Climate and Geography of Japan


Japan is a state located on the Japanese Islands off the coast of East Asia. The archipelago includes 4 large islands: Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu and Hokkaido, as well as many small islands. Japan is separated from Russia, the Republic of Korea and the DPRK by the Sea of Japan, and from China by the East China Sea. To the north of Japan is the island of Sakhalin, and to the northeast – the Kuril Islands. The population in 1999 is 126.7 million people, the country’s area is 377.8 thousand square kilometers. See Japan abbreviations.

Japan is located at the junction of lithospheric plates, so earthquakes are quite common there. The strongest recur with an interval of 10-30 years, sometimes there are tsunamis up to 10 meters high.

Rapid volcanic activity in Japan is associated with the movements of the earth’s crust. In total, there are about 200 volcanoes, of which about 40 are active. Some mountains of Japan, including the highest Mount Fuji (3776 m), are also volcanoes. Hot springs near both extinct and active volcanoes are a frequent occurrence.

The landscape in Japan is mostly mountainous, with a predominance of low and medium height mountains. The landforms are pointed and angular, but in the south of Kyushu and Honshu, as well as in the coastal regions of Hokkaido, the mountains are slightly smoothed. In the center of Honshu, a little west of Tokyo, there are the highest mountains – the Japanese Alps. The height of some peaks is 3 kilometers.

There are a lot of rivers in the country, they are not suitable for ships to pass through, but they are quite successfully used for timber rafting. The water is usually clear and clean.

Plains make up only 15% of Japan. For the most part, they have a small area, and do not exceed 160 kilometers in width. The largest are the Kanto Plains located around Tokyo (12,950 square kilometers).

The length of the coastline is more than 30,000 square kilometers. The shores play a very important role in the life of the Japanese, since most of the population lives in the large coastal lowlands. The mountains often come close to the coast, the coastline itself is very indented. Off the coast of Japan there are a lot of small natural, and at the same time very convenient, harbors, as well as a small number of larger ones.


Due to the fact that Japan is strongly elongated from north to south, significant differences in climate can be observed on its territory.

In general, the climate of the Land of the Rising Sun is maritime and humid. Snow is a weather phenomenon that is common throughout the country, but in the south it lasts only about a week, and in the north – just over 95 days.

In the lowlands of Shikoku, Kyushu and Honshu up to the Kanto plain, the climate is subtropical, in winter the temperature reaches +4°C. In these places, summer is preceded by the rainy season, which begins in mid-May and ends in June.

According to 800zipcodes, the north of Honshu and the entire island of Hokkaido are areas with a harsher climate. The summer here is quite short, and the winter is cold – the average temperature is -8°C. The mountain climate in this area is generally most similar to the subarctic. The climate of the rest of the country depends on the features of the relief of the area.

Capital: Tokyo

Major cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya

Ski resorts: Naebo, Niseko, Hakuba, Rusutsu

Medical resorts: Atami, Beppu, Nikko

Japanese Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is famous for its delicious and healthy dishes. Due to the proximity of the sea, the main diet of the Japanese has always been seafood. Also, the ability to grow rice migrated from China to the country, which has taken a significant place in Japanese cuisine.

Due to the fact that people eat with chopsticks in Japan, dishes are usually served in cut small pieces that can be immediately put into the mouth without taking a bite.

Spices are rarely added to dishes, but are often served with them. Basically, it is wasabi – a special kind of daikon, grated to a thick cream consistency, and soy sauce – a liquid in which pieces of food are dipped. Also, pickled ginger is often served with food, and especially rolls.

National dishes of Japan:

Sushi is probably the most famous Japanese dish abroad. They can have a different shape, but for the most part they consist of rice and some kind of filling, most often fish. Sushi in general can be divided into 2 types – nigiri sushi and maki sushi (rolls). Nigiri sushi is a lump of rice squeezed by hand with a strip of squid or fish placed on top. In some restaurants, this design is still tied with a strip of nori (made from edible red algae). Maki sushi is a filling of cucumber, fish or other seafood wrapped in rice, which in turn is wrapped in nori. There are other varieties of sushi, but these are the most famous. They are served with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce.

Other popular dishes in Japan include:

  • Soba is a noodle made from buckwheat flour. It can be served hot or cold, with or without broth. There are many varieties of soba: it is served both without everything, and with the addition of crushed seaweed, chicken meat, fried tofu and many other additives. It is sometimes wrapped in nori and eaten as maki sushi.
  • Udon is also a type of Japanese noodles, only made from wheat flour. It is eaten almost the same way as soba, with the difference that seafood soups are also made with udon.
  • Tofu is bean curd, a dietary dish that occupies a rather important place in the life of the Japanese. This dish came to Japan from China. Tofu has a number of useful properties, and it is also great for people with any stomach diseases. A huge number of dishes are prepared from this cottage cheese in Japan. Basically, these are a variety of soups made on the basis of miso broth, which is cooked just from this very
  • Fugu is a very special delicacy that is quite famous almost all over the world. Fugu itself is a fish in which almost everything is poisonous, except for meat. Moreover, the poison of this fish is capable of almost instantly killing a person.

The extraordinary high cost of this delicacy is due to the fact that its preparation requires a very highly qualified cook who has passed a special two-year school for cooking puffer dishes. Therefore, in modern restaurants, the probability of being poisoned by this fish is almost zero.

Japanese desserts are basically assorted fruits. The same fruits are often baked in sweet batter or honey. Sweet rolls are quite popular – fruits or some confectionery are wrapped in rice. Wagashi is a traditional Japanese sweet, but at first it may seem completely unsweetened. Wagashi is made from various legumes, rice, green tea, and other ingredients. There are many types of this dish, such as crushed and steamed rice with or without stuffing.

Green tea has been the main non-alcoholic drink in Japan since ancient times.

The alcoholic drink is, of course, sake, the famous “rice vodka”. Also in Japan, good fruit wines are made.

Japanese Cuisine

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