377,835 sq km (145,882 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Tokyo 35,327,000 (metro. area)
Other large cities:
Yokohama - 3,494,900 (part of Tokyo metro. area); Osaka - 11,286,000 (metro. area); Nagoya - 2,189,700; Sapporo - 1,848,000; Kobe - 1,529,900 (part of Osaka metro. area); Kyoto - 1,470,600 (part of Osaka metro. area); Fukuoka - 1,368,900; Kawasaki - 1,276,200 (part of Tokyo metro. area); Hiroshima - 1,132,700
Shintoist and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
GMT+9; Daylight Saving Time is not observed
AC 100V/60Hz in the west (incl. Osaka, Hiroshima);
100V/50Hz in the east (incl. Tokyo, Sapporo); American type plugs with two blades are the standard
Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto
photo by syvwlch
Japan is an island country in East Asia, situated in the Pacific Ocean, about 160 km (100 mi) off the mainland coast. Japan occupies and archipelago of over 6,800 islands. The four largest ones account for 97% of the area: Honshu (227,963 sq km / 88,017 sq mi), Hokkaido (77,982 sq km / 30,109 sq mi), Kyushu (35,640 sq km / 13,761 sq mi), and Shikoku (18,800 sq km / 7,259 sq mi).
Most of the islands are mountainous. Some mountains are active or dormant volcanoes, including the highest peak of Japan, Mount Fuji (3,776 m / 12,388 ft). The most prominent mountain range is the Japanese Alps in central Honshu. Forested mountains, terrain not suitable for agricultural or urban use, account for more than 70% percent of the total area. The remaining plains and coastal lowlands are very densely populated.