Japan: population and cities
Countryaah website, Japan has around 128 million people.
Around 99% of the country's residents are Japanese.
The largest minority are the approximately 650,000 Koreans.
The only indigenous minority are the 50,000 people of the Ainu people.
The origin of the Ainu remains a mystery to this day, as does the origin of the
Japanese is the only official language and is rich in dialects.
There are also special social languages that differ in their vocabulary.
The dialect spoken in the Tokyo area is considered the standard language.
It is common for the Japanese to be members of several religious
The largest religious communities are: Shintoism, called the
"way of the gods", it is a religion that developed in Japan from the worship of
natural gods and has a strong ancestor cult.
This religion was the state religion until 1945. The Tenno is the head of
religion. The Buddhism, based on the worship of the ideas of Buddha, is divided
as well as Shintoism in no less than 200 sects and faiths.
The best known is the Soka Gakkai, which advocates national goals and ideas. The
roughly one million Christians in Japan do not play a significant role.
The capital of Japan is Tokyo (Tokyo), with a population of about 9 million.
Tokyo is not only the capital but also the most populous city as well as the
cultural, financial and economic center of the country. The city is also the
seat of the Tennos (Emperor).
Together with Yokohama and Kawasaki, Tokyo forms the world's largest
metropolitan area - with around 36 million residents.Other
- Yokohama with around 3.3 million residents
- Osaka with around 2.6 million residents
- Nagoya with around 2.2 million residents
- Sapporo with around 1.8 million residents
- Kyoto with around 1.5 million residents
- Hiroshima with around 1 million residents
- Kobe with around 1.5 million residents
Japan: geography, map
Defined by DigoPaul, Japan consists of around 3,900 mostly small uninhabited islands in the
Pacific off the east coast of Asia. The four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu -
they form the core area of the country. The closest neighbors to the Sea of
Japan are Russia, China and South Korea. Overall, the country covers an area
of 377,855 km² - with around 127 million residents.
The capital of the country is Tokyo on the island of Honshu. It is also worth
mentioning Kyoto, which was the seat of the imperial court from 794 to 1868 and
thus the capital of the country. Nowadays, the city is the administrative seat
of Kyoto Prefecture. 14 temples and Shinto shrines in Kyoto were added to the
list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994, along with the neighboring cities
of Uji and Ōtsu.
Japan is also known as the land of the rising sun. After the Second World
War, the country developed into one of the leading industrial nations in the
world. For European visitors in particular, the incredible density of people is
confusing and takes some getting used to.
Islands that make up the country
Japan is made up of 3,900 islands. The largest are:
- Honshu with an area of 227,414 km²,
- Hokkaido with an area of 77,900 km²,
- Shikoku with an area of 18,256 km²,
- Kyushu with an area of 36,554 km²
- Okinawa with an area of 1,185 km².
Many of the smaller islands are often uninhabited.
Area and land use
Of the area of the land area are:
Around 68% of the country is forested.
- Meadow/pasture land
2% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
- Arable land and fields
around 12% of the country are used as arable land - especially for growing
About 80% of Japan's area is also taken up by mountain ranges.
Ceremonial rice planting
The importance of rice for the people in Japan is illustrated by the following
tradition, the current Tenno Naruhito (born 1960) first planted rice in May 2020
in the garden of his palace, which was harvested in autumn and then was
sacrificed to his ancestors, including the mythical sun goddess Amaterasu, the
most important Kami (deity) of Shinto. She personifies the sun and light and is
primarily considered to be the founder of the Japanese imperial family. Naruhito
is the eldest son and successor of Tennos Akihito (born 1933). Its predecessor,
in turn, was the godlike Tenno Hirohito (1901-1989), who had signed Japan's
document of surrender in 1945, but was left in office by the Americans.
