7 Most Popular Japanese Prefectures To Live In

We have curated a list of the most popular Japanese prefectures to live in. Check it out!

Have you ever wondered why there are so many prefectures in Japan? And what category do those prefectures fall under? If so, join me as I share what I’ve learned from staying in some of Japan’s most well-known prefectures.

Prefectures are defined as administrative districts or, alternatively, as small towns in nations with local governments that have jurisdiction over and establish rules for a particular town.

As of 2022, Japan has 47 prefectures and is divided into 8 regions: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Each district offers a wealth of worthwhile experiences, including places, locations, cuisine, and cultural customs.​

Quality of living is not a thing to worry about if you are part of the upper middle class or upper social class. We all know that living in Japan is extremely expensive, and I personally agree because of my previous experiences.

This article gives you information and supporting details based on my observations and learnings from the time I lived in a few Japanese prefectures.

Without further ado, let us get started.

Most Popular Japanese Prefectures To Live In 

Hokkaido

On the northernmost of Japan’s major islands, there is a prefecture and a region called Hokkaido.

Hokkaido

Information to know: 

  • This is a great place for those who love to travel, especially to the hilly or volcanic landscapes. Because of this, this 83,454 km2 prefecture is surrounded by breathtaking ski resorts and natural hot springs: Mount Rishiri, Mount Meakan (last eruption in 2006), Mount Daisetsuzan (1939), Mount Tarumae (last eruption in 1981), and Mount Usu (2000 last eruption). 
  • Food, transportation, rent, and utilities are not prohibitively expensive in comparison to other prefectures and cities in Japan where I previously resided.
  • It is known that the cold waters covering Japan’s northernmost prefecture are preferable for fish and sea vegetation. It is also known for the high quality and characteristics of its seafood.

Honestly, I had toured 3 out of 35 cities in Hokkaido. Three cities are Sapporo (capital), Asahiwaka, and Hakodate. These three cities are known for their prominent locations and are among the most populated cities in the prefecture of Hokkaido. 

During my stay, I also had the opportunity to participate in their various lively festivals from July to August. One of them is the Toyohira River fireworks display in Sapporo City, which is a loud and colorful sight in the night sky.

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One of the best views, in my opinion, is from a nearby hotel with a parabolic glass window for the best view and a warm feeling for the view.

Aomori 

Located in the Tohoku region, this prefecture faces with north and the Hokkoda Mountains at the south.

Aomori

This prefecture, which is a part of Tohoku, has the Hokkoda Mountains to its south and the north. The prefecture is well-known for its lush green valleys and verdant wooded landscapes. It is also one of the world’s snowiest regions, with an average annual snowfall of 26 feet.

The native language of this place is called the Tsugaru dialect.

Things to know

  • The most offered jobs in this prefecture are sales and restaurant jobs, which mainly offer a great number of salaries. 
  • I also considered this prefecture a quality standard for living, which would not cost me as much as I expected. One thing that I am grateful for is that the monthly salary after tax ranges from an average fare.
  • Something that you should do when you are living in this prefecture is travel. Surprisingly, there are lots of historical and scenic spots in this area (e.g., Shirakami Sanchi, Hirosaki Castle, Rice Field Art, etc.)

The cost of living in the prefecture is adequate for a family or an individual with an average income. The most expensive items in the budget are transportation and the salary tax.

Mie

A rural prefecture in the Kansai area, especially on the boundary between Gifu and Shiga prefectures to the north and Shiga and Kyoto prefectures to the northwest. The four provinces that comprise the prefecture are Ise, Iga, Shima, and Kii.

Mie

The prefecture consists of 14 cities, 29 municipalities, and 15 towns. The Kishu dialect is used in this place. 

