I have found several sources for GIS shp files which include Prefectures and Cities in Japan, these go to the Ward level i.e Tokyo > Shibuya-ku. What I am looking for is data that includes smaller areas within Wards, i.e Tokyo > Shibuya-ku > Harajuku

I have spent a long time looking around with no luck, does anyone have an idea where I can find this data?

  • 1
    What you want is administrative boundaries? Check the global administrative areas at gadm.org Otherwise, you could download data from OSM
    – Albert
    Apr 1, 2016 at 12:58
  • See if you can find what you are looking for. gis.stackexchange.com/questions/182944/…
    Apr 1, 2016 at 13:27
  • @Albert yes administrative boundaries is what I need, I have checked gadm.org and OSM and even though OSM has building data they don't seem to go have polygons and attributes for the smaller town areas.
    – Dan
    Apr 1, 2016 at 13:33
  • 1
    @Dan, did you succeed in finding this dataset in the end? (I am now trying to locate something similar, but with no luck either..)
    – Aurimas
    Oct 28, 2018 at 9:43

5 Answers 5


According to OSM's wiki on Japan, OSM holds data for major and minor neighborhoods. You can download those data via the Overpass API by using the QuickOSM plugin from QGIS or by using the Overpass Turbo web application.

From the QuickOSM plugin, you can provide the required parameters in an interactive and quite intuitive GUI. The required key-value pair is

admin_level: 9

for major neighborhoods or

admin_level: 10

for minor neighborhoods.

If you would like to use the Overpass Turbo application, you can provide the following query:

    <id-query {{geocodeArea:Japan}} into="area_0"/>
        <query type="relation">
            <has-kv k="admin_level" v="9"/>
            <area-query from="area_0"/>
        <recurse type="down"/>
    <print mode="body"/>

Of course, you can change Japan to a smaller area and change the administrative level by using v="10" instead of v="9" in has-kv k="admin_level".


Check the National Land Numerical Information website. The website has most of GIS data at national scale at various levels.

  • Yes this is a good source of data for prefectures and wards but doesn't go down to neighborhood level.
    – Dan
    Apr 5, 2016 at 10:04

Geospatial Information Authority of Japan



  • Have tried data from here and it doesn't seem to go down to neighborhood level just wards
    – Dan
    Apr 5, 2016 at 10:03

This is probably a late reply but I found a good source for all small scale block names for the entirety of japan. It's quite useful. http://geoshape.ex.nii.ac.jp/vector-adm/


I've spend most of the day also doing this. I noticed that Google Maps seems to split these areas based on even smaller polygons (see here). I think that they are doing this on the fly or something kind of like voronoi.

I think maybe the reason why there isn't a concrete dataset of the boundaries is because regions are set on a national level in Japan and so maybe the responsibility of designating smaller areas is ambiguous or seen as unnecessary? despite using the same character as town, machi is only a unit of address, not administration. I'm sure the shapefiles exist somewhere but I'm also not sure who would have them.

maybe Yamato Transport?

edit: a good phrase to use while searching is 地名データ

I found one which works for me. Maybe it will work for you


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