National borders, length of coast
As an island nation, Japan has no common national border with any other
Since the peace agreement of San Francisco in 1948 there has been a conflict
with Russia (or the former USSR) over the Kuril Islands north of Hokkaido. These
islands are claimed by Japan and are occupied by Russia. The USSR therefore did
not join the 1948 Agreement. Meanwhile, there are also conflicts with China over
small, partially uninhabited islands that have been built up by the Chinese as
military bases. The length of the coast at sea is around 9,390 km.
Longitude and latitude
Japan extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and
geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):
|Δφ = from around 45 ° 33 'to 20 ° 25' north latitude
Δλ = from 153 ° 59 'to 122 ° 56' east longitude
You can find detailed information on this subject under: Geographical
longitude and latitude.
For Japan, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e.
the time (without daylight saving time). A minus sign means that it is earlier
there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:
The time in Japan is known as Japan Standard Time (JST).
More detailed explanations of the time can be found under: Time zones, time.
Highest sun in Tokyo
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, lies at a northern latitude of around φ = 36
°. If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer will start in Tokyo,
June 21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun around noon, according to
Eq. 1 (see position of the sun).
36 ° = (90 ° - h) + 23.5 °
At 77.5 °, the sun in Tokyo has the highest level of the entire year above
the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).
There are 13 mountains in Japan that are higher than 3,000 m, while another
mountain is just below that with a height of 2,999 m - it is the Tsurugi-dake in
the Hida Mountains on the main island of Honshu. The highest and most beautiful
mountain in the country, the 3,776.2 m high volcano Fuji San (Fudschijama) on
the island of Honshū, on which the capital Tokyo is located, is known
worldwide. The Eurasian Plate, the Pacific Plate and the Philippines Plate
collide at Mount Fuji. It is a stratovolcano (stratovolcanoes) in the Pacific
Ring of Fire and is considered active with a low risk of eruption. In Shintuism,
the mountain is considered sacred. The first ascent probably took place around
the year 700, while the first ascent by a foreigner in 1860 by the Briton
Rutherford Alcock. (! 809-1897) took place. Other high mountains are the 3. 193
m high Kita-dake and the 3,190 m high Hotaka-dake, both of which are also on
Honshū. Other high mountains that are not on Honshu:
- On Hokkaido, the Daisetsuzan is part of the Kuril
volcano chain at an altitude of 2,290 m.
- On Shikoku, Ishizushijama is the highest mountain in a
volcanic chain with a height of 1,981 m.
- On Kyushu lies the Kujusan with a height of 1,788 m,
the highest point on the island.
The Japanese mountains are often of volcanic origin, with some volcanoes still
operating. Eruptions and earthquakes are not uncommon. Japan therefore has one
of the most effective earthquake and tsunami warning information systems in the
world. Nevertheless, there was a quake under the sea floor - around 170
kilometers east of the city of Sendai on March 11, 2011 with a magnitude of 7.3
and in the same region of the sea another quake with a magnitude of 9.0 - it was
the strongest known quake in Japan. The quake had led to a tsunami with a height
of up to 20 m. The protective dams of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima in
the northeast of the island of Honshu were not able to cope with this tidal
wave. The consequences were core meltdowns in reactor units 1, 2 and 3 with
considerable radiation in the near and far surroundings and also in the sea.
The Shinano has a length of 367 km, making it the longest river in the country.
It has its source at Kobu-Shigatake Mountain on the island of Honshu and flows
into the Sea of Japan.
The Tone has a length of 322 km and is the second longest river in Japan after
the Shinano. It rises on Mount Ōminakami on the island of Honshu and flows into
The Ishikari is located on Hokkaidō and has a length of around 268 km - it is
the third longest river in Japan and the longest on Hokkaidō. It rises on the
1,967 m high Ishikari Mountain - hence the name - and flows into the Sea of
The Shimanto has a length of around 195 km, making it the longest river on the
Japanese island of Shikoku and is considered the most beautiful river in
Japan. Not least because, unlike other Japanese rivers, it is left in its
natural state and flows into the Pacific in the Tosa Bay near Shimanto
municipality without being interrupted by artificial reservