Japan tagging

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Japan tagging is a guideline for tagging Japan-specific features. See Map Features for common features not explained below. See also Japan for basic information. JA:Naming sample and JA:Howto Map A will be also the reference for examples of tagging.

Unlike general articles, the Japanese version is the original for Japan tagging. If you want to change the guideline, please ask on talk-ja mailing list.


Road types

In Japan, there are pre-defined tags for each element -- these are listed in the "Implies" column. If a road does not match that column, tweak the relevant tags.

Key Value Element Comment Example Typical image Useful combination Implies
highway motorway way Expressways or motor roads. If you see a sign drawn a white car in blue background: Japanese Road sign (Vehicles Only).svg at the entrance, it must be motorway. Most of motorways in Japan are toll roads. If it is toll-free, please tag toll=no.
Shuto expressway tatsumi jct ii.jpg

Tomei Expressway, Shuto Expressway, Hachioji Bypass, Hakone Turnpike.

highway motorway_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a motorway. Normally with the same motorway restrictions.
highway motorway_junction node Indicates a junction or exit ref should be set to the exit number or junction identifier. Kaizuka IC (Osaka).jpg
highway trunk way National highways excluding expressways and motorways. Usually, National highways have blue triangle shield signs: Japanese National Route Sign 0001.svg.

Note that a little part of Japanese National highways have regions which cannot be accessed by motor vehicles, for example, steps, a pedestrian, a hiking way, or a ferry route. Those region should be tagged by other highway tags and add it to Relation:route with route=road and ref=number.


Route 1, Route 20, Route 246.

highway trunk_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a trunk road.
highway primary way Major Prefectural road, numbered with one or two digits and maintained by the prefecture. If you see a hexagonal shield sign, Nara Pref Route No.44 Sign.svg on the road and the number is one or two digits long, it must be this type. In addition to that, prefectural roads in Tokyo with three-digit number starting with 3 or 4 should be tagged as this type (Number 3xx and 4xx).

A region of expressway, motorway or road that cannot be accessed by motor vehicles should be tagged using other highway tags and added to Relation:route with route=road and ref=number.

Tokyo Route 403 -01.jpg

Hokkaido Route 1, Tokyo Route 318.

highway primary_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a primary road.
highway secondary way Minor Prefectural road, numbered with three digits and maintained by the prefecture. If you see a hexagonal shield sign Nara Pref Route No.751 Sign.svg on the road and the number is three digits long, it should be this type, with few exceptions. Prefectural roads of Tokyo with the three-digits route number starting with 3 or 4 (3xx and 4xx) should be tagged as primary instead.

A region of the road that cannot be accessed by motor vehicles should be tagged by other highway tags and added to Relation:route with route=road and ref=number.

Saitama-kendo 152 Washimiya-machi.jpg
highway secondary_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a secondary road.
highway tertiary way For 2 lane roads (1 lane each way and drawn a center line, or 2 lanes one way) within a shi (city), a machi (town) or a mura (village). This should not be a major (motorway, motorway_link, trunk, trunk_link, primary, primary_link, secondary, or secondary_link) road or a residential road.
highway tertiary_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a tertiary road.
highway unclassified way Narrow and paved roads, less than 2 lanes. This includes low grade roads, provided they are important to interconnect the grid network. This should not be a residential road.
Dscf0236 600.jpg
highway residential way For roads within a residential area, public facility, compound, or private area. Typically, this is not a road designed for driving through an area, but rather for driving to it.
Dscf0245 600.jpg
highway service way Service roads. parking aisles, roads in a park, roads in industrial factory, etc.
highway pedestrian way For roads used mainly or exclusively for pedestrians. For example, shopping streets, or pedestrian roads in universities or big parks. You can see Japanese Road sign (No Thoroughfare for Vehicles except Motorcycles).svg or Japanese Road sign (No Thoroughfare for Vehicles).svg at the entrance of these roads.
Nishijin shopping street by LWY in Fukuoka.jpg
highway cycleway way Separate ways for the exclusive use of cyclists. You can see a sign Japan road sign 325-2.svg at the entrance of these roads.


highway footway way Footways, mainly in cities and paved. You can see Japanese Road sign (Pedestrians Only).svg at the entrance of these roads.
highway path way A path, mainly out of cities and unpaved, which cannot be accessed by motor vehicles.
OyamaMinoge 06e1408sv.jpg
highway track way Agricultural or forest roads. The definitions for grades are the same as the other countries.

