Japan Data

Hokkaidō Most Attractive Prefecture for Tenth Year Running; Hakodate Tops City List


According to the Local Brand Survey 2018, Hokkaidō ranked top by prefecture and Hakodate and Sapporo are in the top 10 cities. Hokkaidō’s strong brand power is clear.

The Local Brand Survey 2018, conducted by Brand Research Institute, found that the most attractive prefecture in Japan was Hokkaidō. The northernmost prefecture has ranked number one in this survey for 10 consecutive years since 2009. Hokkaidō has also ranked number one for a decade straight for tourism motivation, rate of brand recall for regional food products, and natural charms in the form of its shores, mountains, rivers, and lakes.

Kyoto Prefecture, in second place, placed highly in the rate of desire to reside there (second) and tourism motivation (second), as well as scoring high for its historical connections. Jumping up from eleventh place in the previous year’s rankings to place tenth overall was Nagasaki Prefecture, which this year saw the Nagasaki Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region being registered as a World Heritage site. However, Hokkaidō and Kyoto ranked far ahead, with second-place Kyoto scoring almost double that of tenth-place Nagasaki. There has been no shift in the ranking of the top five prefectures for the last three years. Ibaraki, on the other hand, has remained at the lowest spot in the attractiveness ranking for six consecutive years.

Prefectures by Level of Attractiveness

2018 Ranking Prefecture Attractiveness
1 Hokkaidō 59.7
2 Kyoto 52.2
3 Tokyo 41.9
4 Okinawa 41.2
5 Kanagawa 36.7
6 Nara 32.6
7 Osaka 31.8
8 Fukuoka 28.1
9 Nagano 26.4
10 Nagasaki 26.3

Compiled by Nippon.com based on the Local Brand Survey 2018.

In the ranking of Japan’s most attractive municipalities, Hakodate in Hokkaidō returned to number one for the first time in two years and for the fifth time overall. Hakodate also ranked top for tourism motivation and came in second for its product purchase motivation. In all, four cities in in Hokkaidō—Hakodate along with Sapporo, Otaru, and Furano—placed in the top ten, an indication of the strong brand power of Japan’s northernmost main island.

Most Attractive Municipalities

2018 Rank (2017 Rank) Municipality Attractiveness
1 (2) Hakodate, Hokkaidō 50.0
2 (1) Kyoto, Kyoto 48.1
3 (3) Sapporo, Hokkaidō 46.8
4 (4) Otaru, Hokkaidō 45.5
5 (7) Kobe, Hyōgo 41.5
6 (6) Yokohama, Kanagawa 40.7
7 (9) Furano, Hokkaidō 39.9
8 (5) Kamakura, Kanagawa 39.7
9 (8) Kanazawa, Ishikawa 39.3
10 (11) Sendai, Miyagi 35.0

Compiled by Nippon.com based on the Local Brand Survey 2018.

The Local Brand Survey has been held every year since 2006. It tallies and quantifies the responses of 30,000 people to questions regarding 1,000 municipalities in all 47 of Japan’s prefectures, gauging their awareness of the places, their motivation to tour them, their desire to reside there, and their evaluation of regional resources.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: An evening view of the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse in Hakodate, Hokkaidō. © Pixta.)

Hokkaidō Sapporo Nagasaki Hakodate