Chūbu region

The Chūbu region (中部地方 Chūbu-chihō), Central region, or Central Japan (中部日本) is a region in the middle of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population of 23,010,276 as of 1 June 2019. It encompasses nine prefectures (ken): Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi.[1]

It is located directly between the Kantō region and the Kansai region and includes the major city of Nagoya as well as Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan coastlines, extensive mountain resorts, and Mount Fuji.

The region is the widest part of Honshū and the central part is characterized by high, rugged mountains. The Japanese Alps divide the country into the Pacific side, sunny in winter, and the Sea of Japan side, snowy in winter.

Chūbu region

The Chūbu region in Japan
The Chūbu region in Japan
 • Total72,572.34 km2 (28,020.34 sq mi)
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total23,010,276
 • Density320/km2 (820/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
Sattatouge mtfuji
Mount Fuji is the Chūbu region's most famous landmark.
Nagoya (2015-11-03)
Central Nagoya


The Chūbu region covers a large and geographically diverse area of Honshū which leads to it generally being divided into three distinct subregions: Tōkai, Kōshin'etsu, and Hokuriku. There is also another subregion occasionally referred to in business circles called Chūkyō.


The Tōkai region, mostly bordering the Pacific Ocean, is a narrow corridor interrupted in places by mountains that descend into the sea.

Since the Tokugawa period (1600–1867), this corridor has been critical in linking Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. One of old Japan's most important ancient roadways, the Tōkaidō, ran through it connecting Tokyo (at that time called Edo) and Kyoto, the old imperial capital. In the twentieth century, it became the route for new super-express highways and high-speed railroad lines (shinkansen). The area consists of Aichi, Mie, Shizuoka,and southern Gifu prefectures.

A number of small alluvial plains are found in the corridor section. A mild climate, favorable location relatively close to the great metropolitan complexes, and availability of fast transportation have made this area a center for truck-gardening and out-of-season vegetables. Upland areas of rolling hills are extensively given over to the growing of mandarin oranges and tea. Nagoya, which faces Ise Bay, is a center for heavy industry, including iron and steel and machinery manufacturing. The corridor also has a number of small but important industrial centers. The western part of Tōkai includes the Nōbi Plain, where rice was being grown by the seventh century.


The three Tōkai prefectures centered on Nagoya (Aichi, Gifu, and Mie) have particularly strong economic ties, and the parts of these prefectures that are closest to the city comprise the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area. This area boasts the third strongest economy in Japan and this influence can sometimes extend into the more remote parts of these prefectures that are farther away from Nagoya. Thus, these three prefectures are sometimes called the "Chūkyō region" in a business sense. This name does not see widespread usage throughout Japan; however, as the economy in the area strengthens, this name may become more well-known country-wide.

Down Town of Tsu City

Tsu City
(Kinki region)


Kōshin'etsu is an area of complex and high rugged mountains—often called the "roof of Japan"—that include the Japanese Alps. The population is chiefly concentrated in six elevated basins connected by narrow valleys. It was long a main silk-producing area, although output declined after World War II. Much of the labor formerly required in silk production was absorbed by the district's diversified manufacturing industry, which included precision instruments, machinery, textiles, food processing, and other light manufacturing. Kōshin'etsu means Yamanashi, Nagano, and Niigata prefectures; Niigata is also included to the Hokuriku region. Yamanashi, Nagano and northern Gifu Prefecture are sometimes referred to as Chūō-kōchi or Tōsan region.


The Hokuriku region lies on the Sea of Japan coastline, northwest of the massive mountains that comprise Kōshin'etsu. Hokuriku includes the four prefectures of Ishikawa, Fukui, Niigata and Toyama,[2]

The district has very heavy snowfall (sometimes enough to block major roads) and strong winds in winter, and its turbulent rivers are the source of abundant hydroelectric power. Niigata Prefecture is the site of domestic gas and oil production as well. Industrial development is extensive, especially in the cities in Niigata and Toyama; Fukui and Ishikawa prefectures also have large manufacturing industries.

