Mie Prefecture

Last updated
Mie Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
   Japanese 三重県
   Rōmaji Mie-ken
Flag of Mie Prefecture.svg
Emblem of Mie Prefecture.svg
Map of Japan with highlight on 24 Mie prefecture.svg
Coordinates: 34°42′N136°30′E / 34.700°N 136.500°E / 34.700; 136.500 Coordinates: 34°42′N136°30′E / 34.700°N 136.500°E / 34.700; 136.500
CountryFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Region Kansai (Tōkai)
Island Honshu
Capital Tsu
Subdivisions Districts: 7, Municipalities: 29
   Governor Katsumi Ichimi (since September 2021)
  Total5,774.41 km2 (2,229.51 sq mi)
Area rank 25th
 (1 June 2019)
  Rank 22nd
  Density310/km2 (800/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-24
Website www.pref.mie.jp/
Bird Snowy plover
(Charadrius alexandrinus)
Fish Japanese spiny lobster
(Panulirus japonicus)
Flower Iris
(Iris ensata)
Tree Japanese cedar
(Cryptomeria japonica)

Mie Prefecture (三重県, Mie-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. [1] Mie Prefecture has a population of 1,781,948 (as of 1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 5,774 square kilometers (2,229 sq mi). Mie Prefecture borders Gifu Prefecture to the north, Shiga Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture to the northwest, Nara Prefecture to the west, Wakayama Prefecture to the southwest, and Aichi Prefecture to the east.


Tsu is the capital and Yokkaichi is the largest city of Mie Prefecture, with other major cities including Suzuka, Matsusaka, and Kuwana. [2] :995 Mie Prefecture is located on the eastern coast of the Kii Peninsula, forming the western side of Ise Bay which features the mouths of the Kiso Three Rivers. Mie Prefecture is a popular tourism destination home to Nagashima Spa Land, Suzuka International Racing Course, and some of the oldest and holiest sites in Shinto, the traditional religion of Japan, including the Ise Grand Shrine and the Tsubaki Grand Shrine.


Ise Shrine Naiku 01.JPG
Ise Shrine

Until the Meiji Restoration, the area that is now Mie Prefecture was made up of Ise Province, Shima Province, Iga Province, and part of Kii Province. [3]

Evidence of human habitation in Mie dates back more than 10,000 years. During the Jōmon and Yayoi periods, agricultural communities began to form along the river and coastal areas of the region. Ise Shrine is said to have been established during the Yayoi period, and in the 7th century the Saikū Imperial Residence was built in what is now Meiwa Town to serve as both a residence and administrative centre for the Saiō, an Imperial Princess who served as High Priestess of Ise Shrine.

During the Edo period, the area now known as Mie Prefecture consisted of several feudal domains, each ruled by an appointed lord. Transport networks, including the Tokaido and Ise Roads, were built. Port towns such as Ohminato, Kuwana and Anōtsu, posting stations and castle towns flourished. Pilgrimages to Ise Shrine also became very popular.

After the Meiji Restoration, the former provinces of Ise, Shima and Iga as well as a portion of eastern Kii, were organized and reorganized repeatedly. In 1871, the area from the Kiso Three Rivers in the north to present-day Tsu became Anōtsu Prefecture, and the area south of that became Watarai Prefecture. In 1872, the Anōtsu prefectural seat moved from Tsu to Yokkaichi, and the prefecture itself was renamed Mie. For a variety of reasons, including the strong likelihood that Mie would eventually merge with Watarai, the prefectural seat returned to Tsu the following year, and Mie Prefecture took its present-day form in 1876, when it merged with its southern neighbor.

The name Mie supposedly was taken from a comment about the region made by Yamato Takeru on his way back from conquering the eastern regions.

In 1959, many lives were lost as parts of Mie were devastated by the Ise-wan Typhoon, the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history. Crops were destroyed, sea walls ruined, roads and railways damaged and a substantial number of people were injured or left homeless.

In May 2016, the city of Shima hosted the 42nd G7 summit, the third summit without the presence of Russia.


Physical map of Mie prefecture Mie geolocalisation relief.svg
Physical map of Mie prefecture
Regional division of Mie as used by the Qi Xiang Ting noSan Zhong Xian noQu Fen .jpg
Regional division of Mie as used by the

Japan Meteorological Agency]]: The primary division is between North/Central and South, the former being further subdivided into North, Central and Iga, the latter into Ise-Shima and KiSei/East Kishū; Ise/Sei[-shū], Shima/Shi[-shū], Iga/I[-shū) and Kii/Ki[-shū] are the four Ritsuryō provinces that are partly or entirely part of modern Mie.]]

