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.[1] 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).[2][3] 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,[4] 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
Hokuriku-region2 Small
Hokuriku region

Major cities

The major population centers of Hokuriku are:

Of these, Niigata is the largest with a population of over 800,000.


The main industries in the Hokuriku area include chemicals, medicine, tourism, textiles and textile machinery, heavy machinery, farming, and fishing. Koshihikari, a popular variety of rice is a special product of Hokuriku region.


The Hokuriku region has the highest volume of snowfall of any inhabited and arable region in the world. This is because dry Siberian air masses, which develop high humidity over the Sea of Japan, are forced upwards when they encounter the mountains of Honshū, causing the humidity to condense as snow.

The long winters and deep snow of this region are depicted in Hokuetsu Seppu, an encyclopedic work of the late Edo period which describes life in the Uonuma district of Niigata Prefecture.

The Hokuriku region is also the setting for Yasunari Kawabata's novel Snow Country.


Hokuriku is listed as No. 4 in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2014 – Top 10 Regions. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/lonely-planets-best-in-travel-2014-top-10-regions

See also


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Chūbu" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 126, p. 126, at Google Books.
  2. ^ http://www.dragonroute.net/dragon_e/about.html
  3. ^ http://mitsuboshi-kaidou.com/intro/index.html
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Hokuriku" at p. 344, p. 344, at Google Books.


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. OCLC 58053128. ISBN 0-674-01753-6, ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5.

Coordinates: 37°54′58″N 139°02′11″E / 37.91611°N 139.03639°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.

2007 Noto earthquake

At 9:41:58 a.m. on March 25, 2007, the Noto Peninsula earthquake (能登半島地震, Noto hantō jishin), a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, struck the Hokuriku region of Japan, near the Noto Peninsula. The earthquake shook the city of Wajima, the city of Nanao, and the town of Anamizu with a seismic intensity of 6+ on Japan's shindo scale. One death, in the city of Wajima, and at least 356 injuries have been reported.

Echizen Province

Echizen Province (越前国, Echizen-no-kuni) was a province of Japan in the area that is today the northern portion of Fukui Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan. Echizen bordered on Kaga, Wakasa, Hida, and Ōmi Provinces. It was part of Hokurikudō Circuit. Its abbreviated form name was ' (Esshū, 越州).

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.


Hokurikudō (北陸道, literally, "northern land circuit" or "northern land region") is a Japanese geographical term. It means both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through the old Japanese geographical region. Both were situated along the northwestern edge of Honshū. The name literally means 'North Land Way'. It also refers to a series of roads that connected the capitals (国府 kokufu) of each of the provinces that made up the region.

When the Gokishichidō system was initially established after the Taika reforms, it consisted of just two provinces: Wakasa and Koshi. During the reign of Emperor Temmu, Koshi was divided into three regions: Echizen, Etchū and Echigo and Sado Island was added as a fifth province. Later, Noto and Kaga were carved out of Echizen to form seven provinces in total.

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.

Kaga Province

Kaga Province (加賀国, Kaga-no-kuni) was a province of Japan in the area that is today the south and western portion of Ishikawa Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan. Kaga bordered on Echizen, Etchū, Hida, and Noto Provinces. It was part of Hokurikudō Circuit. Its abbreviated form name was Kashū (加州).

Koshi Province

Koshi Province (越国, Koshi no Kuni) was an ancient province or region of Japan in what is now the Hokuriku region. The region as a whole was sometimes referred to as Esshū (越州).

Koshi appears as one of the original provinces in the Nihon Shoki. In 598 AD, the residents of Koshi presented a white deer to Empress Suiko as tribute.

At the end of the 7th century, Koshi was divided into three separate provinces: Echizen, Etchū, and Echigo (as noted in the Taihō Code). The names of these provinces mean 'Upper-Koshi' (Echizen), 'Middle-Koshi' (Etchu), and 'Lower-Koshi' (Echigo), respectively, indicating their relative positions with respect to the capital region (Kinki) at the time the Ritsuryō system was enacted. Later, parts of Echizen were separated off into Noto and Kaga provinces.

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").

Maeda clan

Maeda clan (前田氏, Maeda-shi) was a Japanese samurai clan who ruled most of the Hokuriku region of central Honshū from the end of the Sengoku period through the Meiji restoration of 1868. The Maeda claimed descent from the Sugawara clan of Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries; however, the line of descent is uncertain. The Maeda rose to prominence as daimyō of Kaga Domain under the Edo period Tokugawa shogunate, which was second only to the Tokugawa clan in kokudaka.

Muroya Cave

Muroya Cave (室谷洞窟, Muroya dōkutsu) is a Jōmon period archaeological site consisting of a cave dwelling in what is now part of the town of Aga, Niigata Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan. The site was designated a National Historic Site of Japan in 1980.

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.

Obama Domain

Obama Domain (小浜藩, Obama-han) was a Fudai feudal domain of Edo period Japan It is located in Wakasa Province, in the Hokuriku region of Honshū. The domain was centered at Obama Castle, located in the center of what is now the city of Obama in Fukui Prefecture.

Sado Province

Sado Province (佐渡国, Sado no kuni) was a province of Japan until 1871; since then, it has been a part of Niigata Prefecture. It was sometimes called Sashū (佐州) or Toshū (渡州). It lies on the eponymous Sado Island, off the coast of Niigata Prefecture (or in the past, Echigo Province).

Sado was famous for the silver and gold mined on the island. In the Kamakura Period, the province was granted to the Honma clan from Honshū, and they continued to dominate Sado until 1589, when Uesugi Kagekatsu of Echigo Province took over the island. The Tokugawa shōguns later made Sado a personal fief after Sekigahara, and assumed direct control of its mines.

Since 2004 Sado city has comprised the entire island.

Shibata Domain

Shibata Domain (新発田藩, Shibata-han) was a tozama feudal domain under the Tokugawa shogunate of Edo period Japan. It is located in Echigo Province, Honshū. The domain was centered at Shibata Castle, located in what is now the city of Shibata in Niigata Prefecture. It was ruled for all of its history by the Mizoguchi clan.

Tedori River

The Tedori River (手取川, Tedorigawa) is a river in southern Ishikawa Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan. The river originates on Hakusan, the highest peak in the Hakusan National Park on the border between Ishikawa and Gifu Prefecture, and flows in a generally northern direction to the Sea of Japan. The river is used extensively for irrigation, and for the generation of hydroelectric power.

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.

Tsuruga Domain

Tsuruga Domain (敦賀藩, Tsuruga-han) was a fudai feudal domain of Edo period Japan. It is located in Echizen Province, in the Hokuriku region of Honshū. The domain was centered at Tsuruga jin'ya, located in the center of what is now the city of Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture. It was also referred to as Mariyama Domain (鞠山藩, Mariyama-han).

Wakasa Province

Wakasa Province (若狭国, Wakasa-no-kuni) was a province of Japan in the area that is today the southwestern portion of Fukui Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan. Wakasa bordered on Echizen, Ōmi, Tanba, Tango, and Yamashiro Provinces. It was part of Hokurikudō Circuit. Its abbreviated form name was Jakushū (若州). Under the Engishiki classification system, Wakasa was ranked as a "medium country" (中国) and a near country (近国) in terms of its importance and distance from the capital.

47 Prefectures


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.