They change their climate, not their soul, who rush across the sea.
— Horace, 65 - 8 B.C.
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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

JapanThe Strings by InterContinental Tokyo 

26-32/F Shinagawa East One Tower
2-16-1 Konan
Tokyo 108-0000
Japan

Price (US$): $239 - $428 / night

Check rates »

Location. Near the airport, The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo is located in Tokyo's Takanawa neighborhood and close to Sengakuji Temple, Tokyo International Exhibition Centre, and Tokyo Tower. Additional points of interest include Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum and Mori Art Museum. Hotel Features. The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include a health club and a sauna. This… more »

JapanThe Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo 

3-13-1 Takanawa
Minato
Tokyo 108-8612
Japan

Price (US$): $240 - $259 / night

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Location. Near the airport, The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo is located in Tokyo's Takanawa neighborhood and close to Sengakuji Temple, Tokyo Tower, and Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. Additional points of interest include Mori Art Museum and Tokyo Midtown. Hotel Features. The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo's restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include a health club, a… more »

JapanThe Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu 

2-3-7 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku
Yokohama 220-8543
Japan

Price (US$): $376 - $484 / night

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Location. The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu is located in Yokohama's Minatomirai neighborhood, close to Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, Yokohama Cosmo World, and Landmark Tower. Nearby points of interest also include Yokohama Museum of Art and Yokohama Stadium. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu include 4 restaurants. 2 bars/lounges are open for drinks. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool. The property's full service health spa has body… more »

JapanYOKOHAMA ROYAL PARK HOTEL 

2-2-1-3 MINATOMIRAI
Yokohama 220-8173
Japan

Price (US$): $253 - $482 / night

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OCCUPYING THE TOP FLOORS OF JAPAN S TALLEST BUILDING/ THE70STORY LANDMARK TOWER/ THE YOKOHAMA ROYAL PARK HOTEL ISTRULY UNIQUE. OPENED IN 1993/ THE HOTEL IS THE STUNNINGCENTRE PIECE OF A CITY WITHIN A CITY CONCEPT/COMBININGSTATE OF THE ART FACILLITIES WITH A WARM WELCOME. UNUSUALLYSPACIOUS ROOMS BOAST BREATHTAKING VIEWS OF YOKOHAMA BAY ASWELL AS MOUNT FUJI. more »

JapanPalace Hotel Tokyo 

1-1-1 Marunouchi
Chiyoda
Tokyo 100-0005
Japan

Price (US$): $417 - $571 / night

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Location. Palace Hotel Tokyo is a business friendly hotel located in Tokyo's Chiyoda neighborhood, close to Imperial Palace Garden, Tokyo Imperial Palace, and Tokyo International Forum. Additional points of interest include National Diet Building and Tokyo Tower. Hotel Features. In addition to 7 restaurants, Palace Hotel 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. Recreational amenities include… 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