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Wakayama Prefecture

Wakayama Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese 和歌山県
 • Rōmaji Wakayama-ken
Official logo of Wakayama Prefecture
Symbol of Wakayama Prefecture
Location of Wakayama Prefecture
Country Japan
Region Kansai
Island Honshū
Capital Wakayama (city)
 • Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka
 • Total 4,725.67 km2 (1,824.59 sq mi)
Area rank 30th
Population (April 1, 2012)
 • Total 989,983
 • Rank 39th
 • Density 209.49/km2 (542.6/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-30
Districts 6
Municipalities 30
Flower Ume blossom (Prunus mume)
Tree Ubame oak (Quercus phillyraeoides)
Bird Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonica)
Website english/

Wakayama Prefecture (和歌山県 Wakayama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region on Honshū island.[1] The capital is the city of Wakayama.[2]


  • History 1
    • 1953 flood disaster 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Cities 2.1
    • Towns and villages 2.2
    • Mergers 2.3
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Culture 5
  • Sister relationships 6
  • Tourism 7
  • Transportation 8
    • Rail 8.1
    • Road 8.2
      • Expressway 8.2.1
      • National Highway 8.2.2
    • Ferry 8.3
    • Airport 8.4
  • Education 9
    • University 9.1
  • Notes 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Present-day Wakayama is mostly the western part of the province of Kii.[3]

1953 flood disaster

On July 17–18, 1953, a torrential heavy rain occurred, followed by collapse of levees, river flooding and landslides in a wide area. Many bridges and houses were destroyed. According to an officially confirmed Japanese Government report, 1,015 people died, with 5,709 injured and 7,115 houses lost.


Map of Wakayama Prefecture.


Nine cities are located in Wakayama Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:



Wakayama supplies most of Japan with its high production of mikans (Mandarin Oranges) in October of every year.


Wakayama is ranked 39th by population in Japan with a population of 989,983. It is the least populated prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. Its population is declining.


Mount Kōya (高野山 Kōya-san) in the Ito District is the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is home to one of the first Japanese style Buddhist temples in Japan and remains a site of pilgrimage and an increasingly popular tourist destination as people flock to see its ancient temples set amidst the towering cedar trees at the top of the mountain. The Sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the Kii Mountain Range extend for miles throughout the prefecture and together have been recognized as Japan's 11th UNESCO World Heritage site.[4]

The Kumano Shrines are located on the southern tip of the prefecture. Tomogashima Island (actually a cluster of 4 islands) is also part of the prefecture.

Sister relationships

Wakayama Prefecture has friendship and sister relationships with six places outside Japan.[5] These are Richmond, Canada; Shandong, People's Republic of China; Pyrénées-Orientales, France; Florida, United States; Sinaloa, Mexico; and Galicia, Spain.


Wakayama Prefecture has hot springs such as Shirahama, Kawayu, and Yunomine Onsen.





  • Hanwa Expressway
  • Keinawa Expressway
  • Yuasa Gobo Road
  • Nachi Katsuura Road

National Highway






  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Wakayama prefecture" in , p. 1026Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1026, at Google Books; "Kansai" in p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Wakayama" in p. 1025, p. 1025, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^
  5. ^ 友好・姉妹提携 Wakayama Prefecture official Web site retrieved May 16, 2008


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links

  • Official Wakayama Prefecture homepage
  • Wakayama Tourist Guide
  • Nanki Sightseeing Guide

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