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Hokkaidō Prefecture

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Japanese: 北海道
Map of Japan with Hokkaidō highlighted
Capital Sapporo
Region Hokkaido
Island Hokkaidō
Governor Harumi Takahashi
Area (rank) 83,453.57 km² (1st)
 - % water 6.4%
Population  (2010-10-01[1])
 - Population 5,507,456 (8th)
 - Density 66.4 /km²
Districts 68
Municipalities 180
ISO 3166-2 JP-01
Prefectural Symbols
 - Flower Hamanasu
(Rugosa Rose, Rosa rugosa)
 - Tree Ezomatsu
(Jezo Spruce, Picea jezoensis)
 - Bird Tanchō
(Red-crowned Crane, Grus japonensis)
 - Fish Sea Bream
Symbol of Hokkaidō Prefecture
Symbol of Hokkaidō Prefecture

Hokkaidō Prefecture (北海道 Hokkaidō?) is a special Japanese prefecture in Hokkaidō region on the island Hokkaidō.[2] It is the most northern prefecture of Japan.

Sapporo is the capital city.[2]


Further information: Former Provinces of Hokkaidō

Until the Meiji Restoration, the island was called Ezo, Watari-shima, Yeddo, and Yezo. Since 1869, it has been called Hokkaidō.[2]

The population expanded in the late 19th century.[2]


  • 1947 (Shōwa 22): Hokkaidō Prefecture was established.[3]


Hokkaidō is the 2nd largest island of Japan[2] The island is between the Sea of Japan to the west, the Sea of Okhotsk to the northeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southeast, and the Tsugaru Strait to the south.

Hokkaidō is separated from Honshu by the Tsugaru Strait; however, it is connected by the underwater Seikan tunnel.

Some of the Chishima Islands are occupied by Russia, but Japan still considers the islands to be Japanese.

National Parks

Natural Parks are established in about 10% of the total land area of the prefecture.[5]

Shrines and Temples

Hokkaidō jingū was the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) of Ezo, which was an ancient name for the Hokkaidō region.[6]

Related pages


  1. National Census 2010 Preliminary Results
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2002). "Hokkaido" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 343.
  3., "Former Hokkaido Government office building"; retrieved 2012-2-14.
  4. Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA): 34th G8 summit, overview.
  5. Japan Ministry of the Environment, "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture"; retrieved 2012-3-14.
  6. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1963). The Vicissitudes of Shinto, p. 328.

Other websites

Media related to Hokkaido prefecture at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 43°N 142°E / 43°N 142°E / 43; 142fi:Hokkaidō