Overview

Geography

The Japanese archipelago stretches 3,000 km (1,860 miles) along the eastern coast of the Asian continent, covering an area of approximately 378,000 square kilometers (146,000 square miles). It consists of four main islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu) and almost 4,000 smaller islands. Three quarters of Japan is mountainous and covered with forests; the highest peak being Mt Fuji at 3,778 m (12,388 feet). There is also a large number of hot springs throughout the country due to the several volcanic ranges that run through the islands.

Map of most popular travel spots

The National Flag of Japan

Population

127.63 million (62.14 million males, 65.48 million females) (September 2011)

Major cities of Japan and their approximate populations
City Population
Tokyo 12,059,000
Yokohama 3,426,000
Osaka 2,598,000
Nagoya 2,171,000
Sapporo 1,822,000
Kobe 1,493,000
Fukuoka 1,290,000
Sendai 1,008,000

Language

There is only one official language spoken in Japan, which is Japanese.
Japanese is a phonetic language, meaning that the way it is written is the way of pronunciation. Written Japanese consists of hiragana (a basic script), katakana (a script for loan words) and kanji (Chinese characters).
The majority of signs in the major cities, especially train stations also use Romaji (western alphabet). All road signs across the country are in both Japanese and Romaji.

 


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