Hokkaido Ranks As Most Popular Prefecture in Japan, According to This Survey

Kyoto follows in the list conducted by a private research company.

Private research company
Brand Research Institute, Inc. announced the rankings for the 2019 Annual Prefecture Popularity Survey last October 17. For the 11th consecutive year, Hokkaido made it to the top of the list. The survey has been conducted annually since 2009. On the other hand, Ibaraki Prefecture takes the last spot for the 7th time in succession since 2013.

Hokkaido takes first place for the 11th time in popularity survey of the 47 prefectures.

This research is from the
Regional Brand Survey 2019 implemented in 1,000 municipalities and 47 prefectures in Japan. Valid responses were gathered from 31,369 respondents all over Japan between the ages of 20 to 79. Questions included topics such as familiarity, appeal, access to information, tourism motivation, and desire to inhabit, among others, that add up to 84 topics.

First placer Hokkaido finished with 61.0 points and is followed by Kyoto with 50.2 points. It is number one in tourism motivation and customer motivation, then 3rd place in a desire to inhabit. Aside from the overall prefectural rankings, four cities in Hokkaido belong to the top 10 of the city popularity rankings with Hakodate on the 1st spot, Sapporo on the 2nd, the 3rd being Otaru, and Furano at ninth.

Next to Hokkaido and Kyoto in the prefecture rankings are Tokyo (43.8 points), Okinawa (40.8 points), and Kanagawa (34.5 points) respectively. This reflects last year’s results as well.

Osaka scored its highest ever in the annual survey this year.

Two of the top ten prefectures moved up the rankings: Osaka (32.9 points) from 7th place to 6th place, its highest ever, and Ishikawa (25.4 points) from 11th place to 9th place. Osaka ranks 4th in the desire to inhabit category, also its highest ever, and 2nd in the international relations category. It is believed to be an effect brought by the
G20 summit being held there this year and the upcoming 2025 Osaka Expo. On items regarding regional content such as world heritage and national heritage sites, Osaka moved up to 15th this year from 22nd place in 2018.

Ibaraki takes last place in the overall rankings at 47th place.

Ibaraki Prefecture official VTuber, Ibara Hiyori, charms with her cute costume.

On the other hand, the bottom of the rankings consist of Ibaraki (9.4 points) at 47th place, Saga (11.2 points) at 46th, Gunma (11.5 points) at 45th, Tokushima (12.2 points) at 44th, and Tochigi (12.5 points) at 43rd. In hopes of getting a higher ranking, Ibaraki actively took steps to improve publicity.
Ibara Hiyori, the first official VTuber (virtual YouTuber) for a local government, was released in 2018, which naturally caused a buzz among the Japanese. A marketing strategy department was also assembled, and an antenna shop in Ginza, Tokyo, called IBARAKI sense was renovated, but unfortunately these were not enough to rise from last place.


Popularity Ranking of the 47 Prefectures (Source: Regional Brand Survey 2019 by Brand Research Institute, Inc.)

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (17 October 2019)

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