Things to know:

  • 36% of the total area in this prefecture was designated by 9 natural parks.
  • The northern part of Mei is the economic sector for manufacturing industries, companies for transporting machinery, as well as the oil industry. One of the industries located in this area is the Honda Motor Company. 
  • What I love the most in this prefecture is its tourism, as I have been to its numerous notable places. One of them is the Suzuka Circuit, the most popular motor racetrack.
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The average land price in this area was around 41.49 thousand yen per square meter as of 2020. While the cost of living in the Mie prefecture is costly for some kinds of people who have decided to live in residential areas, as for me, the cost of living in this prefecture ranges from the average cost of quality living.

Okayama 

A prefecture situated in the Chugoku region and the southern part of Japan’s Honshu islands. The prefecture was divided into three provinces: Bizen, Bitchu, and Mimasaka. 

Okayama

There are fifteen cities, ten districts, and twenty-seven municipalities located in the prefecture. 

The prefecture is known for its delicious fruit and landscapes gardens.

Information to know:

  • The education sector has a large number of universities and school establishments compared to other prefectures, which is an advantage for those families who have children.
  • In one of the excellent performances for the economic status, Okayama ranked in 13th place as the largest exporter out of the 41 exporters in Japan, while they imported about 2.07 trillion yen in 2021. 
  • Okayama is one of Japan’s most attractive prefectures because its landscapes have drawn a large number of visitors and individuals interested in relocating there. One of the tourist attractions is the Bitchu-Matsuyama castle, where I felt like a bird and mystical at the same time due to the cloud-covered mountains and calming perspective.

Ehime 

is part of the region of Shinkoku and is situated to the southwest of Japan’s mainland. 

Ehime 

There are eleven cities that can be found in this area, and the capital of it is Matsuyama. You can consider living in the 9 towns and villages that are found in different districts within the city. 

The dialect used in this place is called the Iyo dialect. 

Information to know: 

  • The economic areas within the prefecture are more focused on shipbuilding and industries (e.g., oil refining, chemical industries, and Imbari Shipbuilding) than on shipbuilding itself. This prefecture is known for being Japan’s largest shipbuilder. 
  • In my observation during a month of living in this prefecture, there are limited universities and schools within the prefect.
  • This prefecture embraces its culture, especially in novels and series. One of them is the Tokyo Love Story, with alluring and serene hot springs such as Dogo Onsen and Nibukawa onsen.

Kagoshima 

Information to know: 

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Kagoshima 
  • Kagoshima City is the prefecture’s primary economic hub. Among the city’s agricultural exports are radishes, sweet tea, and potatoes. Furthermore, this prefecture is Japan’s greatest producer of cattle and pork. 
  • The accessibility of the region will exceed your expectations: there are 7 airports, 6 ports, and countless ways to your selected location. 
  • This region is home to the Satsugu dialect, often known as the Kagoshima dialect.

Historical Facts: 

  • The region was vital to the Meiji Restoration, and Kagoshima served as an important naval base during Japan’s twentieth-century wars.

The cost of living in the prefecture of Kagoshima is the average cost. However, the monthly salary tax is kind of expensive in the budget list. 

Aichi

Aichi (pronounced: ai-chee) is a part of the Chubu region in Japan and is situated on central Honshu island.

Aichi

The prefecture is commonly known for the state opportunities that you could get into and also for its wealth in tourism, which this prefecture has more than a lot to offer, considering a family living in it. 

The dialect used in this place is called the Mikawa dialect. 

Advantage:

  • This prefecture has a lot of establishments in the education sector, which include private and public schools and universities. Not only is this region good for those athletic students because of the stadiums nearby, 
  • There are four main industries within the area that help the economy to stand out and be well balanced. 
  • The region holds various festivals that attract visitors and also foreigners, which those citizens within the region take advantage of to sell their goods and services.
  • The prefecture is located near Nagoya and produces many musical instruments, and that is where Aichi Gakuin University (AGU), a major music school that focuses on contemporary music,

I definitely agree that this place is home to industries, and the Toyota industrial company is located here.

Furthermore, Aichi prefecture is one of the cheapest or, for some people, the average cost of living. The living cost takes place 817th out of 907 in Japan. 

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