Hyōgo Prefecture

Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県, Hyōgo-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu.[1] Hyōgo Prefecture has a population of 5,469,762 (as of 1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 8,400 square kilometres (3,200 sq mi). Hyōgo Prefecture borders Kyoto Prefecture to the east, Osaka Prefecture to the southeast, and Okayama Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture to the west.

Hyōgo Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese兵庫県
 • RōmajiHyōgo-ken
Flag of Hyōgo Prefecture
Official logo of Hyōgo Prefecture
Location of Hyōgo Prefecture
Coordinates: 34°41′26.94″N 135°10′59.08″E / 34.6908167°N 135.1830778°E / 34.6908167; 135.1830778Coordinates: 34°41′26.94″N 135°10′59.08″E / 34.6908167°N 135.1830778°E / 34.6908167; 135.1830778
Country Japan
SubdivisionsDistricts: 8, Municipalities: 41
 • GovernorMotohiko Saitō (from August 2021)
 • Total8,400.94 km2 (3,243.62 sq mi)
Area rank12th
 (1 June 2019)
 • Total5,469,762
 • Rank7th
 • Density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-28
BirdOriental white stork (Ciconia boyciana)
FlowerNojigiku (Chrysanthemum japonense)
TreeCamphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)

Kōbe is the capital and largest city of Hyōgo Prefecture, and the seventh-largest city in Japan, with other major cities including Himeji, Nishinomiya, and Amagasaki.[2] Hyōgo Prefecture's mainland stretches from the Sea of Japan to the Seto Inland Sea, where Awaji Island and a small archipelago of islands belonging to the prefecture are located. Hyōgo Prefecture is a major economic center, transportation hub, and tourist destination in western Japan, with 20% of the prefecture's land area designated as Natural Parks. Hyōgo Prefecture forms part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, the second-most-populated urban region in Japan after the Greater Tokyo area and one of the world's most productive regions by GDP.


Map of Hyogo Prefecture with former provincial boundaries and current prefectural offices.
1.Kobe city (divided between Harima and Settsu)
2.Settsu (Hanshin South office)
3.Settsu (Hanshin North office)
4.Harima East office
5.Harima North office
6.Harima Central office
7.Harima West office
9.Tanba office
8.Tajima office
10.Awaji office
Areas beyond Harima West belonged to Mimasaka (north) and Bizen (south)

Present-day Hyōgo Prefecture includes the former provinces of Harima, Tajima, Awaji, and parts of Tanba and Settsu.[3]

In 1180, near the end of the Heian period, Emperor Antoku, Taira no Kiyomori, and the Imperial court moved briefly to Fukuhara, in what is now the city of Kobe. There the capital remained for five months.

Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in the city of Himeji.

Southern Hyōgo Prefecture was severely devastated by the 6.9 Mw Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995, which destroyed major parts of Kobe and Awaji, as well as Takarazuka and neighboring Osaka Prefecture, killing nearly 6,500 people. In 2020 Hyōgo became one of the worst affected prefectures for the COVID-19 virus in Western Japan.


Map of Hyōgo Prefecture.
     Government Ordinance Designated City      City      Town
Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

Hyōgo has coastlines on two seas: to the north, the Sea of Japan, to the south, the Seto Inland Sea. On Awaji Island, Hyōgo borders the Pacific Ocean coastline in the Kii Channel. The northern portion is sparsely populated, except for the city of Toyooka, and the central highlands are only populated by tiny villages. Most of Hyōgo's population lives on the southern coast, which is part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area. Awaji is an island that separates the Inland Sea and Osaka Bay, lying between Honshu and Shikoku.

Summertime weather throughout Hyōgo is hot and humid. As for winter conditions in Hyōgo, the north of Hyōgo tends to receive abundant snow, whilst the south receives only the occasional flurry.

Hyōgo borders on Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Tottori Prefecture and Okayama Prefecture.

As of 31 March 2008, 20% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Sanin Kaigan and Setonaikai National Parks; Hyōnosen-Ushiroyama-Nagisan Quasi-National Park; and Asago Gunzan, Harima Chūbu Kyūryō, Inagawa Keikoku, Izushi-Itoi, Kasagatayama-Sengamine, Kiyomizu-Tōjōko-Tachikui, Onzui-Chikusa, Seiban Kyūryō, Seppiko-Mineyama, Tajima Sangaku, and Taki Renzan Prefectural Natural Parks.[5]


Twenty-nine cities are located in Hyōgo Prefecture:

Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Aioi 相生市 90.4 30,250  
  Akashi 明石市 49.22 294,312  
  Akō 赤穂市 126.88 48,788  
  Amagasaki 尼崎市 49.77 450,765  
  Asago 朝来市 402.98 31,248  
  Ashiya 芦屋市 18.47 94,116  
  Awaji 淡路市 184.05 43,110  
  Himeji 姫路市 534.43 530,517  
  Itami 伊丹市 25.09 197,335  
  Kakogawa 加古川市 138.51 266,433  
  Kasai 加西市 150.22 45,126  
  Katō 加東市 157.49 40,194  
  Kawanishi 川西市 53.44 159,723  
  Kobe (capital) 神戸市 557.02 1,524,601  
  Miki 三木市 176.58 76,370  
  Minamiawaji 南あわじ市 229.17 45,961  
  Nishinomiya 西宮市 99.96 488,335  
  Nishiwaki 西脇市 132.47 41,336  
  Ono 小野市 93.68 49,025  
  Sanda 三田市 210.22 113,726  
  Shisō 宍粟市 658.6 39,008  
  Sumoto 洲本市 182.47 45,090  
  Takarazuka 宝塚市 101.89 225,228  
  Takasago 高砂市 34.38 92,444  
  Tamba-Sasayama 丹波篠山市 377.61 42,395  
  Tanba 丹波市 493.21 65,753  
  Tatsuno たつの市 210.93 77,968  
  Toyooka 豊岡市 697.55 78,571  
  Yabu 養父市 422.7 24,489  


