Kagawa Prefecture

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Kagawa Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese香川県
 • RōmajiKagawa-ken
Takamatsu, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture
Takamatsu, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture
Flag of Kagawa Prefecture
Official logo of Kagawa Prefecture
Anthem: Kagawa kenminka
Location of Kagawa Prefecture
Country Japan
SubdivisionsDistricts: 5, Municipalities: 17
 • GovernorToyohito Ikeda
 • Total1,876.80 km2 (724.64 sq mi)
 • Rank47th
 (September 1, 2020)[2]
 • Total949,358
 • Rank40th
 • Density510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-37
BirdLesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus)
FlowerOlive (Olea europaea)
TreeOlive (Olea europaea)

Kagawa Prefecture (香川県, Kagawa-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku.[3] Kagawa Prefecture has a population of 949,358 (as of 2020)[2] and is the smallest prefecture by geographic area at 1,877 square kilometres (725 sq mi).[1] Kagawa Prefecture borders Ehime Prefecture to the southwest and Tokushima Prefecture to the south.

Takamatsu is the capital and largest city of Kagawa Prefecture,[4] with other major cities including Marugame, Mitoyo, and Kan'onji. Kagawa Prefecture is located on the Seto Inland Sea across from Okayama Prefecture on the island of Honshu, which is connected by the Great Seto Bridge. Kagawa Prefecture includes Shōdoshima, the second-largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, and the prefecture's southern land border with Tokushima Prefecture is formed by the Sanuki Mountains.


Kagawa was formerly known as Sanuki Province.[5]

For a brief period between August 1876 and December 1888, Kagawa was made a part of Ehime Prefecture.[6]

Battle of Yashima[edit]

Located in Kagawa's capital city, Takamatsu, the mountain of Yashima was the battlefield for one of the best-known struggles between the Heike and Genji clans.


Kagawa comprises the northeast corner of Shikoku, bordering Ehime Prefecture on the west and Tokushima Prefecture on the south, with a coastline on the Seto Inland Sea facing Okayama Prefecture and the Kansai. The Sanuki Mountains run along the southern border.

Kagawa is currently the smallest prefecture, by area, in Japan. Kagawa is a relatively narrow prefecture located between the mountains of Shikoku and the sea.

As of April 1, 2012, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Setonaikai National Park and Ōtaki-Ōkawa Prefectural Natural Park.[7]


Map of Kagawa Prefecture.
     City      Town

Eight cities are located in Kagawa Prefecture:

Place name Area (km2)[1] Population (2020)[2] Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Higashikagawa, Kagawa.svg Higashikagawa 東かがわ市 152.86 28,305 Higashikagawa in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kanonji, Kagawa.svg Kan'onji 観音寺市 117.83 56,639 Kan'on in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Marugame, Kagawa.svg Marugame 丸亀市 111.83 109,165 Marugame in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Mitoyo, Kagawa.svg Mitoyo 三豊市 222.70 61,839 Mitoyo in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Sakaide, Kagawa.svg Sakaide 坂出市 92.49 50,577 Sakaide in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Sanuki, Kagawa.svg Sanuki さぬき市 158.63 46,723 Sanuki in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Takamatsu, Kagawa.svg Takamatsu (capital) 高松市 375.42 417,814 Kagawa-takamatsu-city.svg
Flag of Zentsuji, Kagawa.svg Zentsūji 善通寺市 39.93 31,620 Zentsuji in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg


Kagawa has eight towns organized into five districts. Many were created after 1999 through mergers, as part of a national effort to reduce the number of small towns and villages.[8]

Place name Area (km2)[1] Population (2020)[2] District[9] Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Ayagawa, Kagawa.svg Ayagawa 綾川町 109.75 22,730 Ayauta Ayagawa in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kotohira, Kagawa.svg Kotohira 琴平町 8.47 8,466 Nakatado Kotohira in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Manno Kagawa.JPG Mannō まんのう町 194.45 17,324 Nakatado Manno in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Miki, Kagawa.JPG Miki 三木町 75.78 26,859 Kita Miki in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Naoshima Kagawa.JPG Naoshima 直島町 14.22[a] 3,026 Kagawa Naoshima in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Shodoshima Kagawa.JPG Shōdoshima 小豆島町 95.59 13,646 Shōzu Shodoshima in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tadotsu, Kagawa.svg Tadotsu 多度津町 24.39 22,813 Nakatado Tadotsu in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tonosho, Kagawa.svg Tonoshō 土庄町 74.38 12,915 Shōzu Tonosho in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Utazu, Kagawa.svg Utazu 宇多津町 8.10 18,897 Ayauta Utazu in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg



Kagawa has a nominal GDP of approximately 3,802 billion yen.[10] Kagawa's major export industries, in order of export value, include: transportation equipment, electrical equipment, chemical products, general machinery, mineral fuels, manufactured goods, raw materials, and foodstuff.[11]


People queuing for udon in Kagawa

Sanuki udon (a type of udon noodle) is the most famous local food of Kagawa Prefecture. In 2008, there were over 700 udon restaurants in this prefecture alone.[12]

Aside from udon, Kagawa is also famous for "hone-tsuki-dori", seasoned chicken thigh cooked on the bone. Originating from Marugame City, the dish has now become a popular dish in izakaya restaurants across the country.

Olives and olive-related products have also come to be recognized as Kagawa foods. As the first place in Japan to successfully cultivate olives, Kagawa has been producing olive-related products since 1908. As well as winning both domestic and international awards for the quality of its olive oil, Kagawa has also created two offshoot food brands from its olive industry - "olive beef" and "olive yellowtail". Waste organic matter from olive pressing is used as feed for cattle and the Yellowtail Amberjack. Due to the high amount of polyphenol in the olive waste, the flesh of the respective meats does not oxidize or lose color easily.

Other local specialties include wasanbon sugar sweets, sōmen noodles and shōyu soy sauce. Rare sugar researches are thriving and have discovered mass production culture enzymes. D-tagatose 3-epimerase is an enzyme that catalyzes the reversible epimerization reaction of the 3rd carbon of ketose.


Kagawa prefecture population pyramid 2020

As of October 2020, Kagawa Prefecture had an estimated population of 950,244. This was .54% lower than the population in the 2000 census, being 1,022,890. The area of the prefecture is 1,877 km, and the population density is 506.3/km.[13]




The sports teams listed below are based in Kagawa.



Football (Soccer)


Ice Hockey


Kanamaruza Kabuki Theatre
Benesse House, Naoshima
Manno Lake
Sanuki Manno National Park

Based on its ancient name, Sanuki, Kagawa is famous for its Sanuki udon (wheat noodles). Recent years have seen an interest in Sanuki udon across Japan[citation needed], and many Japanese now take day-trips to taste the many Sanuki udon restaurants in Kagawa.




Departure from Takamatsu[edit]



National Highway[edit]

  • Route 11 (Tokushima-Takamatsu-Marugame-Niihama-Maysuyama)
  • Route 30
  • Route 32 (Takamatsu-Kotohira-Kochi)
  • Route 193
  • Route 318
  • Route 319
  • Route 377
  • Route 436
  • Route 438



In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b Estimate. Part of boundary between Okayama and Kagawa is undefined.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "全国都道府県市区町村別面積調 (10月1日時点) [Areas of prefectures, cities, towns and villages (October 1)]" (PDF). Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. October 1, 2020. p. 66. Retrieved March 18, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c d "香川県推計人口及び人口移動(令和2年9月1日現在推計)". 香川県 (Kagawa Prefecture). Kagawa Prefectural Government. September 1, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kagawa prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 446, p. 446, at Google Books
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Takamatsu" at p. 934, p. 934, at Google Books.
  5. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  6. ^ Ikatachōshi Editing Committee, ed. (March 31, 1987). Ikatachōshi 伊方町誌 [Ikata Town History] (in Japanese). Town of Ikata, printed by DAI-ICHI HOKI Publishing.
  7. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "「『平成の合併』について」の公表 [Heisei era mergers]" (PDF). Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "香川県の郵便番号 ("Postal Codes of Kagawa Prefecture)". Japan Post. Retrieved March 15, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Kagawa Regional Information - Investing In..." Japan External Trade Organization. Retrieved September 21, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ 日 本 貿 易 振 興 機 構 ( J E T R O ); 香 川 貿 易 情 報 セ ン タ ー (March 2020). "香川県貿易実態調査 2020 年(令和 2 年)3 月" (PDF). 香川県貿易実態調査: 155.
  12. ^ "Kagawa 香川". Zipango. 2017.
  13. ^ Kagawa, Prefecture Demographics. "Japan: Kagawa". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  14. ^ "続日本100名城" (in Japanese). 日本城郭協会. November 29, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  15. ^ "Yuki Yuna is a Hero" Fights for Local Tourism in Kan'onji City". Crunchyroll. Retrieved October 29, 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°16′N 133°57′E / 34.267°N 133.950°E / 34.267; 133.950