Historically, Hokuriku's development is owed to markets in the Kansai region, however recently the urban areas at the heart of the Kantō region and Tōkai region are having a heavy an influence as well. Hokuriku has port facilities which are mainly to facilitate trade with Russia, Korea and China. Transportation between Niigata and Toyama used to be geographically limited and so Niigata has seen especially strong influence from the Kantō region, because of this Niigata Prefecture is often classified as being part of the Kōshin'etsu region with Nagano and Yamanashi Prefectures.

Major cities

Designated city
Core city

Other major cities

See also


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Chūbu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 126, p. 126, at Google Books
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Hokuriku" at p. 344, p. 344, at Google Books


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric (2002 [1996]). Japan Encyclopedia. Trans. by Käthe Roth. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-01753-6, ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5. OCLC 58053128.
  •  This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies document "Japan".

External links

  • Chubu travel guide from Wikivoyage

Coordinates: 35°53′N 137°57′E / 35.883°N 137.950°E

2004 Chūetsu earthquake

The Chūetsu earthquakes (中越地震, Chūetsu jishin) occurred in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, at 17:56 local time (08:56 UTC) on Saturday, October 23, 2004. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) named it the "Heisei 16 Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Earthquake" (平成16年新潟県中越地震, Heisei ju-roku-nen Niigata-ken Chuetsu Jishin). Niigata Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku region of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The initial earthquake had a magnitude of 6.6 and caused noticeable shaking across almost half of Honshu, including parts of the Tōhoku, Hokuriku, Chūbu, and Kantō regions.

Aichi Prefectural Police

The Aichi Prefectural Police (愛知県警察, Aichi-ken Keisatsu) is the prefectural police force responsible, under the control of the Aichi Prefectural Public Safety Commission, for policing the Aichi prefecture.

Aichi Prefecture

Aichi Prefecture (愛知県, Aichi-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō metropolitan area.

Chūkyō metropolitan area

Chūkyō (中京圏, Chūkyō-ken), or the Chūkyō region (中京地方, Chūkyō-chihō), is a major metropolitan area in Japan that is centered on the city of Nagoya (the "Chūkyō", i.e., the "capital in the middle") in Aichi Prefecture. The area makes up the most-urban part of the Tōkai region. The population of 10,240,000 over an area of 7,072 square kilometers. (Demographia World Urban Areas 2019)[]

Nevertheless, like most of Japan's major metro areas, the core of it lies on a fertile alluvial plain, in this case the Nōbi Plain.

It is among the 50 most-populous metropolitan areas in the world and is the third-most-populous metropolitan area in Japan (after Greater Tokyo and Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto), containing roughly 7% of Japan's population. Historically, this region has taken a back seat to the other two power centers, both politically and economically; however, the agglomeration of Nagoya is the 22nd-largest metro area economy, in terms of gross metropolitan product at purchasing power parity in 2014, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. The GDP in Greater Nagoya, Nagoya Metropolitan Employment Area, is US$256.3 billion in 2010.

Fukui Prefecture

Fukui Prefecture (福井県, Fukui-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Fukui.

Hokuriku region

The Hokuriku region (北陸地方, Hokuriku chihō, Lit. "Northlands region") was located in the northwestern part of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It lay along the Sea of Japan within the Chūbu region, which it is currently a part of. It is almost equivalent to Koshi Province and Hokurikudō area in pre-modern Japan. Due to its elongated shape, and the Noto Peninsula jutting out, the region is known as a 'rising dragon' 昇龍道 (しょうりゅうどう, Shōryudō). Since the Heian period until the Edo period the region was a core recipient of population, the population grew to be much larger proportionately than it is today, despite the rural character. With the growth of urban centers in the 20th century, particularly Tokyo and Chūkyō, the Hokuriku has steadily declined in importance to become relative backwaters. The region is also known for traditional culture that originated from elsewhere that has been long lost along the Taiheiyō Belt.

The Hokuriku region includes the four prefectures of Ishikawa, Fukui, Niigata and Toyama, although Niigata is sometimes included in one of the following regions:

Shin'etsu (信越): includes Niigata and Nagano prefectures

Kōshin'etsu (甲信越): includes Niigata, Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures

Hokushin'etsu (北信越): includes both the Hokuriku and Shin'etsu regions

Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県, Ishikawa-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is Kanazawa.

