Kanagawa Prefecture

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Kanagawa Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
   Japanese 神奈川県
   Rōmaji Kanagawa-ken
Flag of Kanagawa Prefecture.svg
Emblem of Kanagawa Prefecture.svg
Map of Japan with highlight on 14 Kanagawa prefecture.svg
Coordinates: 35°26′51.03″N139°38′32.44″E / 35.4475083°N 139.6423444°E / 35.4475083; 139.6423444 Coordinates: 35°26′51.03″N139°38′32.44″E / 35.4475083°N 139.6423444°E / 35.4475083; 139.6423444
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Island Honshu
Capital Yokohama
Subdivisions Districts: 6, Municipalities: 33
   Governor Yūji Kuroiwa (since April 2011)
  Total2,415.83 km2 (932.76 sq mi)
Area rank 43rd
 (October 1, 2015)
  Rank 2nd
  Density3,770/km2 (9,800/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-14
Website www.pref.kanagawa.jp
Bird Common gull (Larus canus)
Flower Golden-rayed lily (Lilium auratum)
Tree Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Prefectural office of Kanagawa in Yokohama Prefectural office of Kanagawa in Yokohama.JPG
Prefectural office of Kanagawa in Yokohama
Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 Far View.JPG
Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama
The Great Wave off Kanagawa original print Tsunami by hokusai 19th century.jpg
The Great Wave off Kanagawa original print

Kanagawa Prefecture(神奈川県,Kanagawa-ken) is a prefecture located in Kantō region of Japan. [1] The capital of the prefecture is Yokohama. [2] Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area. Kanagawa Prefecture is home to Kamakura and Hakone, two popular side trip destinations from Tokyo.

Prefectures of Japan countrys 47 first-order subnational jurisdictions

Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, forming the first level of jurisdiction and administrative division. They consist of 43 prefectures proper, two urban prefectures, one "circuit" or "territory" and one "metropolis". In 1868, the Meiji Fuhanken sanchisei administration created the first prefectures to replace the urban and rural administrators in the parts of the country previously controlled directly by the shogunate and a few territories of rebels/shogunate loyalists who had not submitted to the new government such as Aizu/Wakamatsu. In 1871, all remaining feudal domains (han) were also transformed into prefectures, so that prefectures subdivided the whole country. In several waves of territorial consolidation, today's 47 prefectures were formed by the turn of the century. In many instances, these are contiguous with the ancient ritsuryō provinces of Japan.

Kantō region Region

The Kanto region is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 45 percent of the land area is the Kanto Plain. The rest consists of the hills and mountains that form the land borders. According to the official census on October 1, 2010 by the Japan Statistics Bureau, the population was 42,607,376, amounting to approximately one third of the total population of Japan. Kanto is the second largest sub-national economy in the world.

Japan Island country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.



The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period (around 400 BCE). About 3,000 years ago, Mount Hakone produced a volcanic explosion which resulted in Lake Ashi on the western area of the prefecture.

Jōmon period the time in Japanese prehistory from about 14,000 BC to about 300 BC

The Jōmon period is the time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between c. 14,000–300 BCE, recently refined to about 1000 BCE, during which Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture, which reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity. The name "cord-marked" was first applied by the American scholar Edward S. Morse, who discovered sherds of pottery in 1877 and subsequently translated it into Japanese as jōmon. The pottery style characteristic of the first phases of Jōmon culture was decorated by impressing cords into the surface of wet clay and is generally accepted to be among the oldest in East Asia and the world.

Mount Hakone volcano in Japan

Mount Hakone is a complex volcano in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan that is truncated by two overlapping calderas, the largest of which is 10 × 11 km wide. The calderas were formed as a result of two major explosive eruptions about 180,000 and 49,000–60,000 years ago. Lake Ashi lies between the southwestern caldera wall and a half dozen post-caldera lava domes that arose along a southwest–northeastern trend cutting through the center of the calderas. Dome growth occurred progressively to the south, and the largest and youngest of them, Kami-yama, forms the high point of Hakone. The calderas are breached to the east by the Haya-kawa canyon. Mount Ashigara is a parasitic cone.

