Japan Map

How Far Is It? Adding Perspective in a Larger World

During our Australia trip, a conversation about perspective came up. Think about looking at a downtown cityscape. If you’re in the middle of the city, you see the individual streets and buildings. But if you’re 20 miles outside of town, the city becomes two-dimensional. The dozen blocks worth of buildings are now a single row of buildings.

Japan is about 142,000 square miles, similar in geographic size to Montana. From north to south, it’s roughly the northern border of Oregon to the southern border of California. But news from Japan in the U.S. flattens like the cityscape from a distance. We often get questions from friends and family as to how far away we are from natural disasters and crazy weather.

To help put our location in perspective, I prepared the following handy dandy chart showing our distance (as the crow flies) from major Japanese cities as well as a comparative distance from Portland to another U.S. city. I also added places like Sendai, which suffered major damage in the 2011 earthquake, and Ōkuma, home to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

City Distance
from Kawagoe
U.S. City Distance
from Portland
Tokyo 20 miles Newberg, OR 21 miles
Yokohama 35 miles McMinnville, OR 34 miles
Mt. Hakone 52 miles Monmouth, OR 54 miles
Mt. Ontake, Nagano 112 miles Redmond, OR 113 miles
Ōkuma (Fukushima) 132 miles Kent, WA 130 miles
Nagoya 154 miles Redmond, WA 151 miles
Sendai 179 miles Kennewick, WA 177 miles
Kyoto 219 miles Medford, OR 221 miles
Osaka 240 miles White Rock, BC 241 miles
Kōbe 257 miles Vancouver, BC 259 miles
Iwate 276 miles Spokane, WA 289 miles
Hiroshima 412 miles Chico, CA 403 miles
Sapporo 503 miles Butte, MT 490 miles
Mt. Aso, Kyushu 523 miles San Francisco 536 miles
Fukuoka 541 miles Pocatello, ID 539 miles
Okinawa 968 miles Mexicali, Baja MX 972 miles


  • Reply KronWeld August 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    You are home! I hope you had a wonderful, wonderful time in Oz.

    • Reply Robert August 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Yessir on both counts! We had a great trip and I’ll have a few more posts about our adventure soon.

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