Road names

Usage Example Notes
name=Japanese (English)
  • name=首都高速道路
  • name=桜田通り;国道1号
  • name=梅ケ枝通り;愛知県道145号富田一宮線
  • 2013年9月以降は,name で括弧併記(括弧内にローマ字または英語で name を記載する)は行わない方針としました.
  • 2013年9月以前の name では,括弧併記が用いられているものもあります.これらは無理して修正する必要はありません.また,括弧併記でローマ字を記載していることで,海外の方には利便性が増している事も忘れないで下さい.
  • 括弧併記を行わないことにした議論の過程は,https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-ja/2013-September/007600.html から始まる一連のスレッドを参照して下さい.
  • 道路名が複数ある場合は、通りの名前を記述し、それ以外は loc_name(地元での名前),old_name(歴史的な名前)等のタグに該当する名前がある場合は別のタグとして記述し、当てはまらないものを alt_name(別名)で記述してください。
name:en=English or romanization of Japanese
  • name:en=Metropolitan Expressway
  • name:en=Sakurada-dori;National Route 1
  • name:en=Umegae-dori;Aichi Prefectural Road 145 Tomita Ichinomiya line
Although it is a common practice by some taggers to add english in parenthesis after the Japanese in the name=* field, the only place English should be added is in this field. Other taggers will delete English in parenthesis added into name=* . Bilingual support in OSM renderings is being discussed, and proper use of the name:*= tag will ensure it's correct operation in the future.
  • name:ja=首都高速道路
  • name:ja=桜田通り;国道1号
  • name:ja=梅ケ枝通り;愛知県道145号富田一宮線
name:ja-Latn=romanization of Japanese
  • name:ja-Latn=Shuto Kōsoku Dōro
  • name:ja-Latn=Sakurada-dōri;Kokudō 1-gō
  • name:ja-Latn=Umegae-dōri;Aichi Kendō 145-gō Tomita Ichinomiya-sen
name:ja-Hira=Pronounciation of Japanese (in Kana)
  • name:ja-Hira=しゅとこうそくどうろ
  • name:ja-Hira=さくらどおり;こくどういちごう
  • name:ja-Hira=うめがえどおり;あいちけんどう145ごうとみたいちのみやせん


(Access:transportation mode / 交通手段による制限 - 陸上交通 車両種別アクセス)

Japan tagging/Access transportation mode


Usage of place=* for Japan tagging.

Key Value Element Description Relation to admin_level Notes
place country node A nation. admin_level=2 Japan. node 424313451
place state node area A state. admin_level=3 Not currently used in Japan. This tag is reserved for a state when state system is enforced.
place region node A region.

The eight regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu). They are not official administrative units.

place province node area A prefecture. admin_level=4 The 47 prefectures. There are 1 都 (To), 1 道 (), 2 府 (Fu), and 43 県 (Ken) as prefectures.
place subprovince node area A subprefecture of Hokkaido. admin_level=5 There are 9 総合振興局 and 5 振興局 as subprefectures in Hokkaido.
place county node area A county (郡, gun) in a prefecture. admin_level=6
place city node area A city (市, shi) or a special ward (the "twenty-three wards" of Tokyo). admin_level=7
place town node area A town (町, chō or machi). admin_level=7

"町" is used for both municipalities and place names under municipalities. Do not confuse them.

place village node area A village (村, mura or son). admin_level=7
place suburb node area A ward (区, ku) in "a city designated by government ordinance of Japan". admin_level=8
place quarter node area A larger unit than a place=neighbourhood (if there are two levels of administrative units under a municipality). admin_level=9
place neighbourhood node area An administrative unit under a municipality. admin_level=10 See #Neighbourhood_place_names for its name formats.
place hamlet node area A hamlet or a locally-used place name as an informal address. Does not include mere regional nicknames.
place island node area An island.

Neighbourhood place names

This section explains place name formats for below tags.

This section refers to 大字 as "quarter name" and 小字 as "neighbourhood name."

Chome contained in Place Name

Place names like「八幡一丁目」(Hachiman 1-Chome) often occur when the chome is the town name itself. Therefore, attach the tags place=neighbourhood+name=八幡一丁目. It is incorrect to interpret the town name as 八幡 (Hachiman) and the neighbourhood as 1丁目 (1-Chome).

There are some cases where quarter names and street names are named after neighbourhoods like 「字丁目」, for example in Yokohama and Matsudo City. The generally it is not possible to distinguish between them. In this case, the general rule is to connect the town and street name in the place=neighbourhood data entry。

Use of Kanji in Chome

(This section only refers to when tagging something in Japanese) In accordance with article 260, section 2 of the Local Autonomy Law, chome 「○丁目」(o-chome) are written using only kanji. In areas where non-kanji numerals are used, such as Hokkaido, the chome should be specified as「○条○丁目」(r-jou o-chome) using the numerals which are used in the region.

