Japan has 4 main islands; Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku as well as many smaller islands, 6,852 islands in total. It is also very mountainous, with about 75% of the country being covered by mountains. Japan’s population is over 127 million, making it the 10th largest population in the world. Remember it is a small country, fitting into Australia 21 times, and 75% mountainous so it is very high density living.
Tokyo, the capital, and surrounding areas, called the ‘Greater Tokyo Area’ is the largest metropolitan area in the world with over 30 million people living there. Tokyo City itself has nearly 9 million residents. New South Wales is the sister state of Tokyo.
The next 9 cities by population after Tokyo are:
2. Yokohama is less than 1 hour from Tokyo by train. It is a bustling metropolis with its own unique character. Yokohama Port is the sister port of Brisbane.
3. Osaka is located in the Kansai region. It has a large international airport and the reputation for the best take-away food in Japan. Osaka’s sister city is Melbourne.
4. Nagoya, a very modern city, has been rebuilt after WW2 and has Sydney as its sister city.
5. Kobe, near Osaka, has a large port and is the sister city of Brisbane.
6. Kyoto, the ancient capital, has beautiful shrines and temples, delicious food and is a wonderful blend of both ancient and modern.
7. Fukuoka, located on the island of Kyushu, is said to be the oldest city in Japan and has been ranked as the 14th in the ‘World’s Most Livable City’ competition.
8. Kawasaki is near Yokohama and within 1 hour of Tokyo by train. Kawasaki’s twin city is Wollongong in New South Wales.
9. Saitama, located 20-30 km from Tokyo, is very picturesque and a convenient place to live while still being able to commute to Tokyo for work.
10. Hiroshima is remembered for the Atomic Bomb dropped in 1945. The city was rebuilt after the war and although very modern, it has retained a peaceful and friendly atmosphere.
Japan is a very unique nation and rich in tradition. Samurai warriors, Shogun, Ninja warriors, Princes and Princesses, Emperors, Geisha Girls and many more all played a part in establishing Japanese culture as we know it today.
Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana form the modern day writing system. More about these is in the ‘Kanji Mania’ section. These beautiful alphabets look exotic and will captivate you, leading you on a lifelong learning adventure.
A traditional Japanese book starts at the back, meaning the back cover is actually the front cover. The sentences start at the top right hand corner of the page and the page is read from right to left. Some more recent books are the same as ours. Personally I love the traditional books.
Traditional Japanese food is very healthy, consisting of lots of seafood (some even raw, called ‘Sashimi’) and also beef, chicken, pork among other meat. Rice is eaten often, many people still eat rice as part of every meal. It is cooked in a special rice cooker called a Suihanki and then mostly eaten with chopsticks.
Some unusual wild animals are also found in their various habitats in Japan.
- Bears, the Ussuri Brown Bear and the Asian Black Bear
- Red fox
- Raccoon dog
- Leopard cat
- Wild Boar
- Japanese Macaque, the world’s most northerly monkey
- Finless Porpoise
- Stellar’s Sea Lion
With so many fascinating, interesting and unusual places, how could anyone not be intrigued by this country. Though small in size, it is so rich in culture and customs and shows a stunning blend of the ancient and modern.
Explore this site to learn more about Japan. There is not every possible fact about Japan on here, however there are many aspects that I find captivating and engaging about this country which I fell in love with more than 30 years ago while sitting in Yr 8 Japanese lessons.
Walton-sensei to Delfonte-sensei – どうも ありがとう ございました Doumo arigatou gozaimashita.