Little by little, one travels far.
— J. R. R. Tolkien, 1892 - 1973




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.


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


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)


by koi


Mar 2013  »  Japan

Featured hotels in


JapanPark Hyatt Tokyo 

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

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

Check rates »

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 »

JapanShangri-La Hotel, Tokyo 

Marunouchi Trust Tower Main
1-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-8283

Price (US$): $439 - $582 / night

Check rates »

Location. Shangri La Hotel, Tokyo is a business friendly hotel located in Tokyo's Marunouchi neighborhood, close to Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo International Forum, and Tokyo Imperial Palace. Additional points of interest include National Diet Building and Tokyo Tower. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool and a fitness facility. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, and facials. This 5 star property has a business… more »

JapanThe Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo 

3-13-1 Takanawa
Tokyo 108-8612

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

Check rates »

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 Naha Terrace 

2-14-1 Omoromachi
Naha 9000006

Price (US$): $497 - $575 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in Naha, The Naha Terrace is connected to a shopping center and close to Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, Makishi Public Market, and Fukushuen Garden. Nearby points of interest also include Tamaudoun Site and Shrikinjocho Stone Path Road. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Naha Terrace include 3 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. Spa amenities include facials… more »

JapanMars Garden Wood Gotemba 

1089 Higashitanaka
Gotemba 412-0026

Price (US$): $257 - $576 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in Gotemba, Mars Garden Wood Gotemba is connected to a shopping center with local attractions including Fuji Speedway and Great Boiling Valley. Regional points of interest also include Hakone Open Air Museum and Hakone Shrine. Resort Features. Recreational amenities include a sauna. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, and facials. This 4.5 star property offers small meeting rooms and audiovisual equipment. This Gotemba… more »

Browse more hotels in Japan »



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


29,751 km


varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north


mostly rugged and mountainous

Lowest point

Hachiro-gata -4 m

Highest point

Fujiyama 3,776 m

Natural resources

negligible mineral resources, fish


126,804,433 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


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



Government type

a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy


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


Internet users

99.182 million (2009)


176 (2010)

Ports and terminals

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

Other countries in the region