Lake Ashi Crater lake in Japan

Lake Ashi, also referred to as Hakone Lake or Ashinoko Lake, is a scenic lake in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshū, Japan. It is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano that last erupted in 1170 CE at Ōwakudani. The lake is known for its views of Mt. Fuji, its numerous hot springs, historical sites, and ryokan. The lake is located on the Tōkaidō road, the main link between Kyoto and Tokyo. A number of pleasure boats and ferries traverse the lake, providing scenic views for tourists and passengers. Several of the boats are inspired by the design of sailing warships.

It is believed[ by whom? ] that the Yamato dynasty ruled this area from the 5th century onwards. In the ancient era, its plains were very sparsely inhabited.

In medieval Japan, Kanagawa was part of the provinces of Sagami and Musashi. [3] Kamakura in central Sagami was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura period (1185–1333).

Sagami Province province of Japan

Sagami Province was a province of Japan located in what is today the central and western Kanagawa Prefecture. Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga Provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay. However, most of the present-day cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, now part of Kanagawa Prefecture, were not in Sagami, but rather, in Musashi Province. Its abbreviated form name was Sōshū (相州).

Musashi Province province of Japan

Musashi Province was a province of Japan, which today comprises Tokyo Metropolis, most of Saitama Prefecture and part of Kanagawa Prefecture. It was sometimes called Bushū (武州). The province encompassed Kawasaki and Yokohama. Musashi bordered on Kai, Kōzuke, Sagami, Shimōsa, and Shimotsuke Provinces.

Kamakura period period of Japanese history

The Kamakura period is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shōgun, Minamoto no Yoritomo. The period is known for the emergence of the samurai, the warrior caste, and for the establishment of feudalism in Japan.

During the Edo period, the western part of Sagami Province was governed by the daimyō of Odawara Castle, while the eastern part was directly governed by the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (modern-day Tokyo).

Edo period period of Japanese history

The Edo period or Tokugawa period (徳川時代) is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the country's 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, a stable population, "no more wars", and popular enjoyment of arts and culture. The shogunate was officially established in Edo on March 24, 1603, by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 3, 1868, after the fall of Edo.

<i>Daimyō</i> powerful territorial lord in pre-modern Japan

The daimyō were powerful Japanese feudal lords who—until their decline in the early Meiji period—ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings. Subordinate to the shōgun, and nominally to the Emperor and the kuge, daimyō were powerful feudal rulers from the 10th century to the middle 19th century in Japan. In the term, dai (大) means "large", and myō stands for myōden(名田), meaning private land.

Odawara Castle Japanese Castle

Odawara Castle is a landmark in the city of Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Commodore Matthew Perry landed in Kanagawa in 1853 and 1854 and signed the Convention of Kanagawa to force open Japanese ports to the United States. Yokohama, the largest deep-water port in Tokyo Bay, was opened to foreign traders in 1859 after several more years of foreign pressure, and eventually developed into the largest trading port in Japan. Nearby Yokosuka, closer to the mouth of Tokyo Bay, developed as a naval port and now serves as headquarters for the U.S. 7th Fleet and the fleet operations of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. After the Meiji period, many foreigners lived in Yokohama City, and visited Hakone. The Meiji government developed the first railways in Japan, from Shinbashi (in Tokyo) to Yokohama in 1872.

Matthew C. Perry 19th-century American admiral

Matthew Calbraith Perry was a Commodore of the United States Navy who commanded ships in several wars, including the War of 1812 and the Mexican–American War (1846–48). He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.

Convention of Kanagawa 1854 treaty between Japan and the US

On March 31, 1854, the Convention of Kanagawa or Kanagawa Treaty was the first treaty between the United States and the Tokugawa shogunate.

Yokohama Designated city in Kantō, Japan

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population, and the most populous municipality of Japan. It is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area.

The epicenter of the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake was deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay. It devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. [4] The sea receded as much as 400 metres from the shore at Manazuru Point, and then rushed back towards the shore in a great wall of water which swamped Mitsuishi-shima. [5] At Kamakura, the total death toll from earthquake, tsunami, and fire exceeded 2,000 victims. [6] At Odawara, ninety percent of the buildings collapsed immediately, and subsequent fires burned the rubble along with anything else left standing. [7]

Yokohama, Kawasaki and other major cities were heavily damaged by the U.S. bombing in 1945. Casualties amounted to more than several thousand. After the war, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers for the Occupation of Japan, landed in Kanagawa, before moving to other areas. U.S. military bases still remain in Kanagawa, including Camp Zama (Army), Yokosuka Naval Base, Naval Air Station Atsugi (Navy).

