Names of Japan’s Prefectures Are Cool in English


japan map

A cloud shaped like Japan. "hidekio" some rights reserved. flickr


In the Japanese largest internet forum, 2channel, there was an interesting thread where they translated the names of Japan’s 47 prefectures into English. For example, Tokyo is written “東京” in kanji characters, and each kanji means East and Capital.

The 2channellers discussed the best translations, they settled with the following English names.


Hokkaido(北海道)→ North Sea Road
Aomori(青森)→ Blue Forest
Iwate(岩手)→ Rock Hand
Akita (秋田)→ Autumn Rice Field
Yamagata(山形)→ Mountain Shape
Miyagi(宮城)→ Palace Castle
Fukushima (福島)→ Good Luck Island
Ibaraki(茨城)→ Thorn Castle
Tochigi(栃木)→ Horse Chestnut Tree
Gunma(群馬)→ Crowd Horse
Saitama(埼玉)→ Tip Ball
Chiba(千葉)→ Thousand Leaf
Kanagawa(神奈川)→ God Apple River
Niigata(新潟)→ New Lagoon
Toyama(富山)→ Rich Mountain
Ishikawa(石川)→ Stone River
Fukui(福井)→ Good Luck Well
Yamanashi(山梨)→ Mountain Pear
Nagano(長野)→ Long Field
Gifu(岐阜)→ Divergence Hill
Shizuoka(静岡)→ Silent Hill
Aichi(愛知)→ Love Wisdom
Mie(三重)→ Triple
Shiga(滋賀)→ Overgrown With Celebration
Kyoto(京都)→ Capital Capital
Osaka(大阪)→ Big Slope
Hyogo(兵庫)→ Soldier Storehouse
Nara(奈良)→ Apple Good
Wakayama(和歌山)→ Total Song Mountain
Tottori(鳥取)→ Bird Get
Shimane(島根)→ Island Root
Okayama(岡山)→ Hill Mountain
Hiroshima(広島)→ Large Island
Yamaguchi(山口)→ Mountain Mouth
Tokushima(徳島)→ Virtuous Island
Kagawa(香川)→ Fragrance River
Ehime(愛媛)→ Love Princess
Kōchi(高知)→ High Wisdom
Fukuoka(福岡)→ Good Luck Hill
Saga(佐賀)→ Support Celebration
Nagasaki(長崎)→ Long Cape
Kumamoto(熊本)→ Bear Book
Ōita(大分)→ Big Minute
Miyazaki(宮崎)→ Palace Cape
Kagoshima(鹿児島)→ Deer Child Island
Okinawa(沖縄)→ Offing Rope


Japanese people usually don’t care the meaning of the names of the prefectures, but when they are translated in English, they are pretty cool!

And some prefectures are like the places you can find in a fairy tale! “Rock Hand,” “Bear Book” “Love Princess”… where else in the world can you find those names? LOL





This is JAPAN Style!



You should follow me on Twitter.