Kanagawa Prefecture

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.

Kanagawa Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese神奈川県
 • RōmajiKanagawa-ken
Flag of Kanagawa Prefecture

Official logo of Kanagawa Prefecture

Location of Kanagawa Prefecture
Coordinates: 35°26′51.03″N 139°38′32.44″E / 35.4475083°N 139.6423444°ECoordinates: 35°26′51.03″N 139°38′32.44″E / 35.4475083°N 139.6423444°E
SubdivisionsDistricts: 6, Municipalities: 33
 • GovernorYūji Kuroiwa (since April 2011)
 • Total2,415.83 km2 (932.76 sq mi)
Area rank43rd
 (October 1, 2015)
 • Total9,058,094
 • Rank2nd
 • Density3,770/km2 (9,800/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-14
BirdCommon gull (Larus canus)
FlowerGolden-rayed lily (Lilium auratum)
TreeGinkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Prefectural office of Kanagawa in Yokohama
Prefectural office of Kanagawa in Yokohama


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.

It is believed 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).

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).

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.

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 Ja
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

These are the towns and villages in each district:


Festivals and events

Odawara Hōjō Festival
  • Tama River Firework event
  • Yokohama Port Anniversary Festival (June)
  • Kamakura Festival (April)
  • Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival (July)
  • Odawara Hōjō Godai Festival (May)
  • Yugawara Kifune Festival (July)


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

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]

In popular culture

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. ^ a b c d Kanagawa terrain (in Japanese) (Translate to English: Google, Bing)
  10. ^ a b c Overview of the prefectural geography (in Japanese) (Translate to 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.


  • Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743264655; OCLC 67774380
  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links

Camp Zama

Camp Zama (キャンプ座間) is a United States Army post located in the cities of Zama and Sagamihara, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about 40 km (25 mi) southwest of Tokyo.

Camp Zama is home to the U.S. Army Japan (USARJ), I Corps (Forward), U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan "Ninjas" , 311th Military Intelligence Brigade, Japan Engineer District (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), 78th Signal Battalion and the Bilateral Coordination Department and 4th Engineer Group of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.


Hakone (箱根町, Hakone-machi) is a town in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of June 2012, the town had an estimated population of 13,492, and a population density of 145 persons per km². The total area is 92.82 km². Hakone has been designated as a Japanese National Geopark by the Japanese Geoparks Network.

Hakone is to a great degree regarded as a traveler destination; Mt. Fuji can be seen when taking a day trip from Tokyo. In addition to hot springs, museums and other recreation activities, Hakone is known for its scenery during all four seasons.

Hitoshi Doi

Hitoshi Doi (土井 仁志, Doi Hitoshi, born October 17, 1963 in Chigasaki, Kanagawa) is the owner of an English language anime and voice actor information website, which was established on June 10, 1994.

Isehara, Kanagawa

Isehara (伊勢原市, Isehara-shi) is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

As of April 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 102,037, with 44,039 households, and a population density of 1,800 persons per km2. The total area is 55.56 km2.

Keikyū Daishi Line

The Keikyu Daishi Line (京急大師線, Keikyū Daishi-sen) is a 4.5 km (2.8 mi) railway line in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, operated by the private railway operator Keikyu. It connects Keikyu Kawasaki Station and Kojimashinden Station, both located in Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki.

Keikyū Kurihama Line

The Keikyu Kurihama Line (京急久里浜線, Keikyū Kurihamasen) is a 13.4 km (8.3 mi) commuter rail line operated by the private railway operator Keikyu in Japan. Keikyu Main Line trains from Oshiage and Shinagawa in Tokyo connect to the Miura Peninsula on the Keikyu Kurihama Line.

Keikyū Zushi Line

The Keikyu Zushi Line (京急逗子線, Keikyū Zushi-sen) is a 5.9 km (3.7 mi) commuter railway line in Japan owned and operated by the private railway operator Keikyu. It connects Kanazawa-hakkei in Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama with Shinzushi in Zushi, all in Kanagawa Prefecture.


Koyuki Kato (加藤 小雪, Katō Koyuki, born December 18, 1976), better known by her stage name Koyuki (小雪), is a Japanese model and actress.

Musashi Province

Musashi Province (武蔵国, Musashi no kuni) 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.

Musashi was the largest province in the Kantō region.

SC Sagamihara

SC Sagamihara (SC相模原, SC Sagamihara) is a Japanese association football club based in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Sagami Line

The Sagami Line (相模線, Sagami-sen) is a railway line in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). It approximately parallels the east bank of the Sagami River. The line connects Hashimoto Station in Sagamihara and Chigasaki Station in Chigasaki.


Sagamihara (相模原市, Sagamihara-shi) 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.As of April 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 720,986, with 316,648 households, and a population density of 2,200 persons per km². The total area is 328.91 km².On 1 April 2010, the city became the 19th city designated by government ordinance. As a result of this, three wards were established: Midori-ku, Chūō-ku and Minami-ku.

Sakawa River

The Sakawa River (Japanese: 酒匂川(さかわがわ), Hepburn: sakawagawa) is a river in Shizuoka Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture Japan. In Shizuoka Prefecture it is called the Ayuzawa River. It flows into the Pacific Ocean.

Shohoku College

Shōhoku College (湘北短期大学, Shōhoku tanki daigaku) is a private junior college in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It was established in 1974 by Sony Corporation next to its Atsugi Technical Center.

Initially, the school offered course work in electronic engineering and in housekeeping. Courses in Kindergarten education were added in 1979, and in business administration in 1986.

Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka

Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka (Shonan BMW スタジアム平塚, Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka) is a multi-purpose stadium in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan. It is used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Shonan Bellmare. The stadium has a capacity of 15,200 spectators.

Shonan Monorail

The Shonan Monorail (湘南モノレール, Shōnan Monorēru) is a suspended SAFEGE monorail in the cities of Kamakura and Fujisawa in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by the Shonan Monorail Co., Ltd. (湘南モノレール株式会社, Shōnan Monorēru Kabushiki-gaisha), and opened on March 7, 1970, the first monorail of its kind in Japan.Enoshima Line (江の島線, Enoshima-sen) travels 6.6 km (4.1 mi) every seven to eight minutes between Ōfuna Station and Enoshima, making six stops. The average length of a single trip is 14 minutes.The train is used by commuters that work in Tokyo or Yokohama, tourists visiting Enoshima, and, in summer months, city dwellers who are visiting the parks or baths of Enoshima.

Television Kanagawa

TV Kanagawa (テレビ神奈川, Terebi Kanagawa) (tvk for short) is an independent television station in Japan serving Kanagawa Prefecture and parts of the Greater Tokyo Area with favorable reception. The station was founded on April 20, 1971 and began broadcasting on April 1, 1972. Its call sign is JOKM-TV (JOKM-DTV digital) and occupies channel 42 on the airwaves.

The station is a member of the Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations.

Tokyo Bay

Tokyo Bay (東京湾, Tōkyō-wan) is a bay located in the southern Kantō region of Japan, and spans the coasts of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Bay is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Uraga Channel. Its old name was Edo Bay (江戸湾, Edo-wan). The Tokyo Bay region is both the most populous and largest industrialized area in Japan.

Yamato, Kanagawa

Yamato (大和市, Yamato-shi) is a city located in central Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

As of May 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 234,859, with 104,432 households, and a population density of 8,700 persons per km2. The total area is 27.09 km2 (10.46 sq mi).

Shadow picture of Kanagawa Prefecture Kanagawa Prefecture
Wards of Yokohama
Wards of Kawasaki
Wards of Sagamihara
Core city
Special cities
47 Prefectures


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