In 1945, Kanagawa was the 15th most populous prefecture in Japan, with the population of about 1.9 million. In the years after the war, the prefecture underwent rapid urbanization as a part of the Greater Tokyo Area. The population as of September 1, 2014, is estimated to be 9.1 million. [8] Kanagawa became the second most populous prefecture in 2006.


Kanagawa is a relatively small prefecture located at the southeastern corner of the Kantō Plain [9] wedged between Tokyo on the north, the foothills of Mount Fuji on the northwest, and the Sagami Bay [9] and Tokyo Bay on the south and east. The eastern side of the prefecture is relatively flat and heavily urbanized, including the large port cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki.

The southeastern area nearby the Miura Peninsula is less urbanized, with the ancient city of Kamakura drawing tourists to temples and shrines. The western part, bordered by Yamanashi Prefecture and Shizuoka Prefecture on the west, [10] is more mountainous and includes resort areas like Odawara and Hakone. The area, stretching 80 kilometres (50 mi) from west to east and 60 kilometres (37 mi) from north to south, contains 2,400 square kilometres (930 sq mi) of land, accounting for 0.64% of the total land area of Japan. [10]

As of 1 April 2012, 23% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park; Tanzawa-Ōyama Quasi-National Park; and Jinba Sagamiko, Manazuru Hantō, Okuyugawara, and Tanzawa-Ōyama Prefectural Natural Parks. [11]


Topographically, the prefecture consists of three distinct areas. The mountainous western region features the Tanzawa Mountain Range and Hakone Volcano. The hilly eastern region is characterized by the Tama Hills and Miura Peninsula. The central region, which surrounds the Tama Hills and Miura Peninsula, consists of flat stream terraces and low lands around major rivers including the Sagami River, Sakai River, Tsurumi River, and Tama River. [10]

The Tama River forms much of the boundary between Kanagawa and Tokyo. The Sagami River flows through the middle of the prefecture. In the western region, the Sakawa (river) runs through a small lowland, the Sakawa Lowland, between Hakone Volcano to the west and the Ōiso Hills to the east and flows into Sagami Bay. [9]

The Tanzawa Mountain Range, part of the Kantō Mountain Range, contains Mount Hiru (1,673 m or 5,489 ft), the highest peak in the prefecture. Other mountains measure similar mid-range heights: Mount Hinokiboramaru (1,601 m or 5,253 ft), Mount Tanzawa, (1,567 m or 5,141 ft), Mount Ōmuro (1,588 m or 5,210 ft), Mount Himetsugi (1,433 m or 4,701 ft), and Mount Usu (1,460 m or 4,790 ft). The mountain range is lower in height southward leading to Hadano Basin to the Ōiso Hills. At the eastern foothills of the mountain range lies the Isehara Plateau and across the Sagami River the Sagamino plateau. [9]


Map of Kanagawa Prefecture
Government Ordinance Designated City City Town Village Map of Kanagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Map of Kanagawa Prefecture
     Government Ordinance Designated City     City     Town     Village

Nineteen cities are located in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Towns and villages

Prefectural office of Kanagawa Prefectural office of Kanagawa.jpg
Prefectural office of Kanagawa

These are the towns and villages in each district:


Festivals and events

Odawara Hojo Festival 3s,main-mikoshi.jpg
Odawara Hōjō Festival


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
source: [12]

Kanagawa's transport network is heavily intertwined with that of Tokyo (see: Transportation in Greater Tokyo ). Shin-Yokohama and Odawara stations on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen are located in the prefecture, providing high-speed rail service to Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and other major cities.




People movers



National highways



The Kanagawa Prefectural Board of Education manages and oversees individual municipal school districts. The board of education also directly operates most of the public high schools in the prefecture.

