The prevalence and risk factors of varicose veins in Japan were investigated in 541 Japanese women. Varicose veins were defined as any dilated, tortuous, and elongated veins of the lower extremity and classified into four types. The total prevalence rate was 45%. Saphenous type was observed in 22%, segment type in 35%, reticular type in 28%, and web type in 16%. Varicose veins in Japan seem to be less common than in the United States and Europe but more prevalent than in Africa. Concerning risk factors for varices, age, sex, heredity, and childbirth were related to the incidence of varicosities, as reported by others. However, these risk factors were shown to differ according to type of varicose veins.