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The four hundred main islands of Japan run from Hokkaido in the north-east, along the largest island, Honshu, to Kyushu, in the south-west. The fourth and smallest of the islands, Shikoku, lies tucked between Honshu to the north and Kyushu to the east.
The four main islands of Japan

The four main islands of Japan are:

Japan also has over 6,000 smaller islands, of which only approximately 430 are inhabited.[4]


List of smaller islands of JapanEdit

Hokkaido prefectureEdit

Islands of Honshu in the Sea of JapanEdit

Islands in Tokyo Bay (artificial islands)Edit

Islands in Osaka Bay (artificial islands)Edit

Islands in Ise BayEdit

Islands in Mutsu BayEdit

Islands in the Pacific OceanEdit

Islands around KyushuEdit

Most of these are located in the East China Sea.

Islands around ShikokuEdit

Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shotō)Edit

Satsunan IslandsEdit

The northern half is administratively part of Kagoshima Prefecture and Kyushu.

Ōsumi IslandsEdit

The North-Eastern Group:

The North-Western Group:

Tokara IslandsEdit

The Shichi-tō:

Amami IslandsEdit

Ryukyu Islands (Ryūkyū-shotō)Edit

The Southern Half, Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa IslandsEdit

The Central Group or Ryukyu proper:

Sakishima IslandsEdit

Also known as the Further Isles:

Islands in the Inland SeaEdit

Islands in lakesEdit

Other artificial islandsEdit

Claims but does not controlEdit

The Northern TerritoriesEdit

There are the four disputed Kuril Islands, also known as the Chishima Islands.[16]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Imperial Japanese Commission, pp. 3-4.
  2. ^ a b Imperial Japanese Commission to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. (1903). Japan in the Beginning of the 20th century (Haruki Yamawaki, editor), p. 2.
  3. ^ Imperial Japanese Commission, pp. 2-3.
  4. ^ Look Japan, Vol. 43, Issues 493-504, p. 35; retrieved 2013-3-2.
  5. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Rishiri-tō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 791.
  6. ^ a b c d Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1962). Sovereign and Subject, p. 332.
  7. ^ a b c d e Ponsonby-Fane, p. 331.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Nussbaum, "Izu Shotō" at p. 412.
  9. ^ Gotoh, H. et al. (2010). "Infrastructure Maintenance and Disaster Prevention Measures on Isolated Islands: the Case of the Izu Islands near Tokyo" in Island Sustainability (Favro, S., editor), p. 187.
  10. ^ Nussbaum, p. 412; Ponsonby-Fane, p. 332.
  11. ^ Nussbaum, "Ōshima" at p. 761.
  12. ^ Nussbaum, "Torishima" at p. 987.
  13. ^ a b c d Nussbaum, "Ogasawara Guntō" at p. 737.
  14. ^ Nussbaum, "Hashima" at p. 294.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ Imperial Japanese Commission, p. 3.