Place Lookup

You can use this panel to look up prefecture, city, town and area place names in Japan. Note that it ONLY knows about prefectures, towns, cities and areas - it does not know about Embassies, mountains, peninsulas or anything similar.

Note also that all city names end in "-shi" or "-gun". These are Japanese designations. (Most cities are -shi, but not all "-shi" are cities) So if you are looking for Nagasaki (the city) type "Nagasaki-shi". The only exception is Tokyo - which is just - "Tokyo"

The panel contains two selector fields: "Filter on" and "Lookup".

When you type in the name of a place you are looking for, you will be offered a selection to choose from. Note that you HAVE to make a selection - if you type a name and it does not come up, then probably we don't know about it.

If the "map this" button becomes active, you have made a valid selection. If not, you haven't...

The "Filter on" field selects amongst prefectures and city - and brings up a possible 2000 or so options. The second fields knows about areas, prefectures and cities and lets you select amongst 120,000 or so options. The first field can act as a filter on the second field, making the results more relevant.


Let's say you are looking for a place called "Takamiya". You know it is in Fukuoka Prefecture somewhere.

You COULD just type "Takamiya" straight into the "Lookup" but - you will get a lot of hits - 100 or so - including all those names that start with Takamiya, like "Takamiya-cho". Most of the hits will be irrelevant - and the Takamiya you want may not even be on the list at all as the full list of hits may be too long to display....

You can reduce the number of hits by adding a comma. eg: "Takamiya," which in this case will bring the list down to about 3 options. Select the appropriate "Takamiya" and the "map this" button should become active. Hit it and you will be taken to Takamiya.

However, if you had typed "Fukuoka" into the "Filter on" field, and selected Fukuoka-shi or Fukuoka Prefecture, then moved to the "Lookup" field and typed "Takamiya" you would have got ONLY the Takamiyas in Fukuoka.

Important: if you do a lot of jumping around between the two fields, the system gets confused. It may offer you choices in the second field that relate to a previous filter, that it hasn't forotten, in the first field - followed, a few moments later - by the correct choices. The technical term for this is: "It's a bit broken" and the current technical solution is "reload the page in your browser" (Closing and reopening the panel will have no effect.)

Click the close button (top right) to close this info box.