Japan Key Facts
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International Calling Codes
51.8% Folk Shinto
4% Shinto organizations & others
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In Japan they drive on the left side of the road
When is the best time to visit?
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Japan. In April you have a good chance of seeing the cherry blossoms bloom, which is spectacular. Beware though that the end of April has a period known as 'the Golden Week' where domestic travel is very busy. October and November are also spectacular months to visit, as typhoon season has stopped and the weather in most of Japan is pleasant. Additionally, you get to see the trees once again change colour and the entire landscape prepare for the winter months ahead.
- Airports (5 international, 99 domestic)
- Extensive railway and train network
- Private railways
- Ports and harbours
World Heritage Sites
- Buddhist Monuments in Horyu-ji Area, among which are some of the oldest wooden buildings in the world dating back to the 7th or early 8th century
- Fujisan, scared place and source of artistic inspiration, known around the world as the iconic Mount Fuji
- Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, which represent 500 years of Ryukyuan history from the 12th century until the 17th century
- Himeji-jo, which is an impressive example of early 17th century Japanese castle architecture
- Hiraizumi - Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land, which represents a unique fusion of indigenous Japanese nature and Shintoism with its own concept of planning and garden design
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), which is the only structure left standing after the explosion of the first atomic bomb
- Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities); Kyoto was Japan's imperial capital for over 1,000 years and offers some of the finest examples of wooden architecture in Japan
- Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, which served as Japan's capital from 710 until 784
- Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, which are beautiful examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to its environment
- Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, a holy site for Shintoism since the earliest time
- Iwami Ginzan Silver Mind and its Cultural Landscape, which is the site that pioneered the development of silver mines in pre-Modern Asia
- Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range, which represent the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism and see up to 15 million visitors annually
- Shrines and Temples of Nikko, which have been sacred sites and considered architectural masterpieces for centuries
- Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites, which marked Japan's entry into the modern, industrialized world
- Ogasawara Islands, a group of 30 islands that are home to a wealth of fauna as well as a critically endangered bat
- Shirakami-Sanchi, which represents the last remains of the cool-temperate forest of Siebold's beech trees that once covered the hills and mountains lsopes of northern Japan
- Shiretoko, a site of huge importance to endangered seabirds and migratory birds
- Yakushima, which represents the meeting-point of the Palearctic and oriental biotic regions and is an area of huge biodiversity
Average Annual Temperature
Average Annual Rainfall
Technically speaking, Japan is home to 6 different climatic zones, making for a great variety of weather between the north and the south. Winters in the far north are long, cold and regularly involve snow. The north of the mainland also has snow in winters, but as you go further south winter's become more and more temperate.
The southern Island of Okinawa has a humid subtropical climate with warm winters and hot summers. Mountainous regions tend to have milder weather throughout the years, while the Central Highland shows big temperature variations between summer and winter and also between day and night.
Japan's main rainy season begins in early May in the south and slowly moves north over the course of June until it starts in Hokkaido in July. On Japan's mainland it tends to last about 6 weeks and the early autumn brings with it high probabilities of typhoons
- January 1 - New Year's Day
- January 2 - Bank Holiday
- January 3 - Bank Holiday
- January 12 - Coming of Age Day
- February 11 - National Foundation Day
- March 21 - Spring Equinox
- April 29 - Shōwa Day
- May 3 - Constitution Memorial Day
- May 4 - Greenery Day
- May 5 - Children's Day
- July 20 - Sea Day
- September 21 - Respect for the Aged Day
- September 22 - Bridge Public holiday
- September 23 - Autumn Equinox
- October 12 - Sports Day
- November 3 - Culture Day
- November 23 - Labor Thanksgiving Day
- December 23 - Emperor's Birthday
- December 31 - Bank Holiday
Why Visit Japan?
Japan is a land of opposites, at least from a Western perspective, with millennia of fascinating history, arts and culture. Excellent food, beautiful sceneries, and the promise of spirituality have drawn tourists from all over the world for many years.
Things To Do In Japan
- Walk around the busy streets of Tokyo
- See the Imperial Palace
- Visit the city of Kyoto
- Check out the amazing architecture of Takayama
- See the cherry trees blossom in early April
- Have some world famous sushi
- Visit the volcanic island of Aogashima
Travel Tips For Japan
If you are planning on travelling around Japan a lot, buy yourself a Japan Rail Pass.
