Japan is an island nation in East Asia. 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. The characters that make up Japans name mean sun-origin, which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which together comprise about ninety-seven percent of Japans land area. Japan has the worlds tenth-largest population, with over 126†million people. Honshus Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
When to go:
The Japanese Archipelago covers 20 degrees of latitude, and so the climate varies greatly, ranging from temperate in the north island of Hokkaido to sub-tropical in Okinawa in the far south. Essentially Japanís four seasons resemble our own, but conditions are more pronounced, with a significantly colder and snowier winter and a much hotter, stickier summer.
Spring and autumn are the best times to travel, with the delicate cherry blossom or turning leaves adding a gorgeous hue to the scenery. The cherry blossom begins its journey northward in mid-March, reaching Kyoto and Tokyo by early April, and finally arriving in Sapporo by early May. The autumn leaves reverse the pattern, touching the high peaks of Hokkaido in mid-October and marching steadily south to Kyoto by mid-November.
Average monthly temperature (°C)
+9 hours (Japan).
Japanese Yen (JPY).
Japan is easily accessible from the UK and continental Europe with over one hundred direct flights every week to four of Japans 22 International Airports. You will arrive at either Narita (Tokyo), Kansai (Osaka), Nagoya, or Sapporo. All other destinations within Japan can be reached quickly and conveniently using the countrys extensive network of rail, bus and domestic air services.
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