The Japanese name for Japan is “Nihon” or “Nippon” which means “sun origin”.
Japan belongs to the continent of Asia. Japan is an island nation surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West.
Japan is made up of 6,852 islands.
The highest point in Japan in Mount Fuji, which stands at 3,776m (12,388ft).
Japan's population has been declining for a number of years. As of 2023, there are around 125 million people living in Japan.
Tokyo is the capital city of Japan and also the largest city. Other major cities include Osaka, Nagoya, and Sapporo.
Japanese is the official language of Japan.
Japan sits along the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, so has many volcanoes and experiences many earthquakes. In 2011, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 hit Japan and created a tsunami which resulted in much devastation.
Almost three quarters of Japan's land is either forest or mountains and is difficult to be made into farms, industrial or residential areas.
Human life in Japan dates back thousands of years.
Ancient warriors of Japan were known as Samurai. They were very skilled fighters and swordsmen. Their main weapon was the Katana, a sharp sword with a slight curve to it.
Due to gases produced by power plants, Japan sometimes suffers from acid rain.
Japan is an industrialized nation, producing some of the most technologically advanced motor vehicles, electronics, and machine tools.
Japan is a world leader in robotics. Japanese engineers are known for producing a range of human-like robots such as ASIMO.
Some of the most well-known companies in the world are Japanese such as Toyota, Honda, Sony, Nintendo, Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sharp.
Japanese drivers use the left-hand side of the road.
Japanese cuisine has become popular around the world. Some well-known dishes are sushi, sashimi and tempura.
Around the year 2000, Japan moved a number of national holidays to Monday to ensure more long weekends for its hard-working people. Sounds like a good idea!
Japan is home to many different forms of martial arts. Karate, Judo, Sumo, Ninjutsu, Kendo, Jujutsu, and Aikido to name a few.
Sumo is recognized as the national sport of Japan, although the most popular spectator sport is baseball.
Japan hosted the 1964 and 2020 Summer Olympic games in Tokyo. They also hosted the 1972 and 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Sapporo and Nagano, respectively.
For more information, check out maps of Japan or take a closer look at the Japanese flag.