Japanese cuisines has taken the world by storm in the last decade. With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and complex flavor combinations, it is easy to see why. Staples of the Japanese diet are white rice, seafood, soybeans and soy sauce as well as pickles and seaweed. The most famous export of Japan is probably sushi and you will find a wide range of restaurants serving it. Sushi is usually raw fish served on a bed of rice, while sashimi is just plain raw fish. Other famous sushi dishes include maki, which is made of rolling the fish and rice in seaweed, and chirashi, which is a bowl of rice with seafood placed on top. But food in Japan is more than just rice and fish, and you also find a wide range of different noodle dishes. Native Japanese noodle dishes either feature soba, a thin buckwheat noodle, or udon, a thick buckwheat noodle. Famous examples of noodle dishes are tsukimi soba, soup with a raw egg dropped in, and kitsune soba, soup with sweetened strips of deep-fried tofu. Chinese egg noodles (known as ramen) are also very popular and each city in Japan will have its own ramen style. The main styles are shio ramen, which is a salt chicken or pork broth, shoyu ramen, a soy broth, miso ramen, bean paste broth, and tonkotsu ramen, a thick pork broth. While meat is often eaten, make sure to try some of the world famous Kobe beef if you have the chance, it is supposedly some of the best meat in the world. Other popular items in Japan are tempura, light-battered seafood or vegetables that are deep fried, teppanyaki, meat grilled on a hot iron place, and in winter you stand a good chance of seeing a lot of stews on the menu (referred to as nabe) - examples include oden, skewered fish cakes simmered in fish soup, and sukiyaki, a beef hotpot. With many different options for eating, no one goes hungry in Japan!
Japan Travel Safety and Warnings
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world and enjoys an extremely low crime rate. However, Japan is prone to earthquakes, so make sure you read up on the proper procedures beforehand. As a safety precaution, make sure you have up-to-date travel insurance for Japan.
The land of the rising sun with its millennia of cultural history has fascinated travellers for many years. Offering stunning natural landscapes, beautiful architecture, delicious foods, and a very spiritual atmosphere, Japan is definitely a destination every one should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Make sure to pack a light rain jacket, get your travel insurance for Japan in order, and enjoy this wonderful chain of islands.
Tokyo tends to be the first stop for most international travelers – its metropolitan area is the most populous in the world with 35 million people calling it home.
The stark contrast between modern technology and Japan's old culture is often surprising to visitors, but opposites are very common in Japan.
In Central Tokyo you’ll find the district of Chiyoda, which is where the spectacular Imperial Palace is located.
While most of the Palace is closed to the public, you can stroll around the phenomenal East Gardens.
Japan has long intertwined its spiritual beliefs with landscaping and garden design, and these gardens are a wonderfully soothing example of that.
After strolling through the gardens and getting in touch with Japan's history, head over to Akihabara, which is affectionately known as Tokyo's 'Electric City'.
This area is home to a staggering amount of electronics stores, selling everything from the newest gizmos for iPhones to battery powered, waving cats.
A huge contrast to the Imperial Palace! Anime and Manga fans are also in for a treat, as some of the largest anime-goods stores in Japan are also located right here.
The neighboring ward of Chuo offers yet more possibilities to go shopping with its many department stores. For the more food oriented travellers, Chuo is also home to one of the largest fish markets in Tokyo, and even if you’re not looking at buying 5 tons of tuna, this market is a spectacular site to check out.
If you head to the ward of Shibuya, you can not only visit the world famous Meji shrine, and party like a rock star in Ebisu, you can also walk around the famous Shibuya scramble crossing, which has featured in many famous movies.
Make sure to have organized your travel insurance for Japan before you get lost in the city though.
After the bustling metropolis, head to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which is south of Tokyo.
This is the home of Japan's iconic volcano, Mount Fuji.
You can either just stroll around the area, enjoy the hot springs, or if you feel up for the challenge, climb up the mountain and enjoy some stunning views.
Heading further south you will find your way to the region of Kansai, which is the ancient capital of culture and trade, and the cities of Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto are a joy to explore.
The original hometowns of the world famous ninjas are here, in Iga and Koka, as well as some of the oldest wooden buildings in the world, located in Horyuji.
Chugoku is the region closer to Korea, and it’s here that you’ll find the city of Hiroshima and the famous Peace Memorial.
For history buffs, head to the island of Kyushu, which is the birthplace of Japanese civilization. If you want to see something completely different, make your way to the semi-tropical island of Okinawa - famous for its beaches and diving.
This little island has its own language and customs and many Okinawans see themselves as different from mainland Japan.
The food in Japan is an absolute delight, and most travellers will be spoilt for choice. Rice and fish are the staples of Japanese cuisine, however, there are also a wide range of noodle and vegetarian dishes.
Japan is very safe for travelers, but as with all holidays, make sure you have travel insurance for Japan.
With its many wonders, unique culture, and opposites at every corner, Japan is a traveler’s dream!