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  • Overview You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Kazmi  
    The land of the rising sun has always held a certain mystique for many. With the ultra-modern, neon-glowing streets intermingled with aging temples and a culture that still leans heavily on ancient Confucian values, it’s a vibrant, blended society that has something to offer every type of traveler. As long as you have ample supplies of cash to burn, that is.

    Tokyo’s an impossibly lively city that’s the savvy home of Sushi and endless vending machines, computer-based restaurants and teenagers dressed as sensationally realistic Manga cartoon characters. In amongst all the modernity, though, you’ll find the hidden grandeur of the Imperial Palace, the subtle atmospherics of the red lantern clad temples and even the intimidating luxury of the ancient Sento public baths, where families still wash together.

    Kyoto takes the tradition a step further, as home to the kind of superlative imagery that made Memoirs of a Geisha such an iconic film. You can meditate in stone-perfect raked pebble gardens, stroll around just a few of the 1,700 peaceful Buddhist temples, or stare spellbound at glittering palaces that seem to be floating on top of tranquil lakes.

    Hiroshima is famous for all the wrong reasons, and you’ll still find plenty of remnants of the day it was blasted to the ground (including a single burnt frame of a building that still stands at the centre), but has rebuilt into a dynamic, sparkling modern city. Yakushima, with its densely forested mountains and snow-tipped peaks is famous for its coastal hot springs and moist climate, while the yearly wave of cherry blossoms flowing across the country brings with it astounding natural beauty and something to base your trip around.

    Remember to slurp vocally in appreciation of your noodles, and leave your shoes at the door, and if you’re around in December, the early morning climb – Sake in hand – to see the New Year in over the Pacific is unforgettable. Don your kimono and wooden platform shoes, grab your Samurai sword and head out into a beguiling, inimitable culture.
  • Geography and size of Japan You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  
    Japan lies on the Pacific Rim at the edge of Asia. It comprises four main islands, dominated by Honshu, with Hokkaido to the north. Shikoku across the narrow Island Sea, and Kyushu to the southwest. Together with more than 3900 smaller islands form north-east to southwest, the archipelago would stretch from Montreal all the way down to Miami.

    The jagged mountain ranges and dense forests leave less than two-fifths of the country suitable for habitation and farming.

    Japan’s 127 million inhabitants have to crowd the coastal plains and the narrow river valleys despite a total land area greater than Germany’s. In terms of the ratio of population to usable land, Japan is the most densely populated country in the world.
  • Climate of Japan You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  
    The climate correspondingly varies from the snowy northern tip of Hokkaido, which offers excellent skiing, to the subtropical region of southern Kyushu and Okinawa, with its popular coral reefs.

    Honshu , the main island and home to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka enjoys a temperate climate of unusually distance seasons: bitter winters and hot, limit summers . Winters are milder and sunnier on the Pacific coast, permitting a welcome double crop of the all-important staple – rice.
  • Understanding Japan You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  

    The meticulous planning the helped the country to rise from the ashes of World War II to become the world’s second largest economic power had by the 1990s created a prolonged slump. A people so justifiably famous for hospitality, politeness, and respect also produced an army whose brutality during its occupation of Southeast Asia during the war remains a stumbling block to “normal” international relations. A society whose indigenous religion centers on nature worship for decades has tolerated appalling environmental damage – commercially exploiting its own nature reserves for timber, lining river banks and beds with concrete, and filling its air, water and land with dioxins and other pollutants.

    Japan is an extremely densely populated country: If you nod off looking out of the window of a long distance train, you will likely see an identical city-scape when you wake up an hour later! Does such crowding account for Japan’s legendary tradition of politeness, self-discipline, and resigned acceptance?

    In some ways, this is the only way to make intolerable situation somehow manageable.
    These are just some of the issues facing anyone wishing to “understand” Japan—if such a thing is indeed possible. After all, the Japanese themselves are constantly analysing their own nature. In fact, they have devised the subject of Nihonjinron (the “theory of Japaneseness”), books on which sell millions of copies each year and cover such bizarre topics as the unique chemistry of Japanese blood, the special configuration of the Japanese brain, and other examples of what supposedly sets them apart from the rest of humanity.

