Friday, August 29, 2008

Political Physical Maps Of Japan

Here you can find some political physical maps of Japan. That means that they are maps showing both the topographic features of the land, but also have labeling to show cities and administrative regions and prefectures.

There are 8 clearly defined regions in Japan: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu & Okinawa. But in terms of political divisions, Japan is made up of 47 prefectures, each with an elected governor and legislature. You can basically think of prefectures as provinces, though because of their generally small size and seamless interaction between prefectures it often seems more logical to compare them to counties. It`s not like my home country of Canada, for example, where the laws and regulations can differ quite a lot from one province to another.

You can see from the maps that Japan`s major cities mostly lie along Honshu island`s southern coast. Much of Japan is mountainous, with the vast majority of the population living on the coastal plains. That`s because much of Japan`s economy has always depended on the sea, or on farming. Plus it`s easier to build homes on flat land rather than on mountains. Some coastal areas are like long continuous megacities, for example from Wakayama City all the way to Himeji on the other side of Osaka Bay. Driving between the two cities you see an almost unbroken chain of buildings for over 150km. That`s true to an even greater extent in the Tokyo area.

Have a look at the maps down below, which are all (except for the last one) both physical and politcal maps of Japan.

Political physical maps of Japan showing landforms and elevation.

Japan topographic map with political labelling

Japan elevation map with cities and boundaries

Political physical map of Japan and Korea

Here`s a bonus map clearly showing the prefectures within each administrative region.
Map of Japan with administrative regions and prefectures

I hope you found these maps useful. There are lots more map collections to browse through, so have a look!

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