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Travel Info: Japan Tourism

Rich culture and traditions of Nippon

» Japan (Nihon or Nippon) is a country on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan lies to the east of the Asian continent and is composed of over 3,000 islands. The largest and main islands are, from north to south, Hokkaido, Honshu (the largest island), Shikoku, and Kyushu. The Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, are southwest of the main islands.

Archaeological research indicates that the earliest inhabitants of Japan migrated over land bridges from Korea  and Siberia  at least 30,000 years ago. Some vague evidence indicates they may have also later come by sea from the Polynesian islands. According to traditional Japanese mythology, Japan was founded in the 7th century BC by the ancestral Emperor Jimmu, a direct descendant of the Shinto deity Amaterasu. The Imperial Household of Japan is headed by the emperor, whose status has been vague at best. The constitution of Japan  defines the emperor to be "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people"

» Japan a country of islands, extends along the eastern or Pacific coast of Asia. The main islands (sometimes referred to as the Home Islands ), running from north to south, are Hokkaido , Honshu (or the mainland), Shikoku, and Kyushu. Naha  on Okinawa, in the Ryukyu archipelago, is over 600 km to the southwest of Kyushu . In addition, about 3,000 smaller islands may be counted in the full extent of the archipelago that comprises greater Japan.

Capital of Japan: Tokoyo
Offical Language: Japanese
Area: 377,835 SQ KM
Population: 127,417,244
Currency: Japanese Yen
Calling Code: 81
Major Islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu
Coastline: 29,751 km
Highest Peak: Mount Fuji
Lowest Elevation: Hachinohe Mine

Japan is the 18th most densely populated country in the world. However, about 73% of the country is mountainous and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial, or residential use due to the generally steep elevations, climate, and risk of landslides caused by earthquakes and heavy rain. This has resulted in an extremely high population density in the habitable zones that are mainly located in coastal areas.

Japan is situated in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire at the juncture of the Philippine Plate, Pacific Plate, Eurasian Plate, and North American Plate. Frequent low intensity earth tremors and occasional volcanic activity are felt throughout the islands. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunamis, occur several times each century.

» Climate: Japan is a temperate region with, more or less, four seasons (some believe the rainy season should be a fifth season), but because of its great length from north to south, its climate varies from region to region: the far north is very cold in the winter, while the far south is subtropical. The climate is also affected by the seasonal winds blown from the continent to the ocean in winters and vice versa in summers. Late June and early July are a rainy season as a seasonal rain front stays above Japan . In the late summer and early autumn, typhoons develop from tropical depressions generated near the equator, and track from the southwest to the northeast, often bringing heavy rain.

» Regions: Japan is commonly divided into regions. Honshu , by far the largest and most populated island, is typically divided into five (or more) regions. The other islands constitute one region each. From north to south, these are;

* Hokkaido  * Honshu  * Tohoku  * Kanto  * Chubu  * Kinki

* Chugoku  * Shikoku  * Kyushu  * Okinawa 

»  Population: Japanese society is ethnically and linguistically homogeneous,with small populations of primarily North and South Koreans (1 million), Okinawans (1.5 million), Chinese and Taiwanese (0.5 million), Filipinos (0.5 million), and Brazilians  mostly of Japanese descent (250,000), as well as the indigenous Ainu minority in Hokkaido. About 99% of the population speaks Japanese as their first language.

:: Japanese Culture

Culture of Japanese society Japanese culture has evolved greatly over the years, from the country's original Jomon culture to its contemporary hybrid culture, which combines a number of influences from Asia, Europe, and America. Historically, China and Korea have been the most influential starting with the development of the Yayoi culture from around 300 BC and culminating with the introduction of rice farming, ceremonial burial, pottery, painting, writing, poetry, etiquette, and Mahayana Buddhism by the 7th century AD. In the pre-modern era, Japan developed a distinct culture, in its arts, crafts, performances (bunraku, dance, kabuki, noh, rakugo), traditions, tea ceremony, architecture, gardens, swords and cuisine. Today, Japan is a major exporter of such culture, which has gained popularity around the world particularly in the other countries of East Asia.


  J a p a n   T r a v e l   L i n k s

Japan Tourism Website
Japan travel and living guide
Japanese food and cuisine

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