this is where Hyogo is within Japan:
it's to the west of Kyoto and Osaka, and east of Hiroshima. the capital city is Kobe. here's a close up of the area:
as for the town of Ichikawa, the best idea of where it's located within the prefecture is the cutesy map the town's website had:
i've also learned this particular town has an exchange program with Port Townsend, Washington state. it's a small town it looks like, and that's exactly what i expected to get. being that it's in the Kansai area though, i'll be learning more Kansai-ben (dialect) rather than the Tokyo/Kanto-ben i've been taught in school. should be an adventure.
so yeah! Japan is that much closer now!