    This is certainly a challenging task, but the rewards for doing so are the myriad windows and doors into this fascinating country that will open for you.

    Everywhere you go you’re likely to find this constant contrast between old and young, traditional and modern, past and present. Oftentimes, these polar opposites come together: Ise-Shima, the most sacred of all sanctuaries of Shinto (Japan’s ancient, nature worshipping indigenous religion) reinforces Japan’s profoundly intimate links with the sun goddess and her grandson, the God of the Earth.

    Although it was established some 1,700 years ago, the main shrine you’ll see today was erected in 1993. Unlike Christianity’s massive gothic cathedrals, designed to convey a strong sense of permanence, this austere wooden structure is dismantled every 20 years and replaced by a new one. Since Japan’s Shinto deities are believed to permeate the natural surroundings in this case, a beautiful cedar forest – the man- made shrine is just there for the fleeting present moment.

    This strong sense of transience and impermanence has doubtless arisen as a natural response to Japan’s devastating geography and seismology. The string of islands that make up Japan is in fact a highly volatile archipelago dotted with volcanoes and regularly subjected to earthquakes and typhoons. Over the ages, the Japanese built everything of wood—and then waited fatalistically for them to burn down, collapse, or be blown away ion one catastrophe or another, after which they commenced another cycle of rebuilding.

  • Japanese Calendar You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  
    Japan has its own calendar system, based the name each new emperor chooses for his reign. The year 2016 is Heisei 28.
  • Fact and Figures You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  

    Area: ranked 42nd in would, with 377728 square km (147200 square miles) area on four main islands plus about 3900 smaller islands. Mountains cover 72 parents of the land. Highest point: Mt. Fuji, at 3776 m (12388ft).

    Population: ranked 7th in world, with approximately 127 million Japanese, 670,000 Koreans, and 130,000 other non-Japanese residents. Density:318 square km.

    Capital: Tokyo (metropolitan population 8,960,000).

    Major cities: Yokohama (3,250,00,) Osaka (2,700,000), Nagoya ( 2,100,000), Kyoto (1,500,000), Sapporo (1,500,000), Kobe (1,400,000) Fukuoka (1,000,000) , Kita-Kyushu (1,100,000) , Kawasaki (1,000,000) and Hiroshima (900,000).

    Government: Parliamentary democracy, headed by Prime Minister and cabinet, with emperor as titular head of state. Parliament (Diet) comprises House of Representatives (511 seats) and House of Counselors (252 seats). Country divided in 47 prefectures, each with a governor. “

  • History You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Shimizu77  

    After years of government propaganda predicating the worst atrocities, most Japanese civilians were surprised at the warmth and friendliness of the occupying forces. The postwar period began, however, with millions of displaced people homeless and starving, To counter a perceived communist threat form the Soviet Union, the US quickly set to work reconstructing and economy by transforming Japan’s institutions and devising a new pacifist constitution. Article 9 renounced Japan’s right to maintain armed forces, although the ambiguous wording was later taken to permit the creation of a “self-defense” force.

    The zaibatsu conglomerates that had proved so instrumental in boosting Japan’s militarism were disbanded, later to reemerge as the keiretsu trading conglomerates that dominated the economy once again. The entire economy received a massive jump-start with the outbreak of the Korean War, with Japan ironically becoming the chief local supplier for an army it had battled so furiously just a few years earlier.

    The occupation lasted until 1952 having already planted the seeds for Japan’s future stunning economic success. Economic output was back to prewar levels, and British auto companies provided the support needed to get Japan’s auto companies provided the support needed to get Japan’s auto industry back on its feet. Japanese companies then enthusiastically imported any. Western technologies they could get their hands on. This included transistor technology – invented in the US but then considered to have only limited applications – for the surreal sum $25,000. It was Japan that produced the world’s first transistor radio. The electronic technology spurt that followed is now legendary.

    Parliamentary democracy finally came into its own, albeit with distinctly Japanese characteristics reflecting the dislike of debate and confrontation and the group-oriented preference for maintaining the appearance of harmony at all times. The government through the powerful Finance Ministry and Ministry of International Trade and Industry, generously supported favored private corporations; fist shipping, then cars, then electronics firms basked in the warmth of the governments loving attentions.

