The tiny shaded part of each map represents half of the population.

Is Japan crowded? The answer really depends on where you go. On the one hand, Japan is the nation of comically packed rush hour commuter trains, but it’s also where you’ll find views like these.


Different parts of Japan have vastly different population densities, something that’s a result of both geographical and historical factors. The country’s mountainous topography has always limited where towns can be built, and during Japan’s protracted feudal era, restrictions on the flow of goods and people meant that resources clustered around the local warlord’s stronghold. Many of Japan’s present-day urban centers, including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Hiroshima can trace their lineage back to a period of being a castle town, and even in the post-samurai age, they represent the greatest abundance of economic and educational opportunities.

To illustrate just how concentrated Japan’s population distribution is, Twitter users have taken to creating infographics that show a prefecture filled in with two colors, each representing half of the area’s residents. For example, Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo’s neighbor to the east, is home to some 6.2 million people, but half of them live just a stone’s throw away from the nation’s capital, in the area marked in red on the map below.


North of Tokyo, you’ll find a pretty similar situation in Saitama Prefecture.

Heading over to central Japan, Nara Prefecture has plenty of cool places to visit. Just about everyone wants to live at the north tip, though, in the prefectural capital of Nara City, which is linked by quick rail access to Osaka and Kyoto.


Another Osaka neighbor, Wakayama Prefecture, also has everyone wanting to find homes as close as possible to the border with the Kansai region’s largest city, located to Wakayama’s north.

Gifu Prefecture is seeing a huge influx of visitors coming to see the setting of some of anime hit Your Name’s most pivotal scenes, but most of the people who live there want to be situated close to Nagoya, across the prefectural line to the south in Aichi Prefecture.

Sometimes, though, a prefecture’s population gathers in its middle, like in Miyagi Prefecture, where capital city Sendai and neighboring municipality Natori together claim 50 percent of the prefectural population.

And how does everything look when we zoom out to the national level? In the illustration below, those tiny blue areas represent half of Japan’s populace, with the scattered dark red spots accounting for an additional 25 percent, and the remaining quarter of the country’s residents spread out over the pink zones.

So really, most of Japan isn’t very crowded at all, as there are several points on the map where you’d have hardly any close neighbors at all. If you want to be near one of the big cities, though, well, let’s just say we hope you’re a people person, because you’re going to be dealing with a lot of them every day.

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@Simon_Sin
Top, insert image ©RocketNews24

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he feels like the population density in his part of Yokohama is just right.