The 47 Prefectures

 As you should be able to tell from the title there are 47 prefectures in Japan that range in culture, food and dialect of the Japanese language. These prefectures are roughly equivalent to states or provinces in other countries. SO.... Like states or provinces, each are a bit unique due to different customs and adaptations made by the people in those areas. 
1. Hokkaido (ほっかいどう : 北海道)
2. Aomori-ken (あおもりけん : 青森県)
3. Akita-ken (あきたけん : 秋田県)
4. Iwate-ken (いわてけん : 岩手県)
5. Yamagata-ken (やまがたけん : 山形県)
6. Miyagi-ken (みやぎけん : 宮城県)
7. Niigata-ken (にいがたけん : 新潟県)
8. Fukushima-ken (ふくしまけん : 福島県)
9. Gunma-ken (ぐんまけん : 群馬県)
10. Tochigi-ken (とちぎけん : 栃木県)
11. Ibaraki-ken ( いばらきけん : 茨城県)
12. Saitama-ken (さいたまけん : 埼玉県)
13. Tokyo-to (ときょうと : 東京都)
14. Chiba-ken (ちばけん : 千葉県)
15. Kanagawa-ken (かながわけん : 神奈川県)
16. Yamanashi-ken (やまなしけん : 山梨県)
17. Nagano-ken (ながのけん : 長野県)
18. Shizuoka-ken (しずおかけん : 静岡県)
19. Toyama-ken (とやまけん : 富山県)
20. Ishikawa-ken (いしかわけん : 石川県)
21. Fukui-ken (ふくいけん : 福井県)
22. Gifu-ken (ぎふけん : 岐阜県)
23. Aichi-ken (あいちけん : 愛知県)
24. Shiga-ken (しがけん : 滋賀県)
25. Mie-ken (みえけん : 三重県)
26. Kyoto-fu (きようとふ : 京都府)
27. Osaka-fu (おおさかふ : 大阪府)
28. Nara-ken (ならけん : 奈良県)
29. Wakayama-ken (わかやまけん : 和歌山県)
30. Hyogo-ken (ひょうごけん : 兵庫県)
31. Tottori-ken (とっとりけん : 鳥取県)
32. Shimane-ken (しまねけん : 島根県)
33. Okayama-ken (おかやまけん : 岡山県)
34. Hiroshima-ken (ひろしまけん : 広島県)
35. Yamaguchi-ken (やまぐちけん : 山口県)
36. Kagawa-ken (かがわけん : 香川県)
37. Tokushima-ken とくしまけん : 徳島県)
38. Ehime-ken (えひめけん : 愛媛県)
39. Kochi-ken (こうちけん : 高知県)
40. Fukuoka-ken (ふくおかけん : 福岡県)
41. Saga-ken (さがけん : 佐賀県)
42. Nagasaki-ken (ながさきけん : 長崎県)
43. Oita-ken (おおいたけん : 大分県)
44. Kumamoto-ken (くまもとけん : 熊本県)
45. Miyzaki-ken (みやざきけん : 宮崎県)
46. Kagoshima-ken (かごしまけん : 鹿児島県)
47. Okinawa-ken (おきなわけん : 沖縄県)
The kanji symbol “ken,” 県, literally translates into the word meaning prefecture. But most of the time, outside of formal situations, people just refer to each area on it's own.  For example, I live in the Yamaguchi-ken, but most Japanese people just refer to it as Yamaguchi. In the US, the same rule applies, right? If someone asks where I’m from in the United States, I don’t have to say the State of North Carolina (you could, but that would just sound strange...), I just say North Carolina.

I’ve listed both the hiragana and kanji for the prefecture names, mainly because that’s how I’m learning them. Also, if you actually go to Japan, it is quite useful to know prefecture names (they come up in Japanese small talk more often than you might think). Being able to see and recognize the prefectures as they are written in Japanese is even better! I try to study them when I can. That's why I have my map (down below) in my bullet journal and it does help. It also helps to have and Idea where everything is because it gives you an idea about the cultural differences. 
My own personal journal sketch.

But I strongly encourage everyone to check out each prefecture as you can. I live in a small southern town in Yamaguchi and I recently took part in a 30km walk in the area, with 10 stations you can stop at and get water and such. Well at each station There were people playing taiko drums (picture below). And My friend informed me that the music was special for our area and each area has a unique taiko drum "tune" (I din"t know the work for it ... "beat"?) If you'd like to see the walk I'll include a link to my video.
Either way have a great time in Japan where have you been where do you want to go?
Screen Shot From My Video Linked Below

[VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGZ37EzNzuQ&feature=youtu.be"> Skip to 2:20 to just watch the walk mentioned above.



Bella Viaggi