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    Japan - 日本

    Itsukushima Torii (Japanese gate), Itsukushima island, Hiroshima
    Itsukushima Torii, the gate to the Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima (also known as Miyajima), the island is one of Hayashi Gahō's, the "Three Views of Japan," Japan's three most celebrated scenic sights.
    Image: Yukio22

    Location map of Japan. Where in the world is Japan?
    Location map of Japan

    Flag of Japan
    Flag of Japan

    Destination Japan, a Nations Online Project country profile of the "Land of the Rising Sun," a nation that occupies a chain of islands in East Asia in the North Pacific Ocean roughly parallel with the eastern coast of Asia's mainland.

    The archipelago stretches from south of the Russian Sakhalin Island in the north to near Taiwan in the southwest. Japan's main islands are (from north to south) Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. The country shares maritime borders with China, North Korea, South Korea, the Philippines, Russia, and Taiwan.

    Japan is spread over 6000 islands and has a surface area of 377,915 km2, making it slightly larger than Germany or somewhat smaller than the US state of California.

    The country has a slowly shrinking population, and the proportion of older people is rising. In 2020, 126 million people will live in Japan. The national capital and largest city is Tokyo. Other major cities are Fukuoka, Fukushima, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, and Yokohama.
    The official language is Japanese.

    Japan | 日本, Nippon

      Nippon/Nihon in Kanji script

    While retaining its time-honored culture, Japan rapidly absorbed Western technology during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    After its devastating defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become the third most powerful economy in the world and a staunch ally of the US.

    While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, actual power rests in networks of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, and business executives.

    The economy experienced a significant slowdown in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth.
    (Source: CIA - The World Factbook)



    Country Profile

    Official Name:
    Local Name: Nihon (Nippon)
    Local Formal Name: Nihon Koku

    ISO Country Code: jp

    Actual Time: Wed-Nov-11  21:28
    Local Time = UTC +9h

    Country Calling Code: +81

    Capital City: Tokyo

    ...show more

    Official Sites of Japan

    Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

    Japan's National Diet Building in Tokyo
    Japan's National Diet Building in Nagatachō, Tokyo. The building is the meeting place of both houses of the national parliament of Japan, the country's bicameral legislature.
    Image: Wiiii

    Political system
    Japan is a constitutional monarchy, but the power of the Emperor (Tennō) is limited.
    According to the constitution of 1947, Japan is a parliamentary democracy.
    The ceremonial head of state is the emperor; he appoints the Prime Minister, the head of the government of Japan.
    The legislature consists of a two-chamber parliament (National Diet). The Shugiin, the House of Representatives is the lower house, which is re-elected every four years. The Sangiin (the House of Councilors) is the upper house of the National Diet, its members all serve six-year terms.

    Official Sites of Japan

    royal The Imperial Household Agency
    Introduction to the official duties and various public activities of Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, and other members of the Imperial Family.

    Kantei of the Prime Minister
    Official website of the Prime Minister of Japan and his Cabinet.

    Japan's National Diet (國會 Kokkai)
    Japan's bicameral legislature is composed of two houses:

    The House of Representatives is the lower house of Japan's National Diet. (English version of the Shugiin)

    The House of Councillors is the upper house of Japan's legislature.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

    Diplomatic Missions
    Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
    Japan's representation to the UN.
    Embassy of Japan
    Embassy of Japan in the United States of America, Washington D.C.
    Japan Embassies and Consulates Abroad
    Websites of Japan Embassies and Consulates around the world.
    Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Japan
    Embassies, Consulates and International Organizations in Japan.
    Visa for Japan
    Information on visa requirements to enter Japan.

    Statistics Bureau & Statistics Center
    Japan in figures.



    Maps of Japan

    Japan Map
    Political Map of Japan (click map to enlarge)
    Image: ? nationsonline.org


    Map of Japan
    Political Map of Japan.
    Google Earth Google Earth Map Japan
    Searchable satellite view and map of Japan.
    Google Earth Google Earth Map Tokyo
    Searchable satellite view and map of Tokyo.

