Japan is a 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 been quick to adopt and created the latest modern fashions and trends. To many the country of Japan is the epitome of all things oriental, being famous for its spectacular Zen gardens, ancient temples, colourful pagodas, torii gates, geisha girls and bonsai trees. Japan is known for its futuristic cities, fast bullet trains, pulsating nightlife, world-class restaurants and gleaming skyscrapers.
Cities are as modern and high tech as anywhere else, but tumbledown wooden shacks can still be spotted next to glass fronted designer condominiums. Japan was the first Asian country to independently modernize, and the country continues to embrace new technologies and aesthetics, but unlike in many countries, Japan does not feel a particular need to attack or remove older technologies, structures, or practices.
Geography: The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is often referred to as the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
Nature: Japan has 108 active volcanoes. Destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunami, occur several times each century. About 73 percent of Japan is forested, mountainous, and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial, or residential use. Japan was originally attached to the eastern coast of the Eurasian continent. The sub ducting plates pulled Japan eastward, opening the Sea of Japan around 15 million years ago. Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is substantially prone to earthquakes and tsunami, having the highest natural disaster risk in the developed world. In the Sea of Japan zone on Honshu's west coast, northwest winter winds bring heavy snowfall. In the summer, the region is cooler than the Pacific area, though it sometimes experiences extremely hot temperatures because of the foehn wind.
Flora and Fuana: Japan has over 90,000 species of wildlife, including the brown bear, the Japanese macaque, the Japanese raccoon dog, and the Japanese giant salamander. A large network of national parks has been established to protect important areas of flora and fauna as well as thirty-seven Ramsar wetland sites. Four sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding natural value. The flowering of different species of plant in Japan is accompanied by celebrations. Japan has celebrations for the flowering of the cherry trees in spring. Japan has 450 different bird species and 140 different mammals. Like the plant species that are distinct to the different climates in Japan, so are some of the animal species. There are also a lot of tree ferns in the south, which are plants that grow in the air on other plants like the palm.
Capital city: Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The city is considered an alpha+ world city—as listed by the GaWC's 2008 inventory and in 2014, Tokyo was ranked first in the "Best overall experience" category of Trip Advisor's World City Survey. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. It is Japan's most famous city, full of stunning modern skyscrapers and continuously flashing neon lights, Tokyo is the official seat of politics.Located on the eastern coast of Honshu Island and next to Tokyo Bay, the city is amongst the world's most important economic centres. With fast bullet trains, a huge subway network, a truly chaotic rush hour, areas of concrete jungle, historic temples, the Imperial Palace and many enormous shopping arcades, Tokyo has everything that you would expect in a leading Japanese city, and plenty more besides.
Islands: Japan is made up of more than 3,000 different islands within the Pacific Ocean, the biggest and most important of which are Kyushu and Shikoku to the south, Hokkaido to the north, and Honshu. These four islands are all connected by a series of bridges and tunnels. The island of Honshu is often referred to in Japan as the 'Mainland' and is approximately 1,300 km / 808 miles in length by up to 230 km / 143 miles wide, comprising the regions of Chugoku, Kansai, Chubu, Kanto and Tohoku. Each region is then split into various 'prefectures'. The Ryukyu Islands, which includes Okinawa, are a chain to the south of Kyushu. Together they are often known as the Japanese Archipelago. The islands of Japan are located in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Tourisms: Tourism in Japan attracted 8.3 million foreign visitors per Year. The country has has 16 World Heritage Sites, including Himeji Castle and Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Japan main attraction include Tokyo and Nara, Mount Fuji, ski resorts such as Niseko in Hokkaido, Okinawa, ride the shinkansen and take advantage of Japan's hotel and hot spring network. Kyoto receives over 30 million tourists annually. Japan holds festivals year round that symbolize various aspects of culture and tradition, which are held in very high esteem by Japanese people. Scattered around the country spanning centuries of design and worship, the shrines and temples of Japan are some of the finest examples of Japanese heritage and spirituality. Many Japanese people view gardens as a means of expressing peace and tranquility through the fine art of landscaping.
Economy: Japan has a large industrial capacity, and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Japan ranks 27th of 189 countries in the 2014 Ease of doing business index and has one of the smallest tax revenues of the developed world. Japan's main imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels, foodstuffs (in particular beef), chemicals, textiles and raw materials for its industries. Nuclear power produced 9.2 percent of Japan's electricity. It has some of the world's largest banks, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange known for its Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices) stands as the second largest in the world by market capitalization.
Festival: Festivals are often based around one event, with food stalls, entertainment, and carnival games to keep people entertained. Some festivals have their roots in Chinese festivals centuries ago, but have undergone great changes as they mixed with local customs. It is commonly said that you will always find a festival somewhere in Japan. Sapporo Yuki Matsuri is one of the largest festivals of the year in Sapporo, held in February for one week. This lake festival is held in the beginning of February. Japan celebrates the entire season of the cherry blossoms. There are festivals in nearly every region of Japan, and some locations, food is available or a park may be decorated with lanterns. Some locations of cherry blossom festivals.
Cuisine: Japan has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga. Foreign food, in particular Chinese food in the form of noodles in soup called ramen and fried dumplings, gyoza, and western food such as curry and hamburger steaks are commonly found in Japan. In Japanese tradition some dishes are strongly tied to a festival or event. Hamburger chains include McDonald's, Burger King, First Kitchen, Lotteria and MOS BurgerJapanese cuisine, particularly sushi, has now become popular throughout the world. Fish is common in the traditional cuisine. It is often grilled, but it may also be served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter as tempura.
Regions In Japan