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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 35°26′N 139°30′E / 35.433°N 139.5°E / 35.433; 139.5

Kanagawa Prefecture
Japanese: 神奈川県
Map of Japan with Kanagawa highlighted
Capital Yokohama
Region Kantō
Island Honshū
Governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa
Area (rank) 2,415.42 km² (43rd)
 - % water 2.3%
Population  (January 1, 2009)
 - Population 8,965,000 (2nd)
 - Density 3,711.6 /km²
Districts 6
Municipalities 34
ISO 3166-2 JP-14
Prefectural Symbols
 - Flower Golden-rayed lily (Lilium auratum)
 - Tree Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
 - Bird Common gull (Larus canus)
 - Fish  
Symbol of Kanagawa Prefecture
Symbol of Kanagawa Prefecture
Template ■ Discussion ■ WikiProject Japan
The Great Wave off Kanagawa (神奈川沖浪裏 Kanagawa-oki nami-ura?) original print

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



The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period (around 400 BC). About 3000 years ago, Mount Hakone produced a volcanic explosion which resulted in Lake Ashi on the western area of the prefecture.

It's believed that the Yamato Dynasty ruled this area from 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.

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.[1] The sea receded as much a quarter of a mile from the shore at Manazaru Point, and then rushed back towards the shore in a great wall of water which swamped Mitsuishi-shima.[2] At Kamakura, the total death toll from earthquake, tsunami, and fire exceeded 2,000 victims.[3] At Odawara, ninety percent of the buildings collapsed immediately, and subsequent fires burned the rubble along with anything else left standing.[4]

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 Tokyo Greater Zone. The population was about 8.9 million as of 2008,[5] and Kanagawa became the second most populous prefecture in 2006.


Kanagawa is a relatively small prefecture located at the southeastern corner of the Kantō Plain[6] wedged between Tokyo on the north, the foothills of Mount Fuji on the northwest, and the Sagami Bay[6] 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,[7] is more mountainous and includes resort areas like Odawara and Hakone. The area, stretching 80 km from west to east and 60 km from north to south, contains 2,400 sq km of land, accounting for 0.64 % of the total land area of Japan.[7]



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.[7]

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.[6]

The Tanzawa Mountain Range, part of the Kantō Mountain Range, contains Mount Hiru (1,673 m), the highest peak in the prefecture. Other mountains measure similar mid-range heights: Mount Hinokiboramaru (1,601 m), Mount Tanzawa, (1567 m), Mount Ōmuro (1588 m), Mount Himetsugi (1,433 m), and Mount Usu (1,460 m). 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.[6]

Map of Kanagawa Prefecture.


Nineteen cities are located in Kanagawa Prefecture:

Prefectural office of Kanagawa

Towns and villages



Kanagawa's transport network is heavily intertwined with that of Tokyo (see: Transportation in Greater Tokyo). Most air travel to Kanagawa goes through Tokyo International Airport or Narita International Airport. 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.



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.


The sports teams listed below are based in Kanagawa.


Football (mainly Soccer) and athletics





Soccer (football)




In popular culture




External links

Simple English

Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県, かながわけん, Kanagawa-ken) is in the Kantō region, region on Honshū island, Japan. The capital is the city of Yokohama. Its poplation is 8,965,352. Its area is 2,415.84km².
There are cities and factories in the east part of this prefecture, and there are a lot of mountains in the west part of this prefecture.


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