Mie Prefecture forms the eastern part of the Kii Peninsula, and borders on Aichi, Gifu, Shiga, Kyoto, Nara, and Wakayama. It is considered[ by whom? ] part of the Kansai and Tōkai regions due to its geographical proximity to Aichi Prefecture and its cultural influence from Kansai, such as the fact that Kansai dialect is spoken in Mie. Traditionally, though, the Iga region of Mie is considered to have always been a part of Kansai.

Mie Prefecture measures 170 km (106 mi) from north to south, and 80 km (50 mi) from east to west, and includes five distinct geographical areas: [4]

  1. the north-west of Mie consists of the Suzuka Mountains
  2. along the coast of Ise Bay from the Aichi border to Ise City lies the Ise Plain, where most of the population of Mie live
  3. south of the Ise Plain is the Shima Peninsula
  4. bordering Nara in the central-west is the Iga Basin
  5. running from central Mie to its southern borders is the Nunobiki Mountainous Region.
Mie coastline, near Ise Shima Skyline DSC5445.jpg
Mie coastline, near

Toba, Mie|Toba]]]]

Yokkaichi Yokkaichi fromtarusaka.JPG
Ise Ise banner.jpg
Iga IgaUenojyo08.jpg
Owase, Mie.JPG

Owase, Mie|Owase]]]]

Mie has a coastline that stretches 1,094.9 km (680.3 mi) and, as of 2000, Mie's 5,776.44 km2 (2,230.30 sq mi) landmass is 64.8 percent forest, 11.5 percent agriculture, 6 percent residential area, 3.8 percent roads, and 3.6 percent rivers. The remaining 10.3 percent are not classified.

The Ise Plain has a relatively moderate climate, averaging 14 to 15 °C (57 to 59 °F) for the year. The Iga Basin has more daily temperature variance and averages temperatures 1 to 2 degrees cooler than the Ise Plain. Southern Mie, south of the Shima Peninsula, has a warmer Pacific marine climate, with Owase Region having one of the heaviest rainfall figures for all of Japan. [4]

As of 31 March 2019, 36% of the total area of the prefecture comprised designated Natural Parks, [5] namely:


Since 2006, Mie consists of 29 municipalities: 14 cities and 15 towns.

Flag, name w/o suffixFull name District
Area (km2)PopulationMap Local public entity code
(w/o checksum)
Japanese transcription translation
Flag of Iga, Mie.svg Iga 伊賀市Iga-shiIga City558.1795,137 Iga in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24216
Flag of Inabe Mie.JPG Inabe いなべ市Inabe-shiInabe City219.5845,589 Inabe in Mie Prefecture Ja.png 24214
Flag of Ise, Mie.svg Ise 伊勢市Ise-shiIse City208.52123,129 Ise in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24203
Flag of Kameyama Mie.svg Kameyama 亀山市Kameyama-shiKameyama City190.9150,230 Kameyama in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24210
Flag of Kumano, Mie.svg Kumano 熊野市Kumano-shiKumano City373.3517,727 Kumano in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24212
Flag of Kuwana, Mie.svg Kuwana 桑名市Kuwana-shiKuwana City136.68139,587 Kuwana in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24205
Flag of Matsusaka, Mie.svg Matsusaka 松阪市Matsusaka-shiMatsusaka City623.64165,166 Matsusaka in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24204
Flag of Nabari, Mie.svg Nabari 名張市Nabari-shiNabari City129.7778,190 Nabari in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24208
Flag of Owase, Mie.svg Owase 尾鷲市Owase-shiOwase City192.7117,953 Owase in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24209
Flag of Shima, Mie.svg Shima 志摩市Shima-shiShima City179.6753,056 Shima in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24215
Flag of Suzuka, Mie.svg Suzuka 鈴鹿市Suzuka-shiSuzuka City194.46196,835 Suzuka in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24207
Flag of Toba, Mie.svg Toba 鳥羽市Toba-shiToba City107.3419,227 Toba in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24211
Flag of Tsu, Mie.svg Tsu (capital)津市Tsu-shiTsu City711.11279,304 Tsu in Mie prefecture Ja.svg 24201
Flag of Yokkaichi, Mie.png Yokkaichi 四日市市Yokkaichi-shiYokkaichi City206.44306,107 Yokkaichi in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24202
Flag of Asahi Mie.jpg Asahi 朝日町Asahi-chōAsahi Town Mie 5.999,941 Asahi in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24343
Flag of Kawagoe Mie.JPG Kawagoe 川越町Kawagoe-chōKawagoe Town8.7314,999 Kawagoe in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24344
Flag of komono Mie.JPG Komono 菰野町Komono-chōKomono Town106.8940,289 Komono in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24341
Flag of Kiho Mie.JPG Kihō 紀宝町Kihō-chōKihō Town Minami-Muro
(South Muro)
79.6611,454 Kiho in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24562
Flag of Mihama Mie.JPG Mihama 御浜町Mihama-chōMihama Town88.289,089 Mihama in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24561
Flag of Kihoku Mie.JPG Kihoku 紀北町Kihoku-chōKihoku Town Kita-Muro
(North Muro)
257.0117,885 Kihoku in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24543
Flag of Kisosaki Mie.JPG Kisosaki 木曽岬町Kisosaki-chōKisosaki Town Kuwana 15.726,730 Kisosaki in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24303
Flag of Meiwa, Mie.svg Meiwa 明和町Meiwa-chōMeiwa Town Taki 40.9222,726 Meiwa in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24442
Flag of Odai Mie.png Ōdai 大台町Ōdai-chōŌdai Town362.949,345 Odai in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24443
Flag of Taki Mie.JPG Taki 多気町Taki-chōTaki Town103.0614,846 Taki in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24441
Flag of Minamiise Mie.JPG Minamiise 南伊勢町Minami-Ise-chōSouth Ise Town Watarai 242.9814,217 Minamiise in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24472
Flag of Taiki, Mie.svg Taiki 大紀町Taiki-chōTaiki Town233.549,543 Taiki in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24471
Flag of Tamaki Mie.JPG Tamaki 玉城町Tamaki-chōTamaki Town40.9415,280 Tamaki in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24461
Flag of Watarai Mie.JPG Watarai 度会町Watarai-chōWatarai Town134.978,534 Watarai in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24470
Flag of Toin Mie.JPG Tōin 東員町Tōin-chōTōin Town Inabe 22.6625,552 Toin in Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24324
Flag of Mie Prefecture.svg Mie三重県Mie-kenMie Prefecture5,774.411,781,948 Map of Mie Prefecture Ja.svg 24000
ISO: JP-24


