Japan Geography vs. United States

by Buddy Lindsey


One of the best ways to understand a country is to get a grasp on their geography so when you hear about differen areas you can get an idea where they are talking about.  If you think about it here in America there are different traditions and accents based on the area you are from and you can usually tell just by sound or clothing, to some degree, where someone is from.

Japan is no different, they too have regions like in the United States, though more formal.  Each region offers different dialects of the langauge, accents, traditions and customs.  This is very similar to the United States and for most countries around the world.  While a group of people may be in the same country look the same, they can do things very different.  Knowing the differences and where they are can be important to better understanding langauge and people.

With all that said lets take a quick look at some comparisons of Japan and United States.

Regions of the United States (note: these are not formal just percieved but people tend to know about where you are talking about)

  • New England
  • South
  • Mid-West
  • West

Regions of Japan

  • Hokkaido
  • Tohoku
  • Kanto
  • Chubu
  • Kansai
  • Shikoku
  • Chugoku
  • Kyushu
  • Okinawa

The interesting thing is this list moves in the same general direction starting at the top most of the country and moving down and west.

The United States can be divided into Regions then states inside of those regions.  Inside each state is a capital city and other smaller cities.  Japan is the same they have Regions then prefectures inside the regions.  Inside the prefectures are captials and even smaller cities, towns and villiges.

It is important in my mind to start to distinguish things by the different parts of Japan over just “Japan” when possible so in future interaction you don’t assume things about an area and then are looking bad to them.

In my next Geography posts i’ll try to talk about each prefecture one at a time with information on them.  I just wanted to set it all up with this introductory post to have some guidelines for how to see Japan sot he later  posts can make more sense.

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