    Japan overtook Britain economically in 1964. By the end of the decade, Japan’s was the third largest economy in the world- less then two decades after the war had left the country in ruins. Prosperity was not without its own problems; pollution caused by “dirty” industries a high incidence of stomach ulcers (even suicides) among schoolchildren pressured by over ambitious parents, and the awkward questions of what to do about nuclear energy.

    The famous coziness among politicians, bureaucrats, and private companies, together with the strong cultural emphasis on relationship building and lack of transparency and accountability, eventually led to corrupt practices of endemic proportions. Breach-of-trust scandals became common. In an increasingly producer-led economy dominated by price fixing cartels operating with the government’s blessing, consumers were left to foot the bill.

  • Public toliets You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: Kazmi  
    For those with weak bladders there is bad news: Public toilets are scarce. Use the facilities in department stores, which am generally Western-style, as are those in the big hotels. Japanese-style toilets (most railway stations have them) are floor-level and lack seats: you squat facing the flushing handle. The door usually locks, but it's customary to give two taps on the door to see if the toilet's occupied: if you're inside, you give two taps back. Public toilets are often shared by men and women (men at the urinals arc supposed to be ignored). Toilets in Japan are kept scrupulously clean. It's wisest always to carry tissues with you.
  • Animals You can't Edit

    Users Assigned: redplanettravelboss  
    There are more cats in Japan than babies.
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    Accommodation near Japan

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    Landmarks near Japan

    Looking for something to do or a place to go see near Japan? Here is our list of options.

    • Kuwabara Castle
      22.35 Km from Japan
      Kuwabara Castle (桑原城, Kuwabara-jō), also known as Takatoya Castle and Suisho Castle, is a yamashiro (castle located on a mountain) situated in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The castle was constructed sometime in the fifteenth century by the Kuwabara clan. By the time it came under the control of the Suwa clan, it had become a satellite castle to Uehara Castle. When forces of the Takeda clan arrived in the area in 1542, the lord of Uehara Castle, Suwa Yorishige, retreated to Kuwabara Castle, wh...
    • Daio Wasabi Farm
      34.23 Km from Japan
      The Daiō Wasabi Farm (大王わさび農場, Daiō Wasabi Nōjō) is a wasabi farm established in 1915 and located in Azumino, Nagano Prefecture near the center of Honshū, the main island of Japan. It is a popular tourist spot due to its beautiful watermills and for the river that runs through it. A restaurant offers wasabi-flavoured ice cream and other wasabi-themed products. Outside of Japan, the site is best known for its appearance in the 1990 film Dreams by world famous director Akira Kurosawa in the segmen...

    Points of Interest near Japan

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    Exchange Rate History Japan

    Exchange rate fluctuations can have a considerable impact on your trip budget. If your home currency has appreciated in value in the recent term over the currency of your destination you are likely to find the place inexpensive.

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    Currencies fluctuate all the time, to keep updated of rapidly devaluing currencies follow us on Twitter or Facebook , or if you have somewhere special in mind sign up for an account and plan a trip. We will then keep an eye on their currency rates, and send you an alert if their currency goes down in comparison to yours.

    Climate near Japan

    When is the best time of year to go to Japan ? Check our average weather graph and table. If know about Japan then why not join our community and tell us about the climate, or use the drop box at the bottom of the page to tell us about it?

    Graphic showing average weather in Japan in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)

    Month Temp °C Rainfall Cm Temp °F Rainfall Inches
    Jan -2.4 56 27.7 22
    Feb -2.1 74 28.2 29.1
    Mar 2.5 102 36.5 40.2
    Apr 9.2 138 48.6 54.3
    May 14.4 126 57.9 49.6
    Jun 18.2 190 64.8 74.8
    Jul 22.9 226 73.2 89
    Aug 23 156 73.4 61.4
    Sep 18.9 216 66 85
    Oct 12.5 168 54.5 66.1
    Nov 7 94 44.6 37
    Dec 1.5 78 34.7 30.7

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