The archipelago of Japan contains over 4,000 islands stretching along the Pacific coast of East Asia, with four major islands (sometimes referred to as the "Home Islands"): Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. These four islands can be seen on the physical map of the country above.
Honshu is the main island of Japan, and largest at 810 miles (1,300 km) in length. Dominated by mountains and volcanoes, the massive earthquake of March 2011 moved Honshu 7.9 ft (2.4 m).
The second largest, Hokkaido, is also the northernmost of Japan's islands; while on the other end, Kyushu is the most southwesterly. Shikoku is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands.
A long ridge of rugged mountains runs through the heart of Japan, punctuated by steep tree-lined slopes, and deep valleys on the Pacific Ocean side, and lower hills and mountains along the Sea of Japan side.
The main interior mountain ranges include the Akaishi, Hido and Kiso, where elevations typically exceed 9,800 ft. (3,000 m). The country's highest point, Mt. Fuji, southwest of Tokyo, is a dormant volcano that rises 12,388 ft. (3,776 m). Its position has been marked on the map.
The islands of Japan are located on the Ring of Fire, and as a result suffer from frequent, violent earthquakes and some serious volcanic activity. There are a total of 108 active volcanoes within Japan's archipelago, most of which provoke devastating earthquakes and tsunamis several times every century.
A small series of plains are situated along the coastal areas. A notable number of (very short) rivers flow briskly down the mountains into the coastal areas. The largest river in Japan is the Shinano.
Japan is divided into 47 prefectures. In alphabetical order, these prefectures are – Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Nilgata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi and Yamanashi. These are further divided into sub prefectures and smaller subdivisions.
Located at the northwest of Tokyo Bay on the Pacific coast of central Honshu Islands – is Tokyo, the capital and largest city of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the largest, most populous, urbanized metropolitan area in Japan as well as in the entire world. Tokyo also forms the largest economic, industrial and commercial center of Japan, apart from being the country’s administrative center.
Japan is an East Asian country comprising a chain of islands between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, at the eastern coast off the Asian Korean Peninsula. It is located in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. The Island Nation stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea in the south. It is bordered by the Sea of Japan in the west. The country shares its maritime borders with North Korea, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Russia and China.
Regional Maps: Map of Asia
|35 41 N, 139 45 E|
|Independence||3 May 1947 (current constitution adopted as amendment to Meiji Constitution); notable earlier dates: 11 February 660 B.C. (mythological date of the founding of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy)|
|Total Area||377,915 km2|
|Land Area||364,485 km2|
|Water Area||13,430 km2|
|Total Border||0 km|
|Climate||Varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north|
|Coordinates||36 00 N, 138 00 E|
|Mean Elevation||438 m|
|Lowest Elevation||-4 m|
|Highest Elevation||3,776 m|
|Ethnic Groups||Japanese 98.1%, Chinese 0.5%, Korean 0.4%, other 1% (includes Filipino, Vietnamese, and Brazilian) (2016 est.)|
|Religions||Shintoism 70.4%, Buddhism 69.8%, Christianity 1.5%, other 6.9% (2015 est.)|
|GDP Per Capita||$40,246.88|
|Exports||14.9 motor vehicles5.4 iron and steel products5 semiconductors4.8 auto parts3.5 power generating machinery3.3 plastic materials (2014 est.)|
This page was last updated on September 23, 2020