Kids Web Japan

Web Japan > Kids Web Japan > Explore Japan > Regions > Kinki > Characteristics

Explore Japan

Regions of Japan

Q. What special characteristics does the Kinki region have?

The landscape of Kyoto
The landscape of Kyoto

The wild deer and the famous shrine in Nara (Todaiji)


Kinki is made up of the seven prefectures of Mie, Shiga, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo. The total population is around 22.4 million, 18% of Japan's total.

The cities of Kyoto and Nara are places of great renown, having served as national capitals and fulfilled other historical roles from early times down to the 1868 Meiji Restoration. Many shrines, temples, Buddhist effigies and paintings, and other cultural properties of historical significance have survived to draw tourists in large numbers from all over the world.

And the city of Osaka, the economic heart of the Kinki region, has prospered as a commercial and industrial center since historic times. In expectations that Osaka will develop into an international metropolis, the nearby Kansai International Airport opened in 1994 on reclaimed land in Osaka Bay.

Steelmaking and shipbuilding are two of the sectors represented in the thriving industrial belt linking Osaka with Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of January 1995 brought widespread destruction to the city and surrounding areas.

In central Kinki is Japan's biggest lake, Lake Biwa. Forestry flourishes amid the mountains on the Kii peninsula.