawa 神河町
Flag of Sayo Hyogo.JPG
Sayō 佐用町
Flag of Shinonsen Hyogo.JPG
Shin'onsen 新温泉町
Flag of Taishi, Hyogo.svg
Taishi 太子町
Flag of Taka, Hyogo.svg
Taka 多可町
Municipalities in Hyōgo Prefecture      Government Ordinance Designated City     City     Town


Two major artificial islands are located Hyōgo Prefecture:

National parks


Future mergers

The city of Akō and the only town in Akō District (Kamigōri), were scheduled to merge and the city would still retain the name Akō. Akō District would be defunct if the merger was successful. [6] However, the merger has not taken place.


Hyogo prefecture population pyramid in 2020 Hyogo prefecture population pyramid in 2020.svg
Hyogo prefecture population pyramid in 2020

As in all prefectures nationwide, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries play a big role in the economy of Hyogo Prefecture. [7] Hyōgo Prefecture also has an IT industry, many heavy industries, metal and medical, Kobe Port being one of the largest ports in Japan. Kobe Port also hosts one of the world's fastest supercomputers, [8] and Hyogo Prefecture passed laws to keep Kobe Port free of nuclear weapons (a nuclear-free zone) since the year 1975.

Hyōgo is a part of the Hanshin Industrial Region. There are two research institutes of Riken, natural sciences research institute in Japan, in Kobe and Harima. "SPring-8", a synchrotron radiation facility, is in Harima.

Kobe Port Port of Kobe01s3780.jpg
Kobe Port


National Treasures of Japan

Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan















High schools

There are 163 public and 52 private high schools within Hyogo prefecture. Of the public high schools, some are administered by the Hyogo prefectural government, whilst the others are administered by local municipalities.


Kyocera Dome Osaka. Binnenkant van Kyocera Dome Osaka, -22 maart 2019.jpg
Kyocera Dome Osaka.

The sports teams listed below are based in Hyōgo.

Football (soccer)






A popular troupe of Takarazuka Revue plays in Takarazuka.

Arima Onsen in the south of the province in Kita-ku, Kobe is one of the Three Ancient Springs in Japan. The north of Hyogo Prefecture has sightseeing spots such as Kinosaki Onsen, Izushi, and Yumura Onsen. Takeda Castle in Asago is often referred to locally as the "Machu Picchu of Japan". The matsuba crab and Tajima beef are both national delicacies. [9]

Festivals and events

Dekansho Bon Dancing Festival dekanshiyoJi ri.JPG
Dekansho Bon Dancing Festival
Castle Festival in Himeji Himeji Oshiro Matsuri August09 191.jpg
Castle Festival in Himeji



People movers



National highways

  • Route 2
  • Route 9
  • Route 28
  • Route 29
  • Route 43
  • Route 171
  • Route 173
  • Route 174 (Sannomiya-Kobe Port)
  • Route 175
  • Route 176
  • Route 178
  • Route 179
  • Route 250
  • Route 312
  • Route 372
  • Route 373
  • Route 426
  • Route 427
  • Route 428
  • Route 429
  • Route 436
  • Route 477
  • Route 482
  • Route 483



Notable people

Sister regions

Hyogo entered a sister state relationship with Washington state in the United States on October 22, 1963, the first such arrangement between Japan and the United States. [10] [11]

In 1981, a sister state agreement was drawn up between Hyogo and the state of Western Australia in Australia. [12] To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this agreement in 1992, the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre was established in Perth. [13]

See also


  1. The Hyōgo Prefectural Government has expressed the view that the "Prefectural song does not exist" and denied the fact that currently, this song has been enacted in 1947.


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Hyōgo prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 363-365 , p. 363, at Google Books; "Kansai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 477 , p. 477, at Google Books.
  2. Nussbaum, "Kobe" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 537 , p. 537, at Google Books.
  3. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780 , p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. Statistics Bureau of Japan
  5. "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  6. City.ako.hyogo.jp Archived 2006-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "XII Income of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries" (PDF). Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  8. "RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science". Archived from the original on 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  9. "JAL Guide to Japan – Matsuba Crab". Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2015-04-02.
  10. Camden, Jim (August 20, 2013). "Washington, Japan celebrate 50 years". Spokesman-Review . Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  11. "Celebrating 50 years with Hyogo, Japan". Washington State Library. August 19, 2013. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  12. "Sister Cities – City of Perth". Archived from the original on 2015-05-30.
  13. Hyogo.com.au Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine

General references

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kobe</span> City in the Kansai region, Japan

Kobe is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture Japan. With a population around 1.5 million, Kobe is Japan's seventh-largest city and the third-largest port city after Tokyo and Yokohama. It is located in Kansai region, which makes up the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay. It is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto. The Kobe city centre is located about 35 km (22 mi) west of Osaka and 70 km (43 mi) southwest of Kyoto.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amagasaki</span> Core city in Kansai, Japan