When the modern municipalities were introduced in 1889, Mie initially consisted of 336 municipalities: 1 (by definition: district-level) city and 21 districts with 18 towns and 317 villlages. With the Great Shōwa mergers of the 1950s, the number of municipalities in Mie had dropped to 88 by 1956. The Great Heisei mergers of the 2000s reduced the total from 69 to 29 between 2000 and 2006.


Mie Prefecture has traditionally been a link between east and west Japan, thanks largely to the Tokaido and Ise Pilgrimage Roads. Traditional handicrafts such as Iga Braid, Yokkaichi Banko Pottery, Suzuka Ink, Iga Pottery and Ise Katagami flourished. With 65% of the prefecture consisting of forests and with over 1,000 km (600 mi) of coastline, Mie has a long been associated with forestry and seafood industries. Mie also produces tea, beef, cultured pearls and fruit, mainly mandarin oranges. Food production companies include Azuma Foods. [6] [7]

Northern Mie is home to a number of manufacturing industries, mainly transport machinery manufacturing (vehicles and ships) and heavy chemical industries such as oil refineries. As well as this, Mie Prefecture is expanding into more advanced industries including the manufacture of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays. In Suzuka, the Honda Motor Company maintains a factory established in 1960 that built the Honda Civic, as well as other vehicles.


Mie Prefecture Demographics (as of 2014) [8]
Total population1,820,491
Male population886,362
Female population934,129
Population aged under 15240,263
Population aged 15 to 641,076,257
Population aged over 64491,779
Population density (per km2)315.3






Distribution of regional license plates in Mie: Much of the prefecture still uses
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San Zhong  (Mie), and there is only one prefecturewide MLIT vehicle registration centre for all of Mie, in Tsu City; but with the introduction of regional plates without a separate licensing office since the 2000s, there are now three additional regional identifieres:
Si Ri Shi  (Yokkaichi) for Yokkaichi City alone,
Ling Lu  (Suzuka) in Suzuka City and Kameyama City, and
Yi Shi Zhi Mo  (Ise-Shima) used for seven municipalities on the Shima peninsula. Map of license plates in Mie Japan.svg
Distribution of regional license plates in Mie: Much of the prefecture still uses   三重 (Mie), and there is only one prefecturewide MLIT vehicle registration centre for all of Mie, in Tsu City; but with the introduction of regional plates without a separate licensing office since the 2000s, there are now three additional regional identifieres:   四日市 (Yokkaichi) for Yokkaichi City alone,   鈴鹿 (Suzuka) in Suzuka City and Kameyama City, and   伊勢志摩 (Ise-Shima) used for seven municipalities on the Shima peninsula.