    Searchable maps/satellite views of the cities of:
    Fukuoka, Fukushima, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Yokohama

    profile Reference Map of Asia
    Political Map of Asia.


    News from Japan

    Japanese Newspapers

    Online News from Japan

    Asahi Shimbun
    National Japanes Newspaper.
    Japan Times
    English-language daily newspaper, based in Minato, Tokyo.
    Japan Today
    A leading source of Japan News in English.
    Kyodo News
    National and international news.
    Mainichi Daily News (English version)
    National newspaper with Japanese and international news.
    News on Japan
    Summary of Japan-related news from various sources.
    Nikkei Shimbun
    'Japan Economics Newspaper,' the world's largest financial newspaper.
    Nikkei also publishes the Nikkei Asian Review, an English-language business journal.
    Sankei Shimbun
    Daily Japanese newspaper. It also publishes Japan Forward, an English-language news and opinion website.

    Yomiuri Shimbun
    One of Japan's five National Newspapers.
    The Yomiuri Shimbun English edition (The Japan News).

    NHK World-Japan
    State-owned international broadcaster.  

    International News sources
    Japan The Guardian
    UK's The Guardian with Japan-related news.
    Japan | Reuters.com
    Japan news by Reuters, an international news organization based in the UK.



    Arts & Culture of Japan

    Pond garden at the Adachi Museum of Art, Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture
    The Pond Garden, one of the six traditional Japanese gardens at the Adachi Museum of Art in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture. The museum also houses a collection of modern Japanese art.
    Image: Adachi Museum

    Arts & Culture

    The Japan Foundation
    Organization for international cultural exchange in Japan.

    Japanese cuisines
    There's more than just sushi.

    Vintage Images of Japan. The agency licenses old photographs, illustrations, and maps of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s (Meiji, Taisho, early Showa) for editorial, advertising, and special projects.

    Kyoko Date
    Page about the first virtual cybergirl.

    Tokyo Girls' Update
    The magazine propagates the "in" things for Japanese gyarus (gals).

    Japan's Most Influential Fashion Brands
    Article about Japan's old and new fashion trends.

    web culture Shift
    The Japan-based international online magazine features creative culture.

    Harajuku Cosplay Steampunk


    Art Museums
    National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto - MOMAK
    The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto was established in 1963. The Collection Gallery exhibits selected works of nihonga (Japanese-style painting), and yōga (Western-style painting).

    National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
    The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT), consists of the main building and the Crafts Gallery in Kitanomaru Park near the Imperial Palace, and the National Film Center in Kyobashi near Ginza.

    Mori Art Museum - MAM
    A contemporary art museum in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo.

    Other Museums
    cultural reference Kyoto National Museum
    The Kyoto National Museum was established as a National institution for the collection and preservation of cultural properties.

    The National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka is one of the major museums in Japan.

    Osaka Museum of Natural History
    The museum shows more than 10,000 items of species, including a variety of animals, plants, insects; it also maintains a flower, greenery, and nature information center.

    Tokyo National Museum
    The museum collects, houses, and displays a comprehensive collection of artworks and antiquities from Japan as well as from other Asian countries.

    Wikipedia entry about the phenomenon of Japanese pop music.
    Japanese Music: Top 100 Songs Charts.
    Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO or Human Audio Sponge)
    Influential Japanese electronic music band.

    Cosplay characters at the Tokyo Game Show
    Cosplay anime/manga characters at the Tokyo Game Show (TGS). TGS is one of the largest video game exhibitions in Asia.
    Image: Sergey Galyonkin

    Japanese anime and entertainment magazine.
    All things anime and manga.
    HANAMARU CyberManga
    The first Manga magazine in the world on the web.
    Japanese in Anime & Manga
    E-learning site that offers a fun way to learn a number of character/genre-based Japanese expressions that appear in anime and manga
    Manga Rock
    Online Manga Reader.

