Explore Japan in Asia

Japan
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Japan with its capital Edo is located in Asia (Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan). It covers some 377,836 square kilometres (slightly smaller than California) with 127,288,000 citizens. Japanese is the language commonly used in Japan.

Japan known as Nihon or Nippon in Japanese, is an island nation in East Asia.The Land of the Rising Sun is a country where the past meets the future. Japanese culture stretches back millennia, yet has also adopted (and created) the latest modern fashions and trends. Cities are as modern and high tech as anywhere else, but tumbledown wooden shacks can still be spotted next to glass fronted designer condominiums. On an average subway ride, you might see childishly cute character toys and incredibly violent pornography - sometimes enjoyed by the same passenger, at the same time!

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Pictures from the Japanese capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Edo is like. We have selected more pictures from Edo on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

National Tourism Office

Website: Japan Tourism

The landscape features mostly rugged and mountainous. The average density of population is about 337 per km². The climate in Japan can be described as varying from tropical in south to cool temperate in north. Potential threats by nature are many dormant and some active volcanoes or about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors but occasional severe earthquakes) every year, tsunamis or typhoons.

To reach someone in Japan dial +81 prior to a number. There are 44,364,000 installed telephones. And there are 114,917,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 3G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".jp". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 100V - 50/60Hz.

Learn more on our Japanese Facts page.

Description of the flag of Japan

White with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center.

National administrative regions of Japan

Historical background information

In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan''s economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains a major economic power. In March 2011, Japan''s strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of Honshu island, killing thousands and damaging several nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the country''s economy and its energy infrastructure, and tested its ability to deal with humanitarian disasters.

Learn more on our Japanese Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.