55 Noteworthy Japan City Names For Your Next Visit

Oluniyi Akande
Feb 09, 2024 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Apr 21, 2022
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Nishtha Dixit
Himeji Castle and full cherry blossom, with Fuji mountain background in Japan
Age: 0-99
Read time: 7.7 Min

If Japan wasn’t on your travel bucket list, these cities will make you fall in love with Japan.

From traditional Japanese houses, Minka to cherry blossoms and amazing technology. There is everything in Japan for people with different tastes to explore.

Whether you want to visit Japan for its rich culture and history or you are Otaku who wants to visit places where your favorite anime is based upon. This list has covered all the Japanese city names that you should know. Japan is famous for establishing tea ceremonies and traditional arts and for introducing us to the world of Sushi and lip-smacking Ramen.

There are also many UNESCO world heritage sites in Japan that make a vacation in Japan an unforgettable experience. Some of the prefectures in Japan are famous for their lively streets. Check out the list below to know the names of interesting and best city names in Japan for your travel.

5-Letter City Names In Japan

There are a bunch of cities in Japan that have five-letter city names. The capital and one of the major cities of Japan have five letters in their names as well. Read the list below to find out the name of Japan’s capital and other major city names of Japan.

Abiko (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘My grandson,’ is a city in Japan’s Chiba prefecture. Tourists travel to Abiko for its museum.

Akita (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Dog breed,’ is situated in Japan’s Tohoku region. Akita is known for its Sake and rural festivals.

Atami (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Hot Ocean,’ is a home famous for Mount Fuji and its naturally occurring hot springs. People travel from various places to visit this spring.

Chiba (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Thousand Leaves, is situated on the eastern pacific coast of Japan. Hoki Museum and Chiba Port Towers are a few notable places famous among visitors.

Ehime (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Lovely Princess,’ is situated on Shikoku island. The Dogo onsen is a popular place among travelers. Its history is as old as 3000 years.

Handa (Japanese Origin), meaning 'half of a rice paddy,' is located in the Aichi Prefecture and has a population of nearly 1 million. One of the lesser-known travel destinations in Japan.

Inzai (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Seal Stock,’ is located in Chiba prefecture. This city is famous for its historical tourist attractions, palaces, shrines, and museum.

Kyoto (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Capital.’ Kyoto is located in the Kansai region. Kyoto is the principal cultural capital of Japan, and people visit this city for its majestic Shinto shrines, gardens, and Buddhist temples.

Osaka (Japanese Origin), meaning  ‘Large hill.' Osaka is situated in the Kansai region, Osaka prefecture. This city is known for its large port and commercial center. Tourists visit Okaka to experience nightlife while enjoying street food.

Otaru (Japanese Origin), meaning 'sandy beach,' is a city in Hokkaido prefecture. It is a port city known for its music boxes and glasswork.

Tokyo (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Large city.’ Tokyo is the name of capital city name of Japan. Tokyo is now known as a special metropolis prefecture. Tokyo is a city that boasts rich culture and history.

Old City Names In Japan

Japan’s history is colorful. Over the years, many rulers have come and gone, painting the cities in their own colors. Here is the list of Japan's ancient, old and historical city names.

Fukiya Village (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Bitchu-Takahashi,’ is famous for copper mines and mountains.

Hagi (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Bud,’ is a former castle town in the Jokamachi district.

Hiroshima (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Wide Island.’ Hiroshima is located in the Hiroshima prefecture. This place is popular because of its history. This island city of Hiroshima was targeted during World War Two.

Kakunodate (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Little Kyoto,’ is a samurai district. It is beautifully preserved and also open for the public to take a glimpse of a bygone era.

Kobe (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘God’s Door.’ Kobe in Hyogo prefecture is the perfect destination to visit if you love hiking and the sea view.

Kunisaki Peninsula (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Land’s end,’ Kitsuki is a beautiful samurai district.

Nagoya (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Peaceful,’ in Aichi Nagoya (named old castle) prefecture is known for its technology and transportation system.

Nara (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Happy,’ is the capital city of the Nara prefecture. This city is one of the best destinations for those who want to visit Japan for its culture.

Okinawa (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Coral Island,’ is situated in Okinawa prefecture. You should visit Okinawa if you love water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving.

Omi Hachiman (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Shiga prefecture,’ is another major old city known for its beautiful canal.

