A map of Japan, showing highland and lowland areas, vegetation and urban centresJapan is made up of four main islands, where most of the population lives, and nearly 7000 smaller ones. The four large islands are, in order of size: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. These islands are linked together by bridges and tunnels. Japan is covered by thickly forested mountains, many of them volcanic. The few lowland areas near the coast or along river valleys are shared between great cities—like Tokyo, the capital, Osaka and Nagoya—and farmland. The south of the country has mild winters and hot summers, while in the north, winters can be very cold. The cone of Mount Fuji, a volcano that rises above Tokyo, is snow-capped for several months of the year.
Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival. In the first half of April, Tsutsujigaoka Park in the city of Tsuyuma is one of the best places...Read More >>Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival. In the first half of April, Tsutsujigaoka Park in the city of Tsuyuma is one of the best places in Japan to see cherry trees in full flower. There are 5000 trees.
Nearly all Japan's people are ethnic Japanese, descended from peoples who settled on the islands after around 14,000 BC. A small number of Ainu, a people native to Hokkaido and the islands to the north, still live there today. Japan’s mountainous landscape means that land for building is in short supply, and nearly everybody lives in crowded cities along the coast.
Tokyo's Shibuya pedestrian crossing. The "scramble crosswalk" is used by more than 2.5 million people every day.
The Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu are linked by the world's longest and deepest railway tunnel: the 53.9-km (33.5-mile) Seikan Tunnel.
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