Expressways and toll roads

National highways

  • Route 1
  • Route 23 (Ise-Yokkaichi-Nagoya-Gamagori-Toyohashi)
  • Route 25 (Meihan Highway)
  • Route 42
  • Route 163
  • Route 164 (Yokkaichi)
  • Route 165
  • Route 167 (Shima-Toba -Ise)
  • Route 258
  • Route 301
  • Route 311
  • Route 365
  • Route 421
  • Route 422
  • Route 425 (Owase-Totsukawa-Gobo)
  • Route 477



Notable places

Meoto Rocks in Ise Bay, Ise Meotoiwa.jpg
Meoto Rocks in Ise Bay, Ise
Mount Gozaisho and cable-car in Komono Gozaisho Ropeway and Komono Mie.jpg
Mount Gozaisho and cable-car in Komono
Winter Illumination event in Nabana Village Park, Kuwana Nabana no Sato Chapel Illumination.jpg
Winter Illumination event in Nabana Village Park, Kuwana

Notable citizens

Famous products

Government and politics

The Meiji-era, former (1879-1964) building of the Mie prefectural government has been reconstructed in the "Meiji village" museum in Aichi. Meiji Mura 3882282918 fc4d16685b.jpg
The Meiji-era, former (1879–1964) building of the Mie prefectural government has been reconstructed in the "Meiji village" museum in Aichi.

The prefectural government was briefly moved to Yokkaichi Town in Mie District in 1872 (hence the name Mie), but the capital moved back to Anotsu, Anō District (present-day Tsu City) in 1873 [10] and has remained there since. Ignoring small changes through cross-prefectural municipal mergers, neighbourhood transfers and coastline variations, Mie reached its present borders in 1876 when it absorbed Watarai Prefecture. After the modern reactivation of districts in 1878/79, Mie consisted of 21 districts (merged down to 15 in the 1890s). [11] The first prefectural assembly was elected in March 1879 and convened in April. [12] In the introduction of modern cities, towns and villages in 1889, Anotsu became district-independent as Tsu City and the districts were subdivided into 18 towns and 317 villages (see the List of mergers in Mie Prefecture for changes since then).

As in all prefectures except Okinawa, the governor of Mie is directly elected since 1947. The prefectural assembly has 51 members. Both prefectural elections in Mie are currently held as part of unified local elections. In the last round in 2019, governor Eikei Suzuki easily won a third term with broad support from LDP, Shinsei Mie (see below) and Kōmeitō, against only one, JCP-supported challenger; [13] Suzuki was originally elected narrowly in 2011 as centre-right candidate against centre-left supported Naohisa Matsuda, former mayor of Tsu City. In the Mie assembly, the LDP is strongest party; [14] but it is distributed across several parliamentary groups, and the strongest group is Shisei Mie (新政みえ; "Renewal Mie") around members of several local parties of former Democrats. [15]

In the National Diet, Mie is represented by four directly elected members of the House of Representatives and two (one per class) in the House of Councillors. After the national elections of 2016, 2017 and 2019, Mie's directly elected delegation was evenly split between Liberal Democrats (HR district #1: Norihisa Tamura, #4: Noriyo Mitsuya, HC 2019–25 class: Yūmi Yoshikawa) and ex-Democrats (HR #2: Masaharu Nakagawa, #3: Katsuya Okada, HC 2016–22 class: Hirokazu Shiba) in both houses of the Diet.

Sister states


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Mie prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 628 , p. 628, at Google Books; "Kansai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 477 , p. 477, at Google Books
  2. Nussbaum, "Tsu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 995 , p. 995, at Google Books
  3. Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780 , p. 780, at Google Books
  4. 1 2 Mie Prefecture homepage: Mie's Geography and Climate (pdf)
  5. 自然公園都道府県別面積総括 [General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture](PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment . Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  6. "Azuma Foods Co., Ltd.|Company Profile". Azumafoods.co.jp. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  7. Hamlin, Suzanne (13 August 1997). "From Japan, A Big Wave Of Seaweed". The New York Times.
  8. Mie Prefecture Homepage: Key Statistics
  9. Morrissy, Kim. "Mysterious Sonic the Hedgehog Statue in Japanese Mountains Gets Refurbished". Anime News Network. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  10. Prefectural government: 三重県庁舎(津市下部田) ("Mie prefectural government building (Tsu City, Lower Heta)"), retrieved June 24, 2020.
  11. Map of Mie's districts in January 1889, i.e. before the introduction of cities, Map of Mie's two cities and 15 districts in 1900
  12. Prefectural assembly: history/chronology since 1878 (Japanese), retrieved June 24, 2020.
  13. NHKSenkyoWeb: 2019 unified election results/prefectural governors/Mie, retrieved June 24, 2020.
  14. NHKSenkyoWeb: 2019 unified election results/prefectural assemblies/Mie [by nomination in that election, not by party membership, let alone parliamentary group membership, or affiliations at any previous or later point in time] (Japanese), retrieved June 24, 2020.
  15. Prefectural assembly: Members by parliamentary group (Japanese), retrieved June 24, 2020.

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