Sapporo (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Great River,’ is located in the Hokkaido prefecture. This city is famous for seafood and dairy products.

Tsuwano (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Old town,’ is famous for its historical buildings and earthen walls.

Uchiko (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Dust,’ the city’s history and culture are related to the shikoku era.

Usaki (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Bloom,’ is a photogenic town famous in Japan.

Yokohama (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Horizontal Bench,’ in Kanagawa prefecture is a beautiful place. People visit Yokohama for its seas.

A night of the neon street at Tokyo Japan.

Quirky And Funny City Names In Japan

Every country has a few city names that sound absurd to the non-natives. Sometimes the words carry different meanings and significance, and sometimes it is just plain funny. Here is the list of such cities in japan.

Akihabara (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Fire controlling diety,’ is a famous destination among the Otakus. It looks straight from the animation.

Aoshima (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Cat island,’ is popular for having more population of cats than humans.

Fushimi Inari (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Orange shrine,’ is a place full of thousands of orange shrines related to the Shinto faith.

Hakodate (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Box,’ is one of the largest cities in Hokkaido. It is the best place to visit old churches, western homes, and warehouses.

Hida (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Warrior,’ is an incredible place in Japan. It was built over 200 years ago.

Kitsune Mira (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘fox village,’ of Miyagi prefecture is a village full of rescued foxes.

Kurashiki (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘City,’ is famous for its 17th-century architecture and warehouses.

Miyajima (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Shrine Island,’ is the quirky city name. The place is famous for being a shrine built on water.

Nagasaki (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Long cape,’ is a historical site as much international trade exchange used to happen from this city’s port.

Nagora Island (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Doll village,’ is a strange city where there are more than 350 scarecrows to commemorate the village residents.

Naha (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘port,’ is the capital of the Okinawa prefecture. This city is known for its restaurants and bars.

Okinoshima (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Sacred Island,’ is a man-only Shinto temple in Japan.

Shibuya (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Tan Valley’, is the world’s busiest intersection.

Shimbasi (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘New Bridge,’ is famous for the Nakagin capsule tower. This tower was built in 30 days only.

Takayama (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘High Mountains’, is a historical village. The best destination for those who want to get familiar with Japan’s culture.

Yamanouchi (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Inside mountains,’ is famous for its Jigokudami monkey park. This park has a large population of Japanese masques.

Beautiful City Names In Japan And Their Meanings

Japan is home to beautiful places, coasts, shrines, and valleys. Japan’s architect is known worldwide as they incorporate modern technology with traditional cultural values. Read the names of a few of Japan's most beautiful city names and their meanings.

Furano (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘wealth,’ is located in Hokkaido. Visit Furano during winter to ski and enjoy other snow-related activities.

Hakone (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Town.’ Visit Hakone to look at mount fuji and ashino-ko lake. This city has impressive national parks and hiking trails.

Hida Takayama (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Tall Mountain,’ is known for its Sake. There are plenty of traditional inns and street shops along the riverside to enjoy.

Himeji (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Textile center.’ Visit Himeji in April when the city’s castle is surrounded by blooming cherry blossom trees.

Kagoshima (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Young-deer island.’ The best time to visit Kagoshima is from July to August. The active volcano rises from the waters, providing a breathtaking view of the area.

Kamakura (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘granary, storehouse,’ is a famous place for Buddhist temples and other ancient shrines.

Kanazawa (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Marsh of Gold,’ is one of Japan’s largest cities. The old monuments and Edo -period canals, temples, and 17th-century Kenrokuen gardens make it one of the popular destinations.

Karuizawa (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Resort Town,’ is the home of Honshu’s most active volcano. This destination is famous for its natural beauty. Autumn is the best time to visit Karuizawa.

Magome (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Horse,’ is a town between Tokyo and Kyoto. People visit this trail to see beautiful waterfalls and Greenlands.

Nikko (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Sunshine,’ is another UNESCO World Heritage destination famous in Japan.

Sendai (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Hermit.’ This city is known as the ‘city of trees’ as it is one of the best cities in the world to view cherry blossom trees.

Shirakawago (Japanese Origin), meaning ‘Shirakawa Village,’ is home to UNESCO World’s heritage site. This area still has houses built between the 17th and 2oth centuries.

Article Image credit: Tokyo Visionary Room / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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