University facilities



Football and athletics





Soccer (football)




Visitors attractions and places of interest

Sister areas

Kanagawa Prefecture has sister relationships with these places: [13]

See also


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kanagawa" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 466 , p. 466, at Google Books; "Kantō" in p. 479 , p. 479, at Google Books.
  2. Nussbaum, "Yokohama" in pp. 1054–1055 , p. 154, at Google Books.
  3. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 466 , p. 466, at Google Books.
  4. Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: the Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II, p. 278 , p. 278, at Google Books.
  5. Hammer, pp. 114–115 , p. 114, at Google Books.
  6. Hammer, pp. 115-116 , p. 115, at Google Books.
  7. Hammer, p. 113 , p. 113, at Google Books.
  8. 神奈川県人口統計調査公表資料 (Report). 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-13.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Kanagawa terrain (in Japanese)(Translateto English: Google, Bing)
  10. 1 2 3 Overview of the prefectural geography (in Japanese)(Translateto English: Google, Bing)
  11. "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 16 August 2012.
  12. Statistics Bureau of Japan
  13. "Friendly/Sister Affiliations of Kanagawa Prefecture and the Municipalities : Kanagawa". Kanagawa Prefectural Government. February 1, 2016. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  14. "Memorándum de Entendimiento entre el Estado de Aguascalientes, de lo s Estados Unidos Mexicanos, y el Gobierno de la Prefectura de Kanagawa, Japón" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-12-04. Retrieved 2017-12-04.

Related Research Articles

Sagami Bay bay in Japan

Sagami Bay lies south of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshu, central Japan, contained within the scope of the Miura Peninsula, in Kanagawa, to the east, the Izu Peninsula, in Shizuoka Prefecture, to the west, and the Shōnan coastline to the north, while the island of Izu Ōshima marks the southern extent of the bay. It lies approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of the capital, Tokyo. Cities on the bay include Odawara, Chigasaki, Fujisawa, Hiratsuka, Itō, and Kamakura.

Hiratsuka Special city in Kantō, Japan

Hiratsuka is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Fujisawa, Kanagawa City in Kantō, Japan

Fujisawa is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Hadano, Kanagawa City in Kantō, Japan

Hadano is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Sagamihara Designated city in Kantō, Japan

Sagamihara is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is the third most populous city in the prefecture, after Yokohama and Kawasaki, and the fifth most populous suburb of the Greater Tokyo Area. Its northern neighbor is Machida, with which a cross-prefectural merger has been proposed.

Isehara, Kanagawa City in Kantō, Japan

Isehara is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Ninomiya, Kanagawa Town in Kantō, Japan

Ninomiya is a town located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of June 2012, the town had an estimated population of 29,350, and a density of 3,230 persons per km2. The total area is 9.08 km2.

Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Kanazawa-ku (金沢区) is one of the 18 wards of the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of 2010, the ward had an estimated population of 209,565 and a density of 6,760 persons per km². The total area was 31.01 km2 (11.97 sq mi). The ward symbol, established 1987, expresses the image of sea, waves, and a sea gull.

Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Hodogaya-ku (保土ケ谷区) is one of the 18 wards of the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of 2010, Hodogaya Ward had an estimated population of 205,887 and a density of 9,400 inhabitants per square kilometer (24,000/sq mi). The total area was 21.91 km2 (8.46 sq mi).

Seya-ku, Yokohama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Seya-ku (瀬谷区) is one of the 18 wards of the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of 2010, the ward had an estimated population of 126,839 and a density of 7,390 persons per km2. The total area was 17.16 km2.

Totsuka-ku, Yokohama Ward in Kantō, Japan

Totsuka-ku (戸塚区) is one of the 18 wards of the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of 2010, the ward had an estimated population of 273,418 and a density of 7,640 persons per km². The total area was 35.70 km².

Japan National Route 246 road in Japan

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The Kanagawa Prefectural Board of Education (神奈川県教育委員会) is the board of education for Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. The board consists of six members; one of them is elected as the chair, and one of them is appointed by the board as the superintendent. The board administers municipal education and directly operates all of the prefectural schools.

Kawasaki, Kanagawa Designated city in Kantō, Japan

Kawasaki is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is the 8th most populated city in Japan and one of the main cities forming the Greater Tokyo Area and Keihin Industrial Area.

Atsugi Special city in Kantō, Japan

Atsugi is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Mount Ōyama (Kanagawa) Mount in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Mount Ōyama, also Mount Afuri or Mount Kunimi (Kunimi-yama), is a 1,252-metre-high (4,108 ft) mountain situated on the border of Isehara, Hadano and Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Together with Mount Tanzawa and other mountains in the Tanzawa Mountains it forms the Tanzawa-Ōyama Quasi-National Park. Mount Ōyama is a popular sightseeing spot in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The Odawara-Atsugi Road is a 4-laned toll road in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is owned and managed by Central Nippon Expressway Company.

Shōnan, shounan, or shonan may refer to: