Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
— Helen Keller, 1880 - 1968
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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

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 »

JapanThe Westin Resort & Conference Center Awaji Island 

2 Yumebutai
Awaji 656-2306
Japan

Price (US$): $214 - $268 / night

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Location. The Westin Resort & Conference Center Awaji Island is located near the beach in Awaji's midtown area and local attractions include Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. Regional points of interest also include Kobe Green Arena and Skymark Stadium. Resort Features. The Westin Resort & Conference Center Awaji Island's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a… more »

JapanWith The Style Fukuoka 

1-9-18 Hakataeki-Minami, Hakata-ku
Fukuoka 812-0016
Japan

Price (US$): $423 - $424 / night

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Location. Near the airport, With The Style Fukuoka is located in Fukuoka's Hakata neighborhood and close to Sumiyoshi Shrine, Fukuoka Convention Center, and Tochoji Temple. Nearby points of interest also include Ohori Park and Kushida Shrine. Hotel Features. With The Style Fukuoka features a coffee shop/café, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. A complimentary cooked to order breakfast is served each morning. Recreational amenities include a spa… more »

JapanSpa Resort Exes 

2592-40 Yashibaru Nakama Onna Kunigami
Onna 904-0401
Japan

Price (US$): $340 - $440 / night

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Location. Spa Resort Exes is located in Onna, close to Mission Beach, Kariyushi Beach, and Busena Marine Park. Nearby points of interest also include Kise Beach. Resort Features. The property's full service health spa has body treatments and facials. This 5 star property has a business center. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a concierge desk, laundry facilities, and a porter/bellhop. This is a smoke free property.… more »

JapanThe St Regis Osaka 

3-6-12 Honmachi
Chuo-ku
Osaka 5410053
Japan

Price (US$): $219 - $340 / night

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Location. The St Regis Osaka is a business friendly hotel located in Osaka's Honmachi neighborhood, close to Utsubo Park, Osaka Science Museum, and Osaka Castle. Additional points of interest include Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and Osaka Museum of History. Hotel Features. The St Regis Osaka features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. This 5 star property has a business center and offers audiovisual equipment. Additional property amenities… 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