Based on map by DigoPaul, Japan is a country in the Pacific consisting of 4 main islands and around 6800 smaller islands. The Land of the Rising Sun borders South Korea, North Korea, China and Russia. Exciting culture, great temples and the traditional cherry blossom are just 3 of many reasons to travel to this great country.
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Fast facts to know
- About 12 million people live in Tokyo.
- Japan is a parliamentary monarchy.
- 70 percent of Japan’s landscape consists of mountains.
- Upon entry, it is sufficient to present a passport that is valid for six months.
- Japan has one of the best developed rail networks in the world.
- Japanese toilets are almost always heated and electronically controlled.
- The country is hit by earthquakes 1,500 times a year.
- Gifts are very important, but tips are uncommon.
- Business cards presented should be considered appropriately to show respect.
- Japanese entertainers who perform traditional Japanese arts are called geishas.
- Japanese people often sniff. Blowing your nose in front of others is considered gross.
- It is impolite to express a contradicting or different opinion directly in a conversation.
- Japan’s population has the highest life expectancy among all countries on earth.
- English is often only spoken in larger cities.
- Street shoes usually stay outside. There are often separate slippers for toilets!
- In Japan, there are vending machines for almost everything.
- Eating meat was forbidden for centuries.
Exciting cities in Japan
history of Japan
- First settlement around 10,000 BC. Chr.
- 300 BC to about 300 AD First confirmed contacts with the Chinese Empire
- 710-794 Nara epoch: promotion of Buddhism, form of government based on the Chinese model.
- 1477-1568 Sengoku epoch: The three unifiers Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu end the more than 100-year civil war.
- 1543-1639 Period of trade with Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch.
- 1603-1867 Edo era: increasing prosperity during the great closure of Japan.
- 1868-1912 Meiji era: End of the era of warrior nobility, country acquires modern constitution and parliament and becomes constitutional monarchy.
- 1910 colonization of Korea.
- 1937 Japan conquers more parts of China.
- 1941 Japanese troops attack US base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, leading to US entry into the war.
- 1945 After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Ngasaki and the Soviet Union entered the war, Japan surrendered unconditionally.
- 1945-1989 Japan develops into a stable, peaceful democracy.
- In the early 1990s, after the bubble economy burst, Japan slipped into a phase of deflation and high national debt.
Climate & travel weather in Japan
- There are six climatic regions.
- North: cool temperate.
- South: humid subtropical.
- Quite a lot of precipitation.
- Recommended travel time:
- South and central islands: April/May and September to mid-November.
- Cherry blossom: May.
- Hokkaido: May to mid-September.
- Winter sports: December to March.
Ideas for excursions in Japan
- The “Golden Pavilion” in Kyoto
- Lantern Festival in Nara
- Glover Garden in Nagasaki
- Peace Park in Hiroshima
- The Great Buddha of Kamakura
- Himeji-jo Castle in Himeji
- Fukuoka Tower in Fukuoka
- The “Floating Gate” in Miyajima
- The 88 Temple Path on Shikoku
- The Temples and Shrines of Nikko
- Todai-ji Temple in Nara
- The “Hells” of Japan in Beppu
- Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto
- Itsukushima Shrine
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
- Gion district in Kyoto
- kegon falls
- Experience cherry blossoms in Japan
- Oku-no-in Buddhist Cemetery, Koya-san
- Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo
Food & Drink in Japan
- Very varied cuisine.
- Kitchen is considered to be very low in fat and healthy.
- Little use of oil and spices.
- Rice is the most important staple food and is the main component of a meal.
- But the Japanese also love noodles, such as soba, udon or ramen.
- Very popular: fish, seafood and seaweed.
- Hardly any meat offered and processed.
- Much is eaten raw or only briefly cooked.
- Soups are also an important part of the kitchen.
- Traditionally, everything is eaten with chopsticks.
- Appearance and presentation of the dishes are very important.
- There are usually no desserts.
- Most famous specialties: sushi, Kobe beef.
- Good food has its price. in the evening the dishes cost up to three times the price at lunchtime.
- Favorite drinks are beer, sake and green tea.
- Typical dishes:
- miso soup.
- Teriyaki Chicken.
- Teppanyaki (fillet steak, fried directly in front of the guest on a hot stove).
- Shabu-Shabu (paper-thin sliced meat, vegetables, mushrooms and tofu).
- Sukiyaki (paper-thin slices of beef and vegetables whisked with an egg).
- Sushi, sashimi (raw fish on cold, vinegar-soured rice balls (sushi) or solo (sashimi)).
- Tempura (fried fish and vegetables in batter).
- Yakitori (pieces of chicken on bamboo skewers, with onions or peppers).
- Ramen (Chinese noodle soup with meat, vegetables).
- Soba (Japanese noodles made from buckwheat as a warm or cold soup).
- Udon (thicker and softer noodle variant made from wheat flour).
- Mount Fuji
- National parks in Hokkaido
- Mount Rokko in Kobe
- Flower Island Nokonoshima in front of Fukuoka
- Lake Ashi in Hakone
- Yakushima Cedar Forest
- Ogasawara Islands
- National Park:
- Aso Kuju
- Towada Hachimantai