To determine the relationship between nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO) emission rates and soil properties in forest soils, N2O and NO emission rates in soils were measured in incubation experiments under standardized temperature and water conditions (water content at a water-holding capacity of 60%) using soils packed into a cylindrical core, and variations in the soil properties were also determined. The N2O emission rates from nitrification and from denitrification were determined separately using a nitrification inhibitor (10 Pa acetylene). Soil samples were taken from 25 forest stands in a central temperate area of Japan. The N2O and NO emission rates were highly variable, even under the standardized temperature and water-holding capacity (60%) conditions. According to a partial least squared regression model analysis, the C:N ratio and pH strongly affected the N2O emission rate, whereas , water-soluble Al and the C:N ratio strongly affected the NO emission rate. The C:N ratio negatively affected the emission rate of both N oxide gases, suggesting that N mineralization is an important factor in the rates of N oxide gas emission. The acetylene inhibition experiment showed that N2O emission from denitrification was positively affected by pH, water-filled pore space and filling density, and negatively affected by the C:N ratio, total carbon and total nitrogen.