These upcoming stylish license plate options showcase regional flavor and points of local pride throughout Japan.  

Last October, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism released their first round of local edition license plates with 41 special versions. These plates display famous scenery, attractions, or important cultural artifacts from localities around the country and offer an exciting alternative to the standard picture-less design of regular Japanese license plates. Seriously, who wouldn’t say yes to a plate featuring the lovable Kumamon when given the choice?

This time, the Ministry has released designs for a second round of local specialty plates with plans to begin issuing them in May 2020. 17 new editions will join the ranks of the first 41 and will be offered in the following areas throughout the country:

Here’s the new lineup with details (left to right, top to bottom).

▼ Hokkaido (2), Tohoku (2), and Kanto (2) region plates

Shiretoko — Shiretoko’s magnificent natural scenery
Tomakomai — Lake Utonai and the city of ice hockey
Hirosaki — Hirosaki Castle, the cherry blossom-covered moat, and Mount Iwaki

Shirakawa — Komine Castle in the spring
Matsudo — The scenery of Matsudo
Ichikawa — Ichikawa’s pears, the city, and the Edo River

▼ Kanto (5) and Hokuriky/Shinetsu (1) region plates

Funabashi — Pears and Anderson Park
Ichihara — Rapeseed blossoms, cherry blossoms, and the Satoyama Torocco train
Koto — Tokyo Gate Bridge

Katsushika — Sweet flag (plant), the river, and kingfishers
Itabashi — Lively and colorful trees, flowers, and birds
Joetsu — Uesugi Kenshin and cherry blossoms

▼ Chubu (2), Kinki (1), Chugoku (1), and Shikoku (1) region plates

Ise-Shima — Charm flowing forth
Yokkaichi — Shining Yokkaichi City
Asuka — Vermilion Bird (one of four mythological spirit creatures of constellations)

Izumo —  Yamata no Orochi (eight-headed serpent)
Takamatsu — Gazing at Yashima from Takamatsu Port

Any of the above regional license plate designs can be requested by locals in grayscale for no extra charge. However, full-color versions (pictured above) can be requested along with a “contribution” of 1,000 yen (US$9.21) and up. We hope that plenty of people will choose one of the new designs in order to show their hometown pride while on the road!

Source: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Japaaan
Images: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
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