Basic information about Japan

Japan is an archipelago lying in the west of the Pacific Ocean along the Eurasian continent and consists of 4main islands - from north to south, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu - and nearly 7,000 smaller islands.

It is surrounded by Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan and East China Sea.

The archipelago stretches over 3,000km. Therefore, the climate is extremely different between the north and the south. While in parts of Hokkaido the lowest temperature in winter can reach minus 30°C, the Okinawa islands on the other hand enjoy throughout the year a subtropical climate.

The great majority of the population - 128 million - lives between Tokyo and North Kyushu. Therefore most of the Japan's million cities concentrate on this belt zone. Foreigners might have an image of very crowded Japan. But, this image is true only in this small area. Japan is as a whole a country with rich nature. For example, 70% of the total area - 378,000 km2 - is covered by forest.

The Izu Peninsula, for which I made a section in this site, is located on the Pacific coast about 100 km south-west from Tokyo and Mount Fuji exists in its nothern border.

Map of Japan
diverse maps of Japan