The Kanto Region (関東地方) is the largest region of Japan, covering Tokyo, Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama and Kanagawa. As of 2006, it had an estimated population of over 41,000,000 with a population density of 1,265 people per km. It contains roughly 1/3rd of the entire population of Japan, yet despite its large density, roughly 40% of the Kanto region is made up of the Kanto plains, which contain many areas that are still used for farming.
As one of the largest areas of development in Japan, there were several wars that took place in or over the Kanto region, during both the Edo and Kamakura periods.
Since the Meiji restoration in the late 1800’s, the area has enshrined itself as the cultural and technological capital of Japan. Its population has continued to boom over the past several centuries, though Kanto has also been one of the most population dense areas of Japan.
The Kanto region is divided into 3 different types of subdivisions: North/South, East/West, and Inland/Coastal. East/West is rarely a subdivision that the Japanese pay much attention to anymore, but the East used to consist of Chiba, Tochigi and Ibaraki, and the West consisted of Tokyo, Gunma, Saitama and Kanagawa.
North Kanto is made up of Ibaraki, Gunma and Tochigi. It is far less populated than South Kanto, yet the North/South subdivision the more commonly used subdivision of the Kanto Region. South Kanto is usually referred to as the “Greater Tokyo Area” though it technically consists of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa.
In addition, another prefecture known as Yamanashi is considered a prefecture of the South Kanto region, but the definition of the Kanto Region itself does not include this area as a part of the region.
The Kanto region has also become a part of the fictional television show/game “Pokemon.” In this fictional universe, the Kanto region is one of the most populated and seasons 1 through 9 take place over various cities in the region. None of the cities inside of the Kanto region of the Pokemon universe share the same name as any of the cities or prefectures inside of the actual Kanto Region.