Let your memory be your travel bag.
— Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1918 - 2008
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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

JapanHyatt Regency Tokyo 

2-7-2 Nishi-Shinjuku
Shinjuku-Ku
Tokyo 160-0000
Japan

Price (US$): $323 - $369 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Tokyo is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and The Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Additional points of interest include Meiji Jingu Shrine and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Hotel Features. Hyatt Regency Tokyo features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool and a health club. Spa amenities include… more »

JapanHyatt Regency Kyoto 

644-2 Sanjusangendo-mawari
Higashiyama-ku
Kyoto 605-0941
Japan

Price (US$): $180 - $571 / night

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Location. Hyatt Regency Kyoto is a business friendly hotel located in Kyoto's Higashiyama neighborhood, close to Kyoto National Museum, Kiyomizu Temple, and Nijo Castle. Additional points of interest include Kyoto Imperial Palace and Sanjusangendo Temple. Hotel Features. Hyatt Regency Kyoto features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service health spa… more »

JapanInterContinental ANA Tokyo 

1-12-33 Akasaka Minato
Tokyo 107-0052
Japan

Price (US$): $319 - $418 / night

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Location. InterContinental ANA Tokyo is a business friendly hotel located in Tokyo's Roppongi neighborhood, close to Suntory Hall, Tokyo Imperial Palace, and National Diet Building. Additional points of interest include Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and Tokyo Tower. Hotel Features. Dining options at InterContinental ANA 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 an… more »

JapanThe Ritz-Carlton, Osaka 

2-5-25 Umeda
Kita-ku
Osaka 530-0001
Japan

Price (US$): $285 - $538 / night

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Location. The Ritz Carlton, Osaka is a business friendly hotel located in Osaka's Kita neighborhood, close to Osaka Shiki Theater, Osaka City Hall, and Osaka Science Museum. Additional points of interest include Osaka Castle and Umeda Sky Building. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Ritz Carlton, Osaka include 4 restaurants. 2 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant… more »

JapanHoshino Resort Nirakanai Iriomotejima 

2-2 Narisaki Uehara Taketomi-cho
Iriomote 907-1541
Japan

Price (US$): $210 - $211 / night

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Location. Hoshino Resort Nirakanai Iriomotejima is located near the beach in Iriomote and attractions in the region include Iriomote National Park. Hotel Features. Hoshino Resort Nirakanai Iriomotejima's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts in the restaurant (surcharges apply). The property's full service health spa has body treatments. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas and the… 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