Honshu (Japanese: 本州, translit. Honshū, lit. '"Main
pronounced [hoꜜɴɕɯː] ( listen)) is the largest
and most populous island of Japan, located south of
the Tsugaru Strait, north of
Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and
Kyushu across the Kanmon Straits. The island separates
the Sea of Japan, which lies to its north and west, from the North
Pacific Ocean to its south and east. It is the seventh-largest island
in the world, and the second-most populous after the Indonesian island
Honshu had a population of 103 million as of 2005[update],[citation
needed] mostly concentrated in the coastal lowlands, notably in the
Kantō plain where 25% of the total population resides in the Greater
Tokyo Area. As the historical center of Japanese
culture and political power, the island includes
several past Japanese capitals, including Kyoto, Nara, and Kamakura.
Much of the island's southern shore forms part of the Taiheiyō Belt,
a megalopolis that spans several of the Japanese islands.
Most of Japan's industry is located in a belt running along Honshu's
southern coast, from
Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, and
Hiroshima; by contrast, the economy along the
northwestern Sea of
Japan coast is largely based on fishing and
agriculture. The island is linked to the other three major Japanese
islands by a number of bridges and tunnels. Its climate is humid and
1.1 Extreme points
1.2 Bridges and tunnels
2 Administrative regions and prefectures
3 Natural features
4 See also
The island is roughly 1,300 km (810 mi) long and ranges from
50 to 230 km (31 to 143 mi) wide, and its total area is
225,800 km2 (87,200 sq mi), 60% of the total area of
Japan, making it slightly larger than Great
Britain. Its land area has been increasing with land reclamation
and coastal uplift in the north, but global sea level rise has
diminished these effects.
Honshu has 10,084
kilometres (6,266 mi) of coastline.
Mountainous and volcanic,
Honshu experiences frequent earthquakes (the
Great Kantō earthquake heavily damaged
Tokyo in September 1923, and
the earthquake of March 2011 moved the northeastern part of the island
by varying amounts of as much as 5.3 m (17 ft) while
causing devastating tsunamis). The highest peak is the active volcano
Mount Fuji at 3,776 m (12,388 ft), which makes
world's 7th highest island. There are many rivers, including the
Shinano River, Japan's longest. The
Japanese Alps run the length of
Honshu, dividing the northwestern (Sea of Japan) shore from the
southeastern (Pacific or Inland Sea) shore; the climate is generally
humid subtropical in the southern and coastal parts of the island and
humid continental in the northern and inland portions.
The northernmost point on
Honshu is the tip of the Shimokita Peninsula
in Ōma, Aomori; Cape Kure lies at the southern extreme in Kushimoto,
Wakayama. The island's eastern extremity is Todogasaki in Miyako,
Iwate, and its western one is Bishanohana in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.
Honshu spans more than eight degrees of latitude and 11 degrees of
Bridges and tunnels
Honshu is connected to the islands of Hokkaido,
tunnels and bridges. Three bridge systems have been built across the
islands of the Inland Sea between
Shikoku (Akashi Kaikyō
Bridge and the Ōnaruto Bridge; Shin-Onomichi Bridge, Innoshima
Bridge, Ikuchi Bridge, Tatara Bridge, Ōmishima Bridge,
Hakata–Ōshima Bridge, and the Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge;
Shimotsui-Seto Bridge, Hitsuishijima Bridge, Iwakurojima Bridge,
Yoshima Bridge, Kita Bisan-Seto Bridge, and the Minami Bisan-Seto
Seikan Tunnel connects
Honshu with Hokkaido, and the
Kanmonkyo Bridge and
Kanmon Tunnel connects
Administrative regions and prefectures
The island is divided into five nominal regions and contains 34
prefectures, including metropolitan Tokyo. Administratively, some
smaller islands are included within these prefectures, notably
including the Ogasawara Islands, Sado Island, Izu Ōshima, and Awaji
The regions and its prefectures are:
Tōhoku region consists of six prefectures.
Kantō region consists of seven prefectures, including the capital of
Japan which is the
Chūbu region consists of nine prefectures.
Kansai region consists of seven prefectures.
Chūgoku region consists of five prefectures.
Most of Japan's tea and silk is from Honshu. Fruits, vegetables,
grains, rice and cotton are grown in Honshu. Niigata is noted as an
important producer of rice. The Kantō and Nōbi plains produce rice
and vegetables. Yamanashi is a major fruit-growing area, and Aomori is
famous for its apples. Rare species of the lichen
genus Menegazzia are found only in Honshu.
Yields of zinc, copper, and oil have been found on Honshu.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Honshu.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Honshu.
^ a b "Honshu". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 February
Japan Civil Registry Database 2013
Japan Census of 2000; the editors of List of islands by
population appear to have used similar data from the relevant
statistics bureaux, and totalled up the various administrative
districts that make up each island, and then done the same for less
populous islands. An editor of this article has not repeated that
work. Therefore this plausible and eminently reasonable ranking is
posted as unsourced common knowledge.
^ Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan
^ "Islands By Land Area". Islands.unep.ch. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
^ "Map of Horizontal Land Movement caused by 2011/3/11 M9.0
earthquake" (PDF) (in Japanese). Geospatial Information Authority of
Japan. March 19, 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
^ "Quake shifted
Japan by over two meters". Deutsche Welle. March 14,
2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
^ a b "Honshu". infoplease.com. 2012. Retrieved 2014-11-23.
^ Bjerke JW (2004). "Revision of the lichen genus Menegazzia in Japan,
including two new species". The Lichenologist. 36 (1): 15–25.
doi:10.1017/S0024282904013878. ISSN 0024-2829.
Regions and administrative divisions of Japan
Coordinates: 36°N 138°E / 36°N 138°E / 36; 138