Amagasaki is an industrial city located in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 30 November 2022, the city had an estimated population of 455,555 in 223812 households, and a population density of 9000 persons per km². The total area of the city is 50.72 km2 (19.58 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Akashi, Hyōgo</span> City in Kansai region, Japan

Akashi is a city in southern Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 May 2022, the city had an estimated population of 304,274 in 135,323 households and a population density of 6,200 people per km². The total area of the city is 49.42 square kilometres (19.08 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nishinomiya</span> Core city in Kansai, Japan

Nishinomiya is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 November 2022, the city had an estimated population of 484,368 in 218,948 households and a population density of 4800 persons per km². The total area of the city is 99.98 square kilometres (38.60 sq mi). Nishinomiya is an important commercial and shipping city in the Kansai region with the third largest population in Hyōgo Prefecture. Nishinomiya is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball championship is held.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toyooka, Hyōgo</span> City in Kansai, Japan

Toyooka is a city in the northern part of Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 31 March 2022, the city had an estimated population of 78,348 in 37769 households and a population density of 110 persons per km².The total area of the city is 697.55 square kilometres (269.33 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Takarazuka, Hyōgo</span> City in Kansai, Japan

Takarazuka is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 30 November 2022, the city had an estimated population of 224,054 in 96,463 households and a population density of 2,200 persons per km². The total area of the city is 101.80 square kilometres (39.31 sq mi). Known as the "inner parlor" of Kansai, Takarazuka is famous for the Takarazuka Revue, hot springs, and the Takarazuka Tourism Fireworks Display held since 1913. It is also famous as a choice residential area along with Ashiya and Nishinomiya.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keihanshin</span> Metropolitan region in the Kansai region of Japan

Keihanshin is a metropolitan region in the Kansai region of Japan encompassing the metropolitan areas of the cities of Kyoto in Kyoto Prefecture, Osaka in Osaka Prefecture and Kobe in Hyōgo Prefecture. The entire region has a population of 19,302,746 over an area of 13,228 km2 (5,107 sq mi). It is the second-most-populated urban region in Japan, containing approximately 15% of Japan's population.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sun Television</span> Television station in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

Sun Television Co. is a commercial television station headquartered in Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, and a member of the Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations (JAITS).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hanshin Main Line</span> Railway line in Osaka & Kobe, Japan

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amagasaki Station (JR West)</span> Railway station in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan

Amagasaki Station is a railway station on the Tōkaidō Main Line, Fukuchiyama Line and JR Tōzai Line of West Japan Railway Company, located in Amagasaki, Hyōgo, Japan, opened in 1874. Until 1997, Amagasaki was only a local stop, but it has since become a major junction with the opening of the JR Tōzai Line. Today, all commuter trains and limited express trains bound for the Fukuchiyama Line stop here.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">JR Kōbe Line</span> Railway line in Japan

The JR Kōbe Line is the nickname of portions of the Tokaido Main Line and the Sanyo Main Line, between Osaka Station in Osaka, Osaka Prefecture and Himeji Station in Himeji, Hyōgo Prefecture. The line, along with the JR Kyoto Line and the Biwako Line, forms a contiguous service that is the main trunk of West Japan Railway Company's Urban Network commuter rail network in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area. The line also offers continuous service to the Gakkentoshi Line via the JR Tōzai Line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ashiya, Hyōgo</span> City in Kansai, Japan

Ashiya is a city in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 November 2022, the city had an estimated population of 95,485 in 45562 households and a population density of 5200 persons per km². The total area of the city is 53.44 square kilometres (20.63 sq mi).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nishinomiya Station (JR West)</span> Railway station in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan

Nishinomiya Station is a passenger railway station located in the city of Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by the West Japan Railway Company. As a part of the JR West Urban Network, the following cards are accepted: J-Thru Card, ICOCA, Suica, Pasmo, and PiTaPa.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sanyo Suma Station</span> Railway station in Kobe, Japan

Sanyo Suma Station is a train station in Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shukugawa Station</span> Railway station in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hanshinkan Modernism</span> Japanese art movement

Hanshinkan Modernism (阪神間モダニズム) identifies the modernist arts, culture, and lifestyle that developed from the region of Japan centered primarily on the Hanshinkan conurbation between Osaka and Kobe, the ideally terrained area between the Rokkō Range and the sea from the 1900s through the 1930s, or the circumstances of that period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park</span>

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The 2015 Hyōgo prefectural election was an election for the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly held on 12 April 2015 as part of the 2015 unified local elections in Japan. The election saw the number of assembly members reduced from 89 to 87 and the number of electoral districts reduced from 41 to 40. Voting was held in 23 districts and representatives for the remaining 17 districts were elected unopposed. The election was held in the wake of the political expenses scandal that was exposed in July 2014 involving multiple assembly members and was notable for former assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura's outburst of uncontrolled sobbing at a news conference.