, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 161-172

First online:

Natural regions of Japan

  • Yoshino M. M. Affiliated withInstitute of Geoscience, University of Tsukuba

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In order to subdivide the natural regions of Japan, first, the regional subdivisions or distributions of geology, landforms, soils, climates, hydrology, flora, forests and vegetations are shown separately. The characteristics of the subdivided regions or zones are described briefly to illustrate the distribution of every element in Japan. Secondly, a tentative division of natural regions of Japan is given in reference to the subdivisions or distributions mentioned in the first part. The numbers of the natural regions of Japan tentatively proposed in this paper are 7 in the 1. order, 20 in the 2. order and 58 in the 3. order. The average area of the 3. order regions in Kyûshû, Shikoku, Honshû and Hokkaidô is about 8,100 km2, which implies a meso-scale dimension. The names of the regions in the 2. order are: I1) Nansei Islands, I2) Daitôjima, II1) Ogasawara Islands and others, II2) Minamitorishima (Marcus Is.), III1) Pacific coast (Nankai), III2) Mountain area of SW Japan, III3) NW Kyûshû, III4) Inland Sea region, III5) Pacific side of Central Japan, IV1) Izu Islands, IV2) Kanto-tosan, IV3) Pacific side of NE of Honshu, V1) San'in district, V2) NW of Central Japan, VI1) NE of Central Japan and S of N Honshû, VI2) Japan Sea side of N Honshû, VI3) SW Hokkaidô, VII1) Pacific side of Hokkaidô, VII2) E of Hokkaidô, and VII3) W of Hokkaidô.