Jōshin'etsu region

The Jōshin'etsu region (上信越地方, Jōshin'etsu chihō) is a region on the main Japanese island of Honshu, comprising parts of Gunma, Nagano, and Niigata Prefectures. It is a mountainous area with a large national park and numerous hot springs and ski resorts. It has long been a transportation corridor between the Kantō plain and coastal areas on the Japan Sea side of the island.


Kuda-gitsune or Kanko (管狐, "pipe fox") is a type of spirit possession in Japanese legends. Starting in Nagano Prefecture, it is told about in the Chūbu region and also in parts of the Tōkai region, southern Kantō region, Tōhoku region, and so on. There are no legends of kudagitsune in Kantō besides the Chiba Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture, and this is said to be because Kantō is the domain of the osaki.Just like its name says, there are various legends about how they are the size small enough to fit into a bamboo pipe or a size about as big as a match box and would multiply until there were 75 of them, and so on.Another name for them is "izuna" (飯綱, meaning least weasel), and psychics in Niigata, the Chūbu region, and the Kantō region and "izuna-tsukai" (飯綱使い, "izuna-users") in Shinshū have these and use them to gain supernatural powers and make divinations. It is believed that izuna-tsukai (izuna-users) make use of izuna for beneficial religious uses such as foretelling prophecies, and at the same time also for evil purposes such as to fulfill requests to make the izuna go possess and give illness to someone the requester hates.

Sometimes it is told to be a type of kitsune-tsuki and depending on the region, families that have kudagitsune could sometimes be called "kuda-mochi" ("kuda"-haver), "kuda-ya" ("kuda"-proprietor), "kuda-tsukai" ("kuda"-user), and "kuda-shō" and be detested. In many legends, kudagitsune do not possess an individual, but instead a family, and it is thought that one particular trait that they have is that unlike the osaki that would do things on its own even if its master did not will it, the kudagitsune is to be "used" by its master and does as its master wills it to do. It is said that the kudagitsune, following the master's will, would procure goods from other families, so a family that keeps and raises a kudagitsune would gradually grow wealthy, but it is also said that although the family does grow wealthy at first, the kudagitsune would multiply until there were 75 of them, and so they would eventually eat away at the family's wealth making them decline.Kuda-gitsune or Kanko (管狐, "pipe fox") is a creature supposedly employed by Japanese kitsune-tsukai, those who use foxes as spirit familiars. Its use is described in various books, as follows:

In the Sōzan Chomon Kishū (想山著聞奇集) the kuda-gitsune is described as a rat-sized fox which can be kept in a pipe.

Kōshin'etsu region

Kōshin'etsu (甲信越) is a subregion of the Chūbu region in Japan consisting of Yamanashi, Nagano, and Niigata prefectures.The name Kōshin'etsu is a composite formed from the names of old provinces which are adjacent to each other — Kai (now Yamanashi), Shinano (now Nagano) and Echigo (now Niigata). The region is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to its north west, Hokuriku region to its west, Tōkai region to its south west, Kantō region to its south east, and Tōhoku region to its north east. The name for this geographic area is usually combined with Kantō region (as in "Kantō-Kōshin'etsu"); and it is sometimes combined with Hokuriku region (as in "Kantō-Kōshin'etsu-Hokuriku" or "Hokuriku-Kōshin'etsu").

List of newspapers in Japan

The first dailies were established in Japan in 1870. In 2009 the number of the newspapers was 110 in the country.Below is a list of newspapers published in Japan. (See also Japanese newspapers.)

Mie Prefecture

Mie Prefecture (三重県, Mie-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. Mie Prefecture has a population of 1,781,948 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 5,774.41 km² (2,229.51 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. Mie Prefecture is located on the eastern coast of the Kii Peninsula, forming the western side of Ise Bay which feature 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.

Nagano Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture (長野県, Nagano-ken) is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of Japan. The capital is the city of Nagano.Nagano has impressive highland areas, including most of the Kita-Alps, Chūō-Alps, and Minami-Alps, which extend into the neighbouring prefectures. Due to the abundance of mountain ranges in this area, the land available for human habitation is relatively limited. In addition to its natural scenic beauty and rich history, Nagano was host to the 1998 Winter Olympics, which gained the prefecture international recognition as a world-class winter sport destination, as well as a new Shinkansen line to Tokyo.

