Last night Sarah & I were chatting on Skype and we were discussing places, in particular prefectures, we had been to in Japan- I think I may have had her on numbers (maybe? Correct me if I am wrong Sarah!). I realized though, that despite the small size of the country I have not really been to many places…Sarah definitely had me on the geography of Japan though- I am hopeless with geography in general (odd since I am really good at reading maps?- go figure) – I even said to her “Don`t think I have been to Hyogo, where is it” and she replied “Hyogo is where Kobe is, so you have been there when you visited me” – see, that is how bad my geography is!!!
Japan has 47 prefectures, which I guess for those Americans and Australians out there are kind of like states. Although considering the size of Japan vs Australia and 47 prefectures vs 8 states and territories it is obvious that prefectures in Japan are quite small!
Here is a map-
Now of those 47 prefectures I have only been to only 16 of them, I think (I class “going to” as more than driving through or stopping for a toilet break while driving through/shinkansenning it past- but you do not have to have stayed the night)- They are from top to bottom Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Nagano, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Hiroshima & Okinawa. I am not sure how many Shun has gone to before- but I think it might even be less than me…as he has never been to Hyogo, Hiroshima or Fukushima I think but I may be wrong (he may have been to others I am not aware of though- after all he has lived there for pretty much 28 years straight!). Three of the prefture trips were for snow trips- Fukushima, Nagano, & Niigata. Having lived in Tokyo, I have been to Kanagawa, Chiba & Saitama quite a lot. Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima when I was an exchange student and Osaka and Kyoto again a couple of other times. Nara/Hyogo with Sarah last year and Shizuoka when I was on exchange and went for a day trip to go fishing. Okinawa was a couple of years back with Shun and Nikko is in Tochigi and I went a couple of years back. Ibaraki was when I was on exchange and I went back to a friend`s hometown (Yes, there was a lot of Natto)
It does not seem like that many though- especially considering there are several other prefctures close by that would be within “day trip” range…or at the very least an overnight stay.
So, while making it to EVERY prefecture might be a little ambitious my hope is to visit at least another five over the next five years! I do not really have to many preferences but I would love to see Nagasaki (and Hakone, but turns out that is in Kanagawa prefecture!), Fukuoka, Gunma (Well it is close!), Aichi & Hokkaido…I am sure there are plenty of other nice prefectures to check out also and I certainly have blog friends all over so maybe I will be coming to crash on your sofa sometime soon!
Those of you in Japan (or who have visited) which prefectures have you been to and what could you recommend?
Aussies- what states/territories haven`t you been to! Sadly I have only been to three- Queensland, NSW & Victoria- Slack I know! I have never been to any American states but I think my brother has been to about 5 on his recent trip there last year…
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