These are the towns in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Fukusaki 福崎町 45.82 19,516 Kanzaki District  
  Harima 播磨町 9.13 34,590 Kako District  
  Ichikawa 市川町 82.7 12,583 Kanzaki District  
  Inagawa 猪名川町 90.41 31,381 Kawabe District  
  Inami 稲美町 34.96 31,372 Kako District  
  Kami 香美町 369.08 18,396 Mikata District  
  Kamigōri 上郡町 150.28 15,448 Akō District  
  Kamikawa 神河町 202.27 11,735 Kanzaki District  
  Sayō 佐用町 307.51 17,505 Sayō District  
  Shin'onsen 新温泉町 241 15,539 Mikata District  
  Taishi 太子町 22.61 34,105 Ibo District  
  Taka 多可町 185.15 20,713 Taka District  


Two major artificial islands are located Hyōgo Prefecture:

National parksEdit


Future mergersEdit

The city of Akō and the only town in Akō District (Kamigōri), were scheduled to merge and the city would still retain the name Akō. Akō District would be defunct if the merger was successful.[6] However, the merger hasn't taken place.


As in all prefectures nationwide, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries play a big role in the economy of Hyogo Prefecture.[7] Hyōgo Prefecture also has an IT industry, many heavy industries, metal and medical, Kobe Port being one of the largest ports in Japan. Kobe Port also hosts one of the world's fastest supercomputers,[8] and Hyogo Prefecture passed laws to keep Kobe Port free of nuclear weapons (a nuclear-free zone) since the year 1975.

Hyōgo is a part of the Hanshin Industrial Region. There are two research institutes of Riken, natural sciences research institute in Japan, in Kobe and Harima. "SPring-8", a synchrotron radiation facility, is in Harima.


National Treasures of JapanEdit

Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings in JapanEdit















High schoolsEdit

There are 163 public and 52 private high schools within Hyogo prefecture. Of the public high schools, some are administered by the Hyogo prefectural government, whilst the others are administered by local municipalities.


The sports teams listed below are based in Hyōgo.

Football (soccer)






A popular troupe of Takarazuka Revue plays in Takarazuka.

Arima Onsen in the south of the province in Kita-ku, Kobe is one of the Three Ancient Springs in Japan. The north of Hyogo Prefecture has sightseeing spots such as Kinosaki Onsen, Izushi, and Yumura Onsen. Takeda Castle in Asago is often referred to locally as the "Machu Picchu of Japan". The matsuba crab and Tajima beef are both national delicacies.[9]

Festival and eventsEdit

Dekansho Bon Dancing Festival
Castle Festival in Himeji
  • Miyuki Street New Year's midnight traditional sale, Himeji
  • Nishinomiya Shrine's Ebisu Festival in January
  • Yanagihara Ebisu Festival in January, Kobe
  • Tada Shrine's Genji Festival in April, Kawanishi
  • Kobe Festival and Parade in May
  • Aioi Peron Festival in May
  • Himeji Yukata Festival in June
  • Dekansho Bon Dancing Festival in August, Sasayama
  • Nada Fighting Festival, Himeji
  • Kobe Luminarie in December
  • Ako Chushingura Parade



People moversEdit



National highwaysEdit

  • Route 2
  • Route 9
  • Route 28
  • Route 29
  • Route 43
  • Route 171
  • Route 173
  • Route 174 (Sannomiya-Kobe Port)
  • Route 175
  • Route 176
  • Route 178
  • Route 179
  • Route 250
  • Route 312
  • Route 372
  • Route 373
  • Route 426
  • Route 427
  • Route 428
  • Route 429
  • Route 436
  • Route 477
  • Route 482
  • Route 483


  • Kobe Port – Mainly international container hub port
  • Akashi Port
  • Shikama Port – Mainly Shōdo Island route ferry


Notable peopleEdit

Sister regionsEdit

Hyogo entered a sister state relationship with Washington state in the United States on October 22, 1963, the first such arrangement between Japan and the United States.[10][11]

In 1981, a sister state agreement was drawn up between Hyogo and the state of Western Australia in Australia.[12] To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this agreement in 1992, the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre was established in Perth.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Hyōgo prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 363-365, p. 363, at Google Books; "Kansai" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Kobe" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 537, p. 537, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^ Statistics Bureau of Japan
  5. ^ "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 4 February 2012.
  6. ^ City.ako.hyogo.jp Archived 2006-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "XII Income of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries" (PDF). Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  8. ^ "RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science". Archived from the original on 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  9. ^ "JAL Guide to Japan – Matsuba Crab". Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2015-04-02.
  10. ^ Camden, Jim (August 20, 2013). "Washington, Japan celebrate 50 years". Spokesman-Review. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "Celebrating 50 years with Hyogo, Japan". Washington State Library. August 19, 2013. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  12. ^ "Sister Cities – City of Perth". Archived from the original on 2015-05-30.
  13. ^ Hyogo.com.au Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine

General referencesEdit

External linksEdit