There are forty plus cities with a population of two hundred to four hundred thousand on Japan’s main four islands and Okinawa. Of the forty, 18 of them have over 300,000 people. Those listed on this site under the Medium Cities are those having a population of 300,000 plus.
These mid size cities resemble some of the Large Cities in that they are the transportation and education centers in their areas. Large companies base industrial plants in and near these cities because land is more available in the regional areas than in the large metro areas. These cities become “company cities” and derive much of their income from the revenue generated from taxes or employee spending. Some have no industry but may derive their income from tourism, whether it is from those visiting temples and shrines located there or from visitors heading to the beach for surfing, swimming or scuba diving.
All of the cities listed beginning with an “A”, Akita, Aomori and Asahikawa are located in the snow country. Asahikawa is on Hokkaido and is the coldest with long frigid winters. Naha, only city located on Okinawa, is subtropical and warm year round. Nara, the another “N” city, located in central Japan near Kyoto, and is a religious center where the largest indoor statue of Buddha is found. Both Nara and Naha are tourist cities.
The cities differ widely in their climate, their sources of income, and their local traditions, yet, they are all similar in that they have many temples and shrines along the main transportation routes and down most streets throughout the city. There are few churches and most residents have little or no exposure to the gospel.