Kanagawa Prefecture

Kanagawa Prefecture

Kanagawa Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 神奈川県
 • Rōmaji Kanagawa-ken
Official logo of Kanagawa Prefecture
Symbol of Kanagawa Prefecture
Location of Kanagawa Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Kantō
Island Honshu
Capital Yokohama
 • Governor Yuji Kuroiwa (since April 2011)
 • Total 2,416.04 km2 (932.84 sq mi)
Area rank 43rd
Population (September 1, 2014)
 • Total 9,097,401
 • Rank 2nd
 • Density 3,770/km2 (9,800/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-14
Districts 6
Municipalities 33
Flower Golden-rayed lily (Lilium auratum)
Tree Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Bird Common gull (Larus canus)
Website .jp.kanagawa.prefwww
Prefectural office of Kanagawa in Yokohama

Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県 Kanagawa-ken) is a prefecture located in southern Kantō region of Japan.[1] The capital of the prefecture is Yokohama.[2] Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Topography 2.1
    • Cities 2.2
    • Towns and villages 2.3
    • Mergers 2.4
  • Festivals and events 3
  • Transportation 4
    • Railways 4.1
    • Subways 4.2
    • People movers 4.3
    • Road 4.4
      • Expressway 4.4.1
      • National highways 4.4.2
    • Ports 4.5
  • Education 5
    • University facilities 5.1
  • Sports 6
    • Facilities 6.1
      • Football and athletics 6.1.1
      • Baseball 6.1.2
      • Indoor 6.1.3
      • Other 6.1.4
    • Teams 6.2
      • Soccer (football) 6.2.1
      • Baseball 6.2.2
      • Volleyball 6.2.3
  • Sister areas 7
  • In popular culture 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


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.

Kamakura in central Sagami was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura period (1185–1333).

In medieval Japan, Kanagawa was part of the provinces of Sagami and Musashi.[3]

During the Edo period, the western part of Sagami Province was governed by the daimyo of Odawara Castle, while the eastern part was directly governed by the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (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 Great Kantō earthquake in 1923 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 chief commander of 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 Sagami Plateau.[9]


Map of Kanagawa Prefecture

Nineteen cities are located in Kanagawa Prefecture:


Towns and villages

Prefectural office of Kanagawa

These are the towns and villages in each district:


Festivals and events

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


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

  • Kanagawa Seaside Line



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)



Sister areas

Kanagawa Prefecture has sister relationships with these places: [12]

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kanagawa" in , p. 466Japan Encyclopedia, 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). p. 278Yokohama Burning: the Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II, , 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. http://www.pref.kanagawa.jp/cnt/f6774/p520876.html.
  9. ^ a b c d Kanagawa terrain (Japanese) (Translate: Google, Babelfish)
  10. ^ a b c Overview of the prefectural geography (Japanese) (Translate: Google, Babelfish)
  11. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture".  
  12. ^ [1] Friendly/Sister Affiliations of Kanagawa Prefecture and the Municipalities : Kanagawa Retrieved September 7, 2013


  • Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster. 10-ISBN 0743264657/13-ISBN 9780743264655; OCLC 67774380
  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 10-ISBN 0-674-01753-6; 13-ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links

  • Official Kanagawa Prefecture website
  • Official Kanagawa Living website
  • Kanagawa Prefectural Tourist Association website (English)