Japanese streets do not always have names, and the street numbers are not always consecutive, as they follow the temporal order in which they were built .If you get lost you can go to a Koban, small police station where they will help you find the address you want. They have a record with the streets and numbers. You can also ask for help to the volunteer guides.

Japanese addresses are written from the largest to the smallest unit. The order is as follows:

Zip code

Postal codes are preceded by the symbol 〒, followed by three digits, hyphen, four digits (NNN−NNNN).


Japan is divided into 47 prefectures:

  • A metropolitan district (都, To), Tokyo.
  • One province (道, ), Hokkaidō.
  • Two urban prefectures (府, Fu), Kyoto and Osaka.
  • 43 rural prefectures (県, Ken).


Prefectures are subdivided into minor civil divisions:

  • City (市, Shi). Tokyo has 26 cities, such as Chōfu.
  • District (区, Ku). Tokyo has 23 districts, such as Minato−Ku.
  • Subarea, such as Ginza.
  • County (郡, Gun). Rural areas where the population is not large enough to designate as city.
  • Towns (町, Machi or Chō). Tokyo has 5.
  • Village (村, Mura or Son). Tokyo has 8.

District, block and house number

  • City district (丁目, Chōme), is assigned by proximity to the center of the municipality.
  • Block of the city (番地, Banchi), is assigned by proximity to the center of the municipality.
  • The number of the building within the block (号, ), is assigned clockwise around the block.
  • If the address contains the number of an apartment, it is added with a hyphen to the building number.


In Japanese, the surname precedes the name.

Addresses can be written both horizontally in rows, as vertically in columns. If the address is written in the Roman alphabet, the order is reversed.

Other curiosities of Japan

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