    Artificial Pets
    Egg-shaped mini computer and one of the biggest toy fads of the 1990s.
    Beagle-like robotic pets designed and manufactured by Sony. The production of the AIBO is now discontinued, you can not buy any new ones.
    Hello Kitty
    Sanrio's most famous character.
    Pokémon (Official Japanese website)
    Short for Pocket Monsters, fictional creatures called "Pokémons," which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport.


    Video gaming in Japan
    Video gaming in Japan is a major industry. Wikipedia article about Game Boy and co.


    Tokyo 2020
    Official website of the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo from Friday 24 July until Sunday 9 August 2020.

    Martial Arts
    Aikikai is the original school of Aikido, a modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba.
    Judo (All Japan Judo Federation)
    The Japanese martial art, the 'gentle way,' was created in 1882 by Japanese educator and athlete Kanō Jigorō.
    Jujutsu (Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation)
    Japanese martial art, using an attacker's energy against him.
    Japan Karate Association
    Budo culture.
    The Art of the Sword.
    The Ogasawara-ryū is a school of etiquette, archery, and mounted archery that views etiquette as the building block of its techniques.
    Sumo is a form of competitive full contact wrestling that originated in Japan.

    Illuminated nebuta float from the Aomori Nebuta Festival
    An illuminated nebuta float kept in the Nebuta Museum in Aomori. The Aomori Nebuta Festival is a summer festival that takes place in early August in Aomori, a coastal city in the north of the island of Honshu. The festival is famous for the floats of brave warrior-figures which are carried through the center of the city.
    Image: Wmpearl

    Traditional Japan

    The Way of Tea - The Urasenke Tradition of Tea.
    Sado/Chado - Tea Ceremony
    The ritualized preparation and serving of powdered green tea in the presence of guests.
    Ogasawara Sencha Service School
    An Introduction to Tea Ceremony by Head Tea Master of Ogasawara Sencha Service School.

    Traditional Culture
    GODS of Japan
    Comprehensive A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhism (Buddhist & Shinto Deities)
    Ikebana International
    The Art of Flower Arrangement.
    Japanese Buddhism
    Page about Buddhism in Japan by japan-guide.com
    Japanese garden database
    Japanese gardens around the world.
    Japanese Mythology
    Japanese myths site by Shimane Prefecture.

    Kabuki-za theater in the Ginza district of Chūō, Tokyo, is the principal theater in Tokyo for the traditional kabuki drama form.
    Kunijo Kabuki Ekotoba
    An illustrated manuscript of Japanese classical play Kabuki.

    Beautiful Japanese Women

    Kimiha, a Miyagawa-cho geisha from Kyoto
    Kimiha, a Miyagawa-cho geisha who finished her apprenticeship as a maiko.
    Image: Japanexperterna

    Karyukai means "Flower and Willow World," a poetic term for the society of the Geisha. (comprehensive Wikipedia entry for Geisha)

    The site refers to pictures of beautiful women in Japanese art - Bijinga.

    Kimono, meaning clothing in Japanese, an easy-to-read site about Japan's traditional high maintenance clothing.

    Japanese games
    Nihon Ki-in
    Japan Go Association.

    Wikipedia article about Shogi, a Japanese board game comparable with chess.

    Traditional Crafts
    The Samurai Sword
    The Japanese sword (日本刀 nihontō), Wikipedia article about the traditional Samurai swords and fittings.

    The Japanese Sword Museum
    The museum in Tokyo is dedicated to the art of Japanese swordmaking.

    Traditional Crafts of Japan
    From silk, the aristocratic fiber to paper and porcelain.

    The Virtual Museum of Traditional Japanese Arts
    A virtual museum by the Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    History and culture of Wajima-Nuri, the traditional Japanese lacquerware.

    Japanese Zen
    Zen - International Research Institute for Zen
    Established to promote basic research on Zen Buddhism.

