According to the Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_JapanPaleolithic and Jōmon periods - Unclear how long this took
Yayoi period - Unclear how long this took
Kofun period (c. 250–538) - So 288 years
Asuka period (538–710) - 172 years
Nara period (710–794) - 84 years
Heian period (794–1185) - 391 years
Kamakura period (1185–1333) - 148 years
Muromachi period (1333–1568) - 235 years
Azuchi–Momoyama period (1568–1600) - 32 years
Edo period (1600–1868) - 268 years
Meiji period (1868–1912) - 44 years
Taishō period (1912–1926) - 14 years
Shōwa period (1926–1989) - 63 years
Heisei period (1989–2019) - 30 years
So the shortest period has been 14 years, while the longest lasted 391 years... So the length of the period is arbitrary? I'd have expected some sense of fixed lengths to it, with how organized Japan shows itself to be.
Lets see... The Meiji to Heisei seem to coincide with the changing of the emperor... So that has some sense of rhyme to it.
The Edo period refers to the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. The Azuchi-Momoyama seems somewhat unclear, but the Muromachi period is set by the governance of the Muromachi shogunate. So the changing of periods seems somehow connected to the ruler (or at the least, the 'family' or rulers).
So I learned something today