one of 8 regions in Japan encompassing 7 prefectures
Asia > East Asia > Japan > Kanto

The Kantō (関東) region of Japan, on the eastern side of the main island Honshu, is a broad plain dominated by and nearly synonymous with the megalopolis of Tokyo and its suburbs.

Prefectures edit

contains not just the biggest city in the world, but mountains and semitropical islands too
suburban sprawl to the south containing Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, and Kawasaki
suburban sprawl to the east and the site of Narita of airport fame
suburban sprawl to the north containing beautiful scenes and very hospitable people
popular escape known for historical site Nikko and many hot springs
mountains and hot springs to the north of Tokyo
coastal prefecture containing the hometown of natto, Mito

Cities edit

  • 1 Tokyo - capital of Japan, largest city in Japan
  • 2 Chiba - another Tokyo offshoot to the east
  • 3 Kawasaki - suburb sandwiched between Tokyo and Yokohama
  • 4 Yokohama - officially Japan's 2nd largest city, in practice a giant Tokyo suburb.
  • 5 Kamakura - temple town within easy striking distance of Tokyo
  • 6 Nikko - the grandiose mausoleum of the Tokugawa shoguns
  • 7 Kinugawa - former hot spring boomtown fallen on hard times
  • 8 Mashiko - town of clay pots and steam locos
  • 9 Saitama - Bonsai capital of Japan

Other destinations edit

Chichibu's Wadōkaichin Coin
  • 1 Oze National Park - the largest highland marshland on Japan's main island of Honshu.
  • 2 Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park - mountain hiking within easy striking distance of Tokyo
  • 3 Enoshima - Japan's surfing paradise in style and attitude (a shame there isn't much in the way of waves)
  • 4 Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park - for hot springs and views of Fuji
  • 5 Noda - home to Japan's largest field-athletics course Shimizu Koen.
  • 6 Odawara — houses the only Japanese castle in greater Tokyo area
  • Yugawara, Manazuru — for hot springs and coastal resort, eating sashimi and mikan, views of Manazuru Peninsula, some festivals (Matsuri).

Understand edit

In feudal times, Kanto was the home of the Tokugawa shogunate and Edo (modern Tokyo) the military seat of power, while the western region of Kansai represented commerce (Osaka) and culture (Kyoto). For much of Japanese history, nobody called Tokyo the capital of Japan, but the pendulum shifted decisively in Tokyo's favor after the 1868 Meiji Restoration when the Emperor moved to Tokyo, and today Kanto sets the pace that the rest of Japan tries to follow.

Talk edit

The Kanto dialect is the base of the standard Japanese taught in schools and spoken on TV, but elderly people in some rural areas such as Ibaraki and Tochigi speak particular dialects which differ from standard Japanese.

Unlike the Japan of 30 years ago, it is very possible to get by in Kanto even if you only speak English, as most signs and the trains are very accommodating to travelers. Also, some natives in city areas have a little experience with English - just speak slowly.

Get in edit

Most visitors arrive in the Kanto region via Tokyo, and most of those arrive via Narita Airport, Japan's main international gateway.

Get around edit

See edit

Castles edit

Oshi Castle
  • Edo Castle
  • Odawara Castle
  • Oshi Castle
  • Utsunomiya Castle
  • Tateyama Castle
  • Kururi Castle

Castle Ruins edit

  • Kanayama Castle
  • Hachigata Castle
  • Sakura Castle
  • Mito Castle

Gardens edit

Plum Blossoms at Kairakuen Garden

Museums edit

  • Tokyo National Museum (Tokyo)
  • Hakone Open-Air Museum (Hakone)
  • Ghibli Museum (Mitaka)
  • Yayoi Kusama Museum (Tokyo)
  • Suntory Museum of Art (Tokyo)
  • Sumida Hokusai Museum (Tokyo)
  • Omiya Bonsai Art Museum (Saitama)
  • Omiya Railway Museum (Saitama)
  • National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo)
  • Nezu Museum (Tokyo)
  • Oya Museum (Utsunomiya)
  • Cup Noodles Museum (Yokohama)

Temples edit

Kamakura Daibutsu at Kotoku-in

Shrines edit

  • Toshogu Shrine (Nikko)
  • Kashima Jingu (Kashima)
  • Kasama Inari Shrine (Kasama)
  • Meiji Jingu (Tokyo)
  • Nezu Shrine (Tokyo)

Do edit

Eat edit

The Michelin Guide gave more stars to Kanto (Tokyo) dining establishments than any other city in Japan.

Compared with their western cousins in Kansai, the people of Kanto prefer dark soy to light soy, thin buckwheat soba noodles to fat wheat udon and appreciate the taste of the odoriferous fermented soy bean product natto. Some Kanto specialities include:

  • Utsunomiya Gyoza (宇都宮餃子) - the gyoza capital of the nation, Utsunomiya has a wide variety of both restaurants and types of gyoza
  • Monjayaki (もんじゃ焼き) - Worcestershire sauce-flavored dough, mix in whatever toppings you desire and baked. It's similar to okonomiyaki, but the dough doesn't harden completely, so you scoop out a little bit with a spatula and eat it. At most restaurants you cook it yourself (staff can probably help, as it requires knowing the proper technique), and it's traditionally eaten directly off the griddle, one small spatula-full at a time.
  • Chankonabe (鍋ちゃんこなべ ) - a protein-rich stew of chicken and beef with various vegetables in fish or chicken broth. Commonly as a sumo wrestler's diet.
  • Sushi (寿司) - especially the Nigiri, originate from Edo, the Tokugawa Shogunate's former seat of power, now known as Tokyo. Most of Japan's finest and most exclusive sushi restaurants can be found in Tokyo, and this style of sushi is known as edomaezushi (江戸前寿司).
  • Shoyu ramen (醬油ラーメン) - The variant of this dish from Tokyo uses a pork and soy sauce based broth.

Drink edit

Stay safe edit

If safety is the ratio of population density to frequency of crime, then Kanto has to be the safest place in the world. It is mind-boggling how such a densely populated urban area can have such a low crime rate, especially in violent street crime. Nonetheless, there are omnipresent "police boxes" to keep things in order. What's more, disease is much less of an issue in Japan than in much of Asian travel, you can trust the food to be well prepared, and though Tokyo may be a little more polluted than, say, Kyoto, even in downtown Tokyo the air is crystal clear compared to Beijing, and good luck finding garbage or food on the sidewalks and streets. All in all, Tokyo is definitely among the safest, cleanest, most pleasant urban traveling experiences to find on Earth - and Tokyo is likely the dirtiest and most dangerous part of Kanto.

Go next edit

This region travel guide to Kanto is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!