Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.
— Thomas Fuller, 1608 - 1661
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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

JapanNAGOYA MARRIOTT ASSOCIA HOTEL 

114 MEIEKI NAKAMURA KU
Nagoya 450-6002
Japan

Price (US$): $352 - $528 / night

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Hotel Year Built 2000 Year Remodeled 2006 Additional Property Description Often regarded as one of the 6 best hotels in Japan, we are ideally located in the heart of the city, easily accessible from the all new Central Japan International Airport. Served by a wide array of transportation network, it is right above 11 floors of JR Takashimaya Dept Store and 2 floors of gourmet outlets. Our own 10 outstanding restaurants and 17 function rooms are a stand alone state of the art convention… more »

JapanHotel Okura, Tokyo 

2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-0001
Japan

Price (US$): $321 - $508 / night

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Location. Hotel Okura, Tokyo is a business friendly hotel located in Tokyo's Roppongi neighborhood, close to Suntory Hall, National Diet Building, and Tokyo Imperial Palace. Additional points of interest include Tokyo Tower and Meiji Jingu Shrine. Hotel Features. In addition to 8 restaurants, Hotel Okura, Tokyo offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery/convenience store. 2 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet… more »

JapanThe Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa 

1343 - 1 Kise
Nago 905-0026
Japan

Price (US$): $341 - $342 / night

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Location. The Ritz Carlton, Okinawa is a business friendly Nago hotel near the sea and close to Kariyushi Beach, Kise Beach, and Mission Beach. Additional points of interest include Busena Marine Park. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Ritz Carlton, Okinawa include 4 restaurants. 3 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a health club. The property's full service health spa has body… more »

JapanPark Hyatt Tokyo 

3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo 163-1055
Japan

Price (US$): $538 - $1495 / night

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Location. Located in central Tokyo, Park Hyatt Tokyo is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Additional points of interest include Meiji Jingu Shrine and Yoyogi Park. Hotel Features. In addition to 7 restaurants, Park Hyatt Tokyo offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery/convenience store. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves full breakfasts each… more »

JapanThe Westin Tokyo 

1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku
Tokyo 153-0062
Japan

Price (US$): $219 - $401 / night

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Location. The Westin Tokyo is a business friendly hotel located in Tokyo's Meguro neighborhood, close to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, National Diet Building, and Tokyo Tower. Additional points of interest include Meiji Jingu Shrine and Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Westin Tokyo include 5 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. 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