Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
— Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910
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Japan

Background

Japan

In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan's economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains a major economic power.

About

Japan , known as Nihon or Nippon (日本) in Japanese, is an island nation in East Asia.

Read more about Japan in our Japan travel guide »

Featured journals from

Japan

Nippon Express

by yossi

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. After years of thinking about it, months of planning, at least one failed attempt and several bumps in the road, I finally arrived to Japan.

Apr 2010 - Aug 2013  »  Israel | Hong Kong (S.A.R.) | Japan | Germany | United Kingdom

Culet culet!!!!!

by Robert__Bcn

Un viaje a Japon

Mar 2013  »  Germany | Spain | Japan

Travel Adventures and Great Local Accommodation Spots

by stefanie

A journal of adventure, travel and hot spots that you must visit.

Sep 2006 - Apr 2013  »  Japan | China (People's Republic)

鯉の滝登り

by koi

人の立身出世のたとえ。

Mar 2013  »  Japan

Featured hotels in

Japan

JapanConrad Tokyo 

1-9-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-7337
Japan

Price (US$): $374 - $547 / night

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Location. Conrad Tokyo is a business friendly hotel located in Tokyo's Shiodome neighborhood, close to Hamarikyu Garden, Tokyo Imperial Palace, and National Diet Building. Additional points of interest include Tokyo Tower and Tsukiji Fish Market. Hotel Features. Conrad Tokyo features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service health spa… more »

JapanKafuu Resort Fuchaku Condo Hotel 

246-1 Fuchaku Shirifukuchihara
Onna Son
Onna 904 0413
Japan

Price (US$): $333 - $381 / night

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Location. Kafuu Resort Fuchaku Condo Hotel is located near the beach in Onna and local attractions include Cape Manza. Regional points of interest also include Kadena Air Base and Mission Beach. Resort Features. In addition to 3 restaurants, Kafuu Resort Fuchaku Condo Hotel offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery/convenience store. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves cooked to order breakfasts (surcharges apply). Recreational… more »

JapanThe Peninsula Tokyo 

1-8-1 Yuraku-cho
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-0006
Japan

Price (US$): $494 - $615 / night

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Location. Located in central Tokyo, The Peninsula Tokyo is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Imperial Garden Theatre and Tokyo International Forum. Additional points of interest include Tokyo Imperial Palace and National Diet Building. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Peninsula Tokyo include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club, a sauna, and a steam… more »

JapanHotel Nikko Alivila 

600 Gima Yomitan Son
Nakagami District
Yomitan 904-0393
Japan

Price (US$): $253 - $329 / night

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Location. Hotel Nikko Alivila is located on the beach in Yomitan and local attractions include Kadena Air Base. Regional points of interest also include Okinawa Zoo and Cape Manza. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hotel Nikko Alivila include 5 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. The hotel serves a complimentary continental breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a sauna. Spa amenities include massage/treatment rooms, facials, and body treatments.… more »

JapanHotel Nikko Tokyo 

1-9-1 Daiba, Minato-ku
Tokyo 135-8625
Japan

Price (US$): $158 - $381 / night

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Location. Hotel Nikko Tokyo is a business friendly hotel located in Tokyo's Koto neighborhood, close to Aqua City Shopping Center, Tokyo Tower, and Tsukiji Fish Market. Additional points of interest include Kabuki za Theatre and Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. Hotel Features. In addition to 9 restaurants, Hotel Nikko Tokyo offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include an indoor… more »

Browse more hotels in Japan »

Japan

Capital
Tokyo
Location

Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula

Geographic coordinates

36 00 N, 138 00 E

Area comparative

slightly smaller than California

Coastline

29,751 km

Climate

varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north

Terrain

mostly rugged and mountainous

Lowest point

Hachiro-gata -4 m

Highest point

Fujiyama 3,776 m

Natural resources

negligible mineral resources, fish

Population

126,804,433 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%

Religions

Shintoism 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, other 7.8%

Languages

Japanese

Government type

a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy

Independence

3 May 1947 (current constitution adopted as amendment to Meiji Constitution); notable earlier dates 660 B.C. (traditional date of the founding of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy)

National holiday

Birthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933)

Chief of state

Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)

Head of government

Prime Minister Naoto KAN (since 8 June 2010)

Internet country code

.jp

Internet users

99.182 million (2009)

Airports

176 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Chiba, Kawasaki, Kobe, Mizushima, Moji, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Tomakomai, Yokohama

Other countries in the region