Google Map kanji spotting!

Kanji are there on the google map. Google has the kanjis. They are there. Just need to scroll in. Scroll in. Take a looking glass and look.
They’re there.
Shimokita 下北 - below north town?
Mutsu むつ市 - city eight?
Ōdai 大平 - big plain?
Togawa 十川 - river ten?
Nakata 中田 - middle field?


How would 大平 end up being Ōdai?


I found this is Wiktionary, so I think it’s the long o and taira with rendaku

平たいら • (taira) (historical kana たひら)

a plain, flat (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
Proper noun
平たいら • (Taira) (historical kana たひら)

a surname​, especially of those descended from imperial lineage ineligible for the Chrysanthemum Throne:
the 桓武平氏 (Kanmu Heishi), from Emperor Kanmu
the 仁明平氏 (Ninmyō Heishi), from Emperor Ninmyō
the 文徳平氏 (Montoku Heishi), from Emperor Montoku, and
the 光孝平氏 (Kōkō Heishi), from Emperor Kōkō
a placename, especially in Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture
a male given name

I totally did this when I learned the island kanji. I had to check if ‘wide island’ was what I thought it was (and it was! Hiroshima - 広島 )

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For even more reading practice, find a built up-area somewhere, plonk down the little Street View man, and just wander around reading signs and shopfronts.

From these names, I’m guessing you’re exploring Aomori Prefecture? Notice there’s also a 上北 as well. They’re the lower and upper parts of the north district of Aomori, altitude-wise.

I admit I can’t seem to find the actual meaning of this name, but it’s not “eight” (むっつ is six, anyway). It used to be called 大湊田名部市 (Ominato Tanabe City), but in 1960 it was renamed to むつ in hiragana - the first city in Japan to be named in hiragana, to avoid confusion with the former 陸奥 province, which covered most of Tohoku. (Fun fact, before it was renamed, it was the city in Japan with the most kanji in its name, and was tied with Yamato Koriyama City in Nara Prefecture for the longest reading in kana.)

市 is the usual city-name suffix.

Be aware that you usually can’t use the たいら reading and then just… leave off the ら. Poking around Wikipedia, it appears that Ōdaira and Ōhira are much more common readings for 大平 - Ōdai only seems to occur once, but the other two appear several times each. There’s even a Taihei in Fukuoka Prefecture.


It is! awesome!

Thank you, I wouldn’t have guessed this one

I am - I started with Akita and just looked around.

平川市 - I can read this one, too - river plain city!

Now I noticed that the hiragana city names do not help me that much, I don’t know the words and which pronounciation was it.

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