Japan Travel Guide - Let's go to Japan!
HOME > Culture - Outline of Japan

Outline of Japan

Map of JapanPosition of Japan on the earth

Japan is located to the east of Eurasia Continent.

Vast Pacific Ocean spreads to the east and the south of Japan, and the Sea of Japan is to the west.

Japan is located just at the boundary of the world's largest continent and the world's vastest ocean.

Around Japan, there are South Korea, North Korea, China and Russia.
And Taiwan has been self-governed for more than a half-century, but China considers it a part of its territory.

Islands of Japan

There are four big islands and many small islands in Japan.

The northern island is "Hokkaido".
To the south, there is the largest, long and slender island "Honshu".
There is "Shikoku" in the southwest, and "Kyushu" is to the west of them.

Small islands range from the south of Kyushu, and it is "Nansei Islands".
The central island of them is "Okinawa Island" in them.

And there are Ogasawara Islands over 1,000 km south of Honshu Island.

Nature of Japan

Japan is surrounded with seas.
So, there are a lot of scenic areas in the coast.

Over 70 percent of the land area is mountainous, and most parts of that are covered with forests.
There is the mountain range of 3,000 meters class in the center part in the Honshu.
Many of the mountains are volcanoes, and some of them are active.
So there are a lot of hot springs throughout the country, and more than 3,000 hot spring resorts are set up.

Most rivers are short and there are a lot of rapid streams.
Because the land area is long and slender, the rivers reach the sea at a short distance.
So, a lot of valleys, gorges and waterfalls are in the whole country.

Climate of Japan

The climate of Japan generally belongs to the temperate zone.

Spring and autumn are pleasant seasons.
The weather stays nice, but it rains once every some days.

However, summer is not only hot but also very humid from Honshu to the south.
The stifling heat match the climate in Southeast Asia in the tropical zone.

Also the climate in Japan features a rainy season before summer.
For about a month, it is rainy or cloudy every day. The season is called "Tsuyu" in Japanese.

In summer and autumn, hard rain storm "Typhoon" hits Japan a few times every year.
Typhoon is similar to hurricane or cyclone, and is born around the equator to the far south of Japan.
About 20 to 30 typhoons are born, and a few of them come to Japan.

In winter, the weather is quite different from region to region.
Along the Pacific Ocean side, fine weather continues almost every day, but the areas along the Sea of Japan side have a fall of snow over almost daily.
Hokkaido is very cold and snowy, and the temperature is below the freezing point.
By contraries, the southern islands have a temperate climate all the year round.

Districts of Japan

Japan has 47 prefectures. And there are several districts which have individually some prefectures.
The combination of prefectures is not unique, and the districts on the home page is commonly used.

Kanto district contains the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Kansai district is also called Kinki district. "Kansai" is generally used, and "Kinki" is used on administrative subject.
In Chugoku district, we use "San'yo" which is the south side, and "San'in" which is the north side.
The southern islands of Kyushu are called "Nansei Islands". ("Nansei" means southwest.)
They are offen includes in Kyushu.

Japan differs from Korea and China in a variety of ways.

Probably, Western people can't distinguish Japanese from Korean and Chinese.
Of course, it is difficult for even we Japanese to know that by the appearance.

But each of them uses a different language and has quite a different history.
And Japan is surrounded by sea, China is on the vast continent, and Korea is on a peninsula connecting to the continent.
So the difference of character, attitude, custom and manner is pronounced in the geographical environment.

Please know about Japanese people and its country in this website.

Cities with a population of over a million (2017)

Rank City Pop. Rank City Pop.
1 Tokyo (23 Wards) 9,443 7 Kobe 1,534
2 Yokohama 3,733 8 Kawasaki 1,500
3 Osaka 2,709 9 Kyoto 1,473
4 Nagoya 2,309 10 Saitama 1,282
5 Sapporo 1,946 11 Hiroshima 1,197
6 Fukuoka 1,562 12 Sendai 1,084
* Population in thousands 

About Japan

Name of the Country Japan (Officially, "Nihon-koku" or "Nippon-koku")
We Japanese call "Nihon" or "Nippon", commonly.
Capital Tokyo
Population 126.7 million (2017)
( 0.4 times of USA, 2 times of UK, 6.3 times of Australia )
Area 377.9 thousand sq. km
( 0.04 times of USA, 1.5 times of UK, 0.05 times of Australia )
Official Languge Japanese
Emperor (Ten'nou) Akihito (Born in 1933, acceded to the imperial throne in 1989)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (From Dec.26, 2012)
National Flag HinomaruHinomaru
(Nisshoki in formal)
National Flower
(not legislating)
Sakura Kiku
Sakura (Cherry blossom)
(General national flower)
Kiku (Chrysanthemum)
(Flower of Imperial House)

Copyright travel-around-japan.com. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links