Japanese Addresses

Addresses in Japan are usually composed of:

  • Prefecture – Tokyo (-to), Hokkaido (-do), Kyoto (-fu)
  • City – Chuo (-ku), Yokohama (-shi)
  • Area – Ginza, Hakozaki
  • Block Number – (-chome/-ban/-go, ie. 6-13-16)
  • Apartment name and number

For example:

〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座6-13-16 銀座ウォールビル2F

Ginza Wall Building 2F, 6-13-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061

Below is a picture of an address sign (which I think is 1-1-6 Shinkawa, Chuo-ku, Tokyo):

SBSH0001

When you are walking around Tokyo, many streets have no names, and if they do, the street signs are difficult to locate or they may only display in Japanese.  To further complicate matters, the numbers on building do not always run in sequence.  Buildings are numbers according to the last building built, so number 58 may be next to number 1.  It is easier to get around using maps marked with landmarks and main cross streets. 

Even native Japanese, including taxi drivers, use maps or now, GPS devices.  It’s part of life in Japan.

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5 thoughts on “Japanese Addresses

  1. > * Prefecture – Tokyo (-to), Hokkaido (-do), Kyoto (-fu)

    Only one 都 (to)…Tokyo, one 道 (dou)…Hokkaido, two 府 (fu)…Kyoto and Osaka. But you didn’t mention 県 (ken)…all of the other 43 prefectures are “ken”.

    BTW, before “prefecture” on a mailing address is 郵便番号 (“Yuubin-bangou”)…which means “zip code”.
    Usually abbreviated as: 〒

    >address sign (which I think is 1-1-6 Shinkawa, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)

    Yes, that’s what it says. Is that someone’s house? Maybe you shouldn’t put someone’s home address online?! (*。*)

    Near there is “Kirin Beer”‘s HQ 🙂
    Their address is written on the beer cans:
    〒104-8288東京都中央区新川2丁目10番地1号 (2-10-1 Shinkawa, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-8288)

  2. >> Yes, that’s what it says. Is that someone’s house? Maybe you shouldn’t put someone’s home address online?! (*。*)

    I took this picture while walking to work one day – I think it is a business address. I didn’t know Kirin HQ was nearby my workplace, I must visit it soon 🙂

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