Japan consists of eight regions. While these regions do not constitute administrative or political units, they play a traditional role in history, education, economy and also in the media. The major power supply companies (such as Tohoku Electric Power Co., Tokyo Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., etc) are organised by regions, as are regional banks, rail transit corporations (JR East, JR West, JR Kyushu, etc) and universities (Tohoku University, Kyushu University).
Weather reports on television or in the newspapers brake their forecasts down by region and major cities. On the other hand, the circuits of the eight High Courts (Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya,Osaka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, and Fukuoka) do not correspond to the regions.
From north to south, the regions of Japan and their prefectures are:
- Hokkaido (北海道 Hokkaidō): equivalent to Hokkaido Prefectures, consists of several subprefectures
- Tohoku Region (東北地方 Tōhoku-chihō): Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata
- Kanto Region (関東地方 Kantō-chihō): Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa0
- Chūbu Region (中部地方 Chūbu-chihō): Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi; divided into three subregions: Hokuriku, Kōshin’etsu, Tōkai
- Kansai Region (関西地方 Kansai-chihō): Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Shiga
- Chūgoku Region (中国地方 Chūgoku-chihō): Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori and Yamaguchi
- Shikoku (四国): Ehime, Kagawa, Kōchi, and Tokushima
- Kyushu (九州 Kyūshū): Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Okinawa