A view of Tokyo from the Muromachi Furukawa Mitsui building. Bloomberg News

TOKYO—Land prices in Japan's major cities continued to rise in the final quarter of last year, as increased investment appetite pushed commercial properties in the biggest metropolitan areas, and as prices in residential zones continued to gain, a sign that the nation's economic recovery is taking firmer root.

A land ministry survey released Tuesday showed land prices in major urban areas increased in more than two-thirds of the places surveyed in the October-December period, underscoring a steady recovery trend in Japan's real-estate market.

"The rising trend continued to be observed," the survey said.

The market has recently been showing signs of life after being dormant since the collapse of the asset bubble in the early 1990s. The Bank of Japan's loose monetary policy has kept interest rates ultra-low, while improved economic sentiment and expectations for price rises ahead have encouraged banks to lend and people to buy property.

Real estate prices have also likely been spurred by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-growth policies, by buying ahead of a sales-tax increase in April, and by Tokyo's successful bid for the 2020 Olympics.

The ministry's quarterly survey of residential and commercial land showed prices rose in 122 locations of 150 surveyed, mainly in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. That was up from 107 in the previous survey. Prices were flat in 22 areas, down from 34 in the previous survey. Prices fell in six areas, fewer than nine previously.

The survey covered Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya as well as prime locations in other major cities. Of the areas surveyed, 65 were in the Tokyo area.

Japan's overall land prices have fallen every year except two since 1991. A government survey showed last year that overall land prices fell for the fifth straight year in 2012, but the 1.8% fall was the slowest since 2008.

Separately Thursday, a survey by Los Angeles-based real estate services firm CBRE showed investors continued to be bullish for both Tokyo office buildings and large multi-tenant logistics facilities in the greater Tokyo area.

Write to Kosaku Narioka at kosaku.narioka@wsj.com