Kantō region (関東地方, Kantō-chihō) is a geographical area
of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the
Greater Tokyo Area
Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi,
Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries,
slightly more than 45 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain.
The rest consists of the hills and mountains that form the land
borders. In official census count on October 1, 2010 by the Japan
Statistics Bureau, the population was 42,607,376 amounting to
approximately one third of the total population of Japan.
2.1 North and South
2.2 East and West
2.3 Inland and Coastal
2.4 Greater Kantō
4 See also
The heartland of feudal power during the
Kamakura period and again in
the Edo period, Kantō became the center of modern development. Within
Greater Tokyo Area
Greater Tokyo Area and especially the Tokyo-
area, Kantō houses not only Japan's seat of government but also the
nation's largest group of universities and cultural institutions, the
greatest population, and a large industrial zone. Although most of the
Kantō plain is used for residential, commercial, or industrial
construction, it is still farmed. Rice is the principal crop, although
the zone around
Yokohama has been landscaped to grow garden
produce for the metropolitan market.
A watershed moment of Japan's modern history took place in the late
Taisho period: the
Great Kantō earthquake
Great Kantō earthquake of 1923. The quake, which
claimed more than 100,000 lives and ravaged the
Tokyo and Yokohama
areas, occurred at a time when
Japan was still reeling from the
economic recession in reaction to the high-flying years during World
Operation Coronet, part of Operation Downfall, the proposed Allied
Japan during World War II, was scheduled to land at the
Kantō plain. Most of the
United States military
United States military bases on the island
Honshū are situated on the Kantō plain. These include Naval Air
Facility Atsugi, Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, and Camp Zama.
The name Kantō literally means "East of the Barrier". The name Kantō
is nowadays generally considered to mean the region east (東) of the
Hakone checkpoint (関所). An antonym of Kantō, "West of the
Barrier" means Kansai region, which lies western
Honshu and was the
center of feudal Japan.
Great Kantō earthquake
Great Kantō earthquake many people in Kantō started
creating art with different varieties of colors. They made art of
earthquake and small towns to symbolize the small towns destroyed in
Map of Mt. Nikkō, in the Kantō region
North and South
The most often used subdivision of the region is dividing it to "North
Kantō" (北関東, Kita-Kantō), consisting of Ibaraki, Tochigi, and
Gunma Prefectures, and "South Kantō" (南関東, Minami-Kantō),
consisting of Saitama (sometimes classified North),[citation
needed][by whom?] Chiba, the
Tokyo Metropolis (sometimes
singulated), and Kanagawa Prefectures.[citation
needed] South Kantō is often regarded as synonymous with the Greater
Tokyo Area. As part of Japan's attempts to predict earthquakes, an
area roughly corresponding to South Kantō has been designated an
'Area of Intensified Observation' by the Coordinating Committee for
The Japanese House of Representatives' divides it into the North
Kantō (北関東, Kita-Kantō) electorate which consists of Ibaraki,
Tochigi, Gunma and Saitama Prefectures,
Tokyo electorate, and the
South Kantō (南関東, Minami-Kantō) electorate which consists of
Chiba, Kanagawa and Yamanashi Prefectures. (Note that Yamanashi is out
Kantō region in the orthodox definition.)
Keirin's South Kantō (南関東, Minami-Kantō) consists of Chiba,
Kanagawa and Shizuoka Prefectures.
East and West
This division is not often but sometimes used.
East Kantō (東関東, Higashi-Kantō): Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba
West Kantō (西関東, Nishi-Kantō): Gunma, Saitama, Tokyo, Kanagawa
(and sometimes Yamanashi) Prefectures.
Inland and Coastal
This division is sometimes used in economics and geography. The border
can be modified if the topography is taken for prefectural boundaries.
Inland Kantō (関東内陸部, Kantō nairiku-bu): Tochigi, Gunma,
Saitama (and sometimes Yamanashi) Prefectures.
Coastal Kantō (関東沿岸部, Kantō engan-bu): Ibaraki, Chiba,
Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectures.
The Japanese national government defines the National Capital Region
(首都圏, Shuto-ken) as
Kantō region plus Yamanashi Prefecture.
Japan's national public broadcaster
NHK uses Kantō-kō-shin-etsu
(関東甲信越) involving Yamanashi, Nagano and Niigata Prefectures
for regional programming and administration.
Kantō region is the most highly developed, urbanized, and
industrialized part of Japan.
Yokohama form a single
industrial complex with a concentration of light and heavy industry
Tokyo Bay. Other major cities in the area include Kawasaki (in
Kanagawa Prefecture); Saitama (in Saitama Prefecture); and Chiba (in
Chiba Prefecture). Smaller cities, farther away from the coast, house
substantial light and automotive industries. The average population
density reached 1,192 persons per square kilometre in 1991.
Geography of Japan
Kantō Fureai Trail, aka Capital Region Nature Trail, a collection of
hiking trails circumnavigating the entire Kantō Region
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. Retrieved
^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kantō" in
pp. 478-479, p. 478, at Google Books
^ "政府統計の総合窓口". E-stat.go.jp. Retrieved
^ Avances en prevención de desastres sísmicos en Japón. Outline of
countermeasures for the Tōkai earthquake (Section B) N Honda,
published March 1994, accessed 2011-03-25
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kantō region.
Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan
encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
This article incorporates public domain material from the
Library of Congress Country Studies document "Kanto".
Regions and administrative divisions of Japan