Niigata Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture (新潟県, Niigata-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu. Niigata Prefecture has a population of 2,227,496 (1 July 2019) and is the fifth-largest prefecture of Japan by geographic area at 12,584.18 km² (4,858.78 sq mi). Niigata Prefecture borders Toyama Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture to the southwest, Gunma Prefecture to the south, Fukushima Prefecture to the east, and Yamagata Prefecture to the northeast.

Niigata is the capital and largest city of Niigata Prefecture, with other major cities including Nagaoka, Jōetsu, and Sanjō. Niigata Prefecture contains the Niigata Major Metropolitan Area centered on Niigata with a population of 1,395,612, the largest metropolitan area on the Sea of Japan coast and the twelfth-largest in Japan. Niigata Prefecture is part of the historic Hokuriku region and features Sado Island, the sixth largest island of Japan in area following the four main islands and Okinawa Island.

Shin'etsu region

Shin'etsu (信越地方, Shin'etsu Chihō) is a geographical region of Japan.The area encompasses the old provinces of Shinano and Echigo. Though the name is a combination of those two provinces, the region also contains Sado Island from Sado Province. It is located in the modern-day prefectures of Nagano and Niigata.

Shizuoka Prefecture

Shizuoka Prefecture (静岡県, Shizuoka-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu. The capital is the city of Shizuoka, while Hamamatsu is the largest city by population.

Toyama Prefecture

Toyama Prefecture (富山県, Toyama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu. Toyama Prefecture has a population of 1,044,588 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 4,247.61 km² (1,640.01 sq mi). Toyama Prefecture borders Ishikawa Prefecture to the west, Gifu Prefecture to the south, Nagano Prefecture to the east, and Niigata Prefecture to the northeast.

Toyama is the capital and largest city of Toyama Prefecture, with other major cities including Takaoka, Imizu, and Nanto. Toyama Prefecture is part of the historic Hokuriku region, and the majority of prefecture's population lives on Toyama Bay, one of the largest bays in Japan. Toyama Prefecture is the leading industrial prefecture on the Japan Sea coast and has the advantage of cheap electricity from abundant hydroelectric resources. Toyama Prefecture contains the only known glaciers in East Asia outside of Russia, first recognized in 2012, and 30% of the prefecture's area is designated as national parks.

Tōkai region

The Tōkai region (東海地方, Tōkai-chihō) is a subregion of the Chūbu region and Kansai region in Japan that runs along the Pacific Ocean. The name comes from the Tōkaidō, one of the Edo Five Routes. Because Tōkai is a sub-region and is not officially classified, there is some disagreement about where exactly the region begins and ends, however Japanese maps widely conclude that the region includes Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Mie prefectures.

The largest major city in the region is Nagoya and the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area (Nagoya Metropolitan Area) makes up a large portion of the region and has Japan's third strongest economy. The business influence of this urban area sometimes extends out into the outlying areas of the three prefectures centered on Nagoya which are Aichi, Gifu, and Mie; this area is sometimes referred to as the Chūkyō region.

Tōkai is a heavy manufacturing area and is one of the most industrial regions in Japan. Its coast is lined with densely populated cities with economies that thrive on factories.

The Tōkai region has experienced a number of large earthquakes in the past, including the two great earthquakes in 1944 (also known as the "Tonankai earthquake") and 1945 (also known as the "Mikawa earthquake"). Following the work of Kiyoo Mogi, it is predicted that there is a possibility that the area will be subject to a shallow magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the near future. Nagoya, Shizuoka, and other large cities would be greatly damaged, with potential casualties in the tens of thousands. The Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction designated the region as an Area of Specific Observation in 1970, and upgraded it to an Area of Intensified Observation in 1974.

Yamanashi Prefecture

Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県, Yamanashi-ken) is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of Japan.The prefecture is landlocked, featuring a fertile central valley, the Kōfu Basin, surrounded by many of the highest mountains in Japan including the highest, Mount Fuji located on the southern border with Shizuoka.

The capital is the city of Kōfu.

47 Prefectures


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