    The Institute for Zen Studies
    Founded in 1964 to promote research in Zen teachings, thoughts, and various cultural expressions. (in Japanese)


    Business & Economy of Japan

    Skyscrapers of Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan's financial center.
    Image: Kakidai

    Economy of Japan
    Japan is among the world's most literate and technically advanced nations; its economy is a highly developed free-market economy and the third-largest in the world by nominal GDP. Japan is ranked 7th in the 2018 Best Countries survey power ranking. [1] But Japan is also the most indebted country in the world, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 235%.
    The nation's main export goods are cars, consumer electronics, computers, semiconductors, copper, iron, and steel. Other key industries in Japan are petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, bio-industry, shipbuilding, aerospace, textiles, cosmetics, and processed food.

    Bank of Japan
    The Central Bank of Japan. The Japanese central bank is a legal person and not a government agency or a private corporation.

    Index of the Japanese stock market.

    Japan Exchange Group (JPX)
    Financial services corporation that operates the exchanges of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange.

    Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI)
    JCCI is a network of local economic organizations made up of the representatives of some 1.26 million member businesses nationwide.

    Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI)
    The TCCI is an economic organization, founded in 1878; the chamber represents the commercial and industrial interests of businesses of the 23-ward area of metropolitan Tokyo.

    Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
    JETRO is a Japanese government-related organization that promotes mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between Japan and other nations.

    Top Japanese Brands

    Japan's automotive industry is one of the largest industries in the world. Japan was among the three countries with the highest production of cars since the 1960s, surpassing Germany. Japan was the pioneer in robotics manufacturing of autos starting in the late 1970s.

    Japanese automobile manufacturer of small cars, the company was founded in 1907. The company is now a subsidiary of Toyota.
    Japanese multinational manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft, and motorcycles, with its headquarters at Minato, Tokyo.
    A Japanese manufacturing company for commercial vehicles and diesel engines, headquartered in Tokyo.
    Kawasaki Heavy Industries is, outside Japan, best known as a manufacturer of motorcycles and outboard engines.
    Japanese automobile manufacturer based in Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture.
    Mitsubishi Motors
    One of the three major heavy industrial manufacturers in Japan is also a manufacturer of cars; the company is based in Tokyo.
    Japanese multinational automaker headquartered in Nishi-ku, Yokohama. By now, it is the world's largest manufacturer of electric vehicles.
    The automotive division of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) is the largest manufacturer of all-wheel-drive passenger cars. Its headquarters are in Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo.
    The Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles, cars, and outboard motors has its headquarters at Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture.
    Japanese multinational company and the world's largest automotive manufacturer, headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota.
    Japanese multinational manufacturer of motorcycles, power sports equipment, musical instruments, and electronics.

    Beauty & Fashion
    Beauty and Health made in Japan.
    Kansai Yamamoto
    Japanese Contemporary fashion.
    French luxury house founded in 1970 by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada.
    The Japanese answer to CHANEL & Co.
    Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer.

    Japanese luxury pearl company.

    Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd.
    Japanese Beer.

    Fine cameras and copiers.
    Konica Minolta
    More fine cameras.
    ... and more fine cameras.

    Consumer Electronics
    Manufacturer of toys, from the Rhythm Ball (1950) to Sailor Moon (1993), to Tamagotchi (1996), Digimon (1997), and much more.
    Formerly a Japanese card company, now a multinational manufacturer of video games and game consoles, headquartered in Kyoto.
    Japanese multinational electronics corporation headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka.
    Japanese Hifi. Japanese multinational corporation with its headquarters in Bunkyō, Tokyo.
    Entertainment universe. Japanese multinational video game developer headquartered in Tokyo.
    Japanese multinational corporation, manufacturer of a wide range of electronic consumer and business products, they are headquartered in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture.

    One of the largest advertising agencies in the world.

    Heavy Industry
    There are three major heavy industrial manufacturers in Japan.

    Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI)
    IHI Corporation produces ships, aircraft engines, turbochargers for automobiles, industrial machines, space products like sounding rockets and launch vehicles, energy systems (industrial power station boilers), and other facilities.

    Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI)
    Japanese multinational corporation is a major player in the area of shipbuilding, aerospace engineering, vehicle construction (railways, construction vehicles, motorcycles), building construction and civil engineering, as well as machine and power plant construction (robots, bag conveyor systems, and gas turbines).

    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)
    Japanese multinational company with 300 subsidiaries, active mainly in the heavy industry, mechanical and automotive engineering, and in the aviation and electronics industry, headquartered in Tokyo.




    Port of Nagoya with the Aquarium, the Giant wheel, and the Fuji Icebreaker
    The Port of Nagoya with the public Aquarium, the Giant wheel, and the Fuji Icebreaker, view from the observation deck of the lighthouse. The Port of Nagoya is the largest and busiest trading port in Japan.
    Image: Cesar I. Martins

    Cruise Port Guide of Japan
    A guide to the ports of Japan.

    All Nippon Airways
    Largest Japanese airline. The Tokyo-based company is listed in the Nikkei 225; it is a member of the global airline alliance Star Alliance.

    Japan Airlines
    The second-largest Japanese airline is based in Shinagawa, one of the 23 districts of the Japanese Prefecture of Tokyo. The flag carrier airline of Japan has its main hubs at Tokyo Haneda Airport and at Tokyo Narita Airport. JAL is a member of the aviation alliance Oneworld.

    First international low-cost carrier in Japan with its hub at Kansai International Airport, Izumisano, Osaka. The airline serves destinations within Japan and offers flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai in China, Busan and Seoul in South Korea, Kaohsiung and Taipei in Taiwan, and Bangkok in Thailand.

    Narita Airport
    New Tokyo International Airport, Narita-shi, Chiba.
    Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)
    The other one of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo Area, located in ōta, Tokyo.
    Kansai International Airport (Osaka)
    Osaka's international airport is located about 50 km (by road) south of the city on an artificial island in Osaka Bay.
    Central Japan International Airport (Nagoya)
    Chubu Centrair International Airport is located on an artificial island in Ise Bay, 48 km (by road) south of Nagoya.

    The location and information about other major Japanese airports you will find here: Fukuoka, Fukushima, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Yokohama.

    Shinkansen, a Japanese high-speed train passes Mount-Fuji.
    A train from the N700 Shinkansen series, a Japanese high-speed train, passes Mount Fuji in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan. Mount Fuji is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707. Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Image: hans-johnson

    The Japanese National Railways was privatized in 1987, below listed are the seven legally independent successor companies:

    Japanese Railways Companies Map
    Japanese Railways Companies Map
    Image: Vladsinger

    Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaidō)
    One of the seven successors of the Japanese National Railways. JR Hokkaido operates its route network on Hokkaido, the second-largest island of Japan, and the northernmost prefecture.

    East Japan Railway Company (JR Higashi-Nihon)
    One of the six major passenger railway companies in Japan. Its route network covers the northern half of Honshu.

    West Japan Railway Company (JR Nishi-Nihon)
    West Japan Railway Company operates its route network in western Honshu. It has its headquarters in Kita-ku, Osaka.

    Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tōkai)
    Railway operator and freight mover with a route network in the Chūbu region in the central area of Japan. Its headquarters is located in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.

    Nihon Kamotsu Tetsudō (JR Kamotsu)
    Japan Freight Railway Company, or JR Freight, operates rail freight transport nationwide. It has its headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo.

    Shikoku Railway Company (JR Shikoku)
    JR Shikoku operates the former state route network on the island of Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of Japan.

    Kyushu Railway (JR Kyūshū)
    JR Kyushu operates rail services on Kyushu island and the Beetle hydrofoil ferry service across the Tsushima Strait between Fukuoka and Busan, South Korea. Its headquarters are in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka.

    Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
    Odakyu Electric Railway operates limited express luxury tourist services south-west of Tokyo, to mountain resorts and beaches.