Quarter Name and Neighbourhood Tags

Quarter name「大字○○」(Town Name oo),「字○○」(name oo) place names, the「大字」and「字」can be left out. In this case, the abbreviated name can be placed in name=* and the complete name can be entered into official_name=*.

Prefixes of 町 and 村

In areas that have undergone municipal mergers, there are place names bearing the original names of towns or villages that existed before the merger. For example, for「郡山市安積町長久保一丁目」(Nagakubo 1-chome, Azumi Town, Koriyama City) you would use the tags place=neighbourhood+name=安積町長久保一丁目. On the other hand, in another example「郡山市日和田町広野入」(Hirono-iri, Hiyodacho, Koriyama City), the quarter name is place=quarter+name=日和田町 and the neighbourhood name is place=neighbourhood+name=広野入+official_name=字広野入. Please refer to the information published by the municipality to determine whether a place name is a quarter name or a neighbourhood name.

Place names including 区 (ward) also exist. For example in 「姫路市広畑区富士町」(Fuji-cho, Hirohata-ku, Himeji City), 「広畑区」(Hirohata-ku) is not a government designated ward. In this case, use the tag place=neighbourhood+name=広畑区富士町.

Neighbourhood Name Only Existing in the Registry

There are some areas where the neighbourhood name only exists in the official registry, and is not used in typical address notation. In these cases, neighbourhood names are not used in place=neighbourhood for mapping. The names of towns and neighbourhoods which are typically used should be included in place=neighbourhood. However, in areas such as some areas in Ryukesaki City, where the official address notation has the place number directly under the city and the neighbourhood name is used for convenience, the neighbourhood name is mapped as place=neighbourhood.

More examples

More examples of tagging various place names can be found in a spreadsheet.

Rules for place names

  1. Spelling of place name could be referred to Japanese and English Wikipedia.
    1. Value in Japanese for name and name:ja should be followed by 都, 道, 府, 県, 支庁, 郡, 市, 区, 町, 村, 丁目 when applicable.
    2. Value in English for name:en should be followed by Metropolis, Prefecture (except Hokkaido), Subprefecture, County, Ward (except 23 special wards of Tokyo), -chome when applicable; and should not be followed by City, Ward (only for 23 special wards of Tokyo), Town, Village. Not use letters with macron for long vowel of two moras in length such as ū and ō.
    3. Value in romanization of Japanese for name:ja-Latn should be followed by -to, , -fu, -ken, -shichō, -gun, -shi, -ku, -chō (or -machi), -mura (or -son), -chōme when applicable. Use letters with macron for long vowel of two moras in length such as ū and ō.
  2. Railway station names should not be followed by 駅, Station, Sta., Stn., -eki. In cases other than "railway station name", it should be followed by them, e.g., name of place, street, crossing, etc.

Example of place names

Notice: The following descriptions are out of date as of August 2022.

Type Combination Example of tag value Notes
Key:place name name:en name:ja name:ja-Latn
Continent place=continent Asia Asia アジア Ajia -
Country place=country 日本 Japan 日本 Nippon -
Regions place=region 近畿 Kinki Region 近畿 Kinki -
Prefectures place=province 大阪府 Osaka Prefecture 大阪府 Ōsaka-fu -
County place=county 比企郡 Hiki County 比企郡 Hiki-gun 郡 (County) は以前はDistrictと訳すこともあったが、国土地理院の規程[1]もCountyとなっており、Countyに変更する。
Cities place=city 佐賀市 Saga 佐賀市 Saga-shi -
Towns place=town 土佐町 Tosa 土佐町 Tosa-chō -
Villages place=village 佐井村 Sai 佐井村 Sai-mura -
Major municipal districts, well-known areas. place=suburb 鶴見区 Tsurumi 鶴見区 Tsurumi-ku -
Major municipal districts, well-known areas place=quarter 久米 Kume 久米 Kume -
Minor municipal districts place=neighbourhood 2丁目 2-chome 2丁目 2-chōme -
Unpopulated, named places. place=locality 野島崎 Nojimazaki 野島崎 Nojimazaki -
Island place=island 利尻島 Rishiri Island 利尻島 Rishiritō -
Key:aeroway name name:en name:ja name:ja-Latn
Airport aeroway=aerodrome 佐渡空港 Sado Airport 佐渡空港 Sado Kūkō -
JA:Key:railway name name:en name:ja name:ja-Latn
Station railway=station Hagi Hagi -


Reference: "JA:Key:addr:*#日本の住所表記について", "JA:住所#街区_Block_number_address_systemについて"


More examples: JA:Naming_sample