    Tourism in Japan

    Matsushima islands in Matsushima Bay, Japan
    A scene from Matsushima islands in Matsushima Bay in Japan. The group of islands in Miyagi Prefecture is one of the Three Views of Japan, Japan's three most celebrated scenic sights.
    Image: scottagunn

    Destination Japan - Travel and Tour Guides


    Discover Japan:
    Fushimi Inari-taisha, Hakone, Himeji-jō hilltop castle, Kanazawa, Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple, Meiji Shinto shrine, Mount Fuji, Naoshima Island, Osaka Castle, Tokyo Skytree, the tallest structure in Japan, Zen Buddhist Kinkaku-ji temple.

    Japan National Tourist Organization
    Travel and tourism guide on Japan, the Japanese, and much much more.

    Web Japan
    Japan-related magazine, operated by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The site was launched to help people around the world get to know more about Japan and the Japanese.

    Japan Tourism Agency
    The agency website offers information on Japan's tourism destinations.

    Islands and Regions of Japan

    Attractive Regions of Japan
    Attractive Regions and ports of Japan.

    Map of the Main Regions of Japan
    Map of Japan's main regions
    Good Day Hokkaido
    The official guide to Japan's northernmost prefecture by Hokkaido Tourism Organization.

    Travel to Tohoku
    Explore the deep north of Japan. Official visitors guide by Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization to Tōhoku, a region in the north of Honshu island known for its volcanoes, mountainous terrain, and skiing.

    Go Central Japan - Visit Chubu
    Official visitors guide to Central Japan by the Central Japan Tourism Promotion Association; the Chubu region is the central part of Honshu island.

    Kansai Region
    Official visitors guide to the Kansai or Kinki region in the central south of Honshu, main cities are Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, and Osaka.

    Visit Hiroshima
    Official visitors guide to Hiroshima Prefecture in Chūgoku region of southern Honshu.

    Kyushu Tourism Information
    Kyushu is Japan's third largest island, main cities are Kagoshima, Oita, Nagasaki Miyazaki, Naha, and Kurume.

    Tourism Shikoku
    Official visitors guide to Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan.

    Official travel and tourism information about Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan's main islands.

    More Japan Guides
    The japan-guide provides general information about most aspects of modern and traditional life in Japan.

    The Japan FAQ: Know Before You Go
    (Or: what I wish I knew before...) The Complete Guide to Working, Visiting, and Living in Japan.

    PhotoGuide Japan
    A Guide to Photography in Japan.

    Official City Sites and City Guides

    Travelers guide to Tokyo by the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
    Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties
    The Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties.
    Tokyo Food Page
    More than 800 Tokyo-area restaurants.

    City of Chiba
    City of Fukuoka
    Hiroshima City
    City of Kobe
    City of Kyoto
    City of Osaka
    City of Sendai
    Yokohama City


    Richu-tenno-ryo Kofun in Sakai city, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
    Richu-tenno-ryo kofun, also known as Mozu-mimihara, the Southern Mausoleum of Emperor Richu in the city of Sakai. The keyhole-shaped kofun has a mound length of 365 m; it is the third-largest kofun in the country. Japan's kofuns are megalithic tombs or tumuli constructed between the early 3rd century and the early 7th century CE. The term is the origin of the name of the Kofun period.
    Image: ? Sakai City Government

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan
    There are 19 cultural and four natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan (see the List).

    World Heritage Site Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area
    The 48 Buddhist monuments in the Horyu-ji area were the first World Heritage Sites in Japan.
    A variety of Buddhist pagodas and temples in the town of Ikaruga in the Nara Prefecture are some of the oldest preserved wooden buildings from the 7th to 8th centuries CE.

    World Heritage Site Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group
    The Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan is the country's latest World Heritage Site. Located on a plateau above the Osaka Plain, the property includes 49 kofun (“old mounds” in Japanese), tombs for members of the elite.

    World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go Gassho-zukuri Village
    The mountain village in Shirakawa-go in the Gifu Prefecture with its traditional Japanese wooden houses is a world heritage site.



    Education in Japan

    Clocktower of Kyoto University
    Clocktower of Kyoto University.
    Image: Soraie8288

    Japanese school system
    The Japanese school system consists of the primary school (six years), the middle school (three years), the high school (three years), and the university (four years). Compulsory schooling is only for the nine years of elementary and middle school, but 98% of students continue to high school.

    Japan's Imperial Universities
    The Imperial Universities were founded at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Until the end of the Second World War, they were run by the imperial government. Today they are among the most renowned universities in Japan.

    National Universities

    Hokkaido University
    Hokudai in Sapporo is one of the top universities in Japan.

    Kyoto University
    Kyoto University has three campuses, Katsura, Uji, and Yoshida. It is one of Japan's oldest universities, founded in 1897.

    Kyushu University
    Kyudai in Fukuoka, on the island of Kyushu, is a leading university in the country.

    Nagoya University
    Meidai, a Japanese national university, is located in Chikusa-ku ward of the city of Nagoya.

    Osaka University
    Handai is a public research university and one of Japan's most prestigious institutions; it was founded as a merchant academy (Kaitokudō) in 1724.

    Tohoku University
    Tohokudai, located in Sendai, is a national university and among the most prestigious universities in Japan.

    University of Tokyo
    The former Tokyo Imperial University was the first Japanese institution of higher learning, founded in 1877.

    Other Universities
    Tokyo University of the Arts
    Tokyo's university for fine arts, music, film, and new media is one of the most prestigious art schools in Japan.

    Chiba University
    National University, established in 1949.

    Chuo University
    Founded as Igirisu Horitsu Gakko (The English Law School) in 1885.

    Study in Japan Guide
    Study in Japan
    A guide to studying in Japan.

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
    Official website of the independent administrative institution of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA.)

    The National Institute of Informatics
    Computer Science and Information Engineering Research.

    National Science Museum
    National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo.



    Environment & Nature

    Mount Yōtei seen from Niseko Annupuri, Hokkaidō
    Mount Yōtei seen from Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area. Mt. Yōtei is an active stratovolcano in Shikotsu-Toya National Park in south-western Hokkaidō, Japan.
    Image: MIKI Yoshihito

    Japan's environmental issues
    The island country is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions, with fatal consequences for people and the environment. The country lies in the western part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the belt of active volcanoes, volcanic arcs, and tectonic plate boundaries with seismic activity surrounding the Pacific Ocean.

    In addition to the threat of natural disasters, there is homemade damage to the environment caused by man. Japan's rapid industrialization since the early Showa period has imposed severe pressures on the environment. The damage to the environment and people caused by industrialization was preprogrammed.
    Japan is a member of the Group of Eight (G8), the highly industrialized countries, and it ranks 6th among the countries with the highest CO2 emissions.
    Japan's most recent environmental problem is a million tonnes of radioactive water from the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the operator of the plant, will run out of storage facilities and will eventually be forced to empty the radioactively contaminated water into the Ocean. [2]

    Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan
    Official website of the ministry.

    National Parks of Japan
    Information about Japan's National Parks.

    Japan Meteorological Agency
    Japan's agency for the observation and study of natural phenomena in the fields of weather, water, earthquakes, and volcanism.

    Geological Survey of Japan
    Official Japanese geoscientific information.

    Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
    JFS was a non-profit group that provided environment-related information from Japan.

    Friends of the Earth Japan
    Tokyo based environmental advocacy group.

    Environmental Organizations in Japan
    List of environmental conservation activities in Japan by Japanese NGOs.


    Japan History

    Sannai-Maruyama site in Aomori, Aomori prefecture
    Reconstruction of a Jomon period longhouse building at the Sannai Maruyama site in Aomori, Aomori prefecture, Honshu.
    Image: 663highland

    Sannai-Maruyama site
    The Sannai Maruyama site was inhabited by hunter-gatherers in the Jōmon period, around the time from 3900 BCE – 2900 BCE.

    Japan Guide - History
    Most general facts of Japanese history.

    National Museum of Japanese History
    The museum's homepage.

    National Archives of Japan
    Japan's official documents and records.

    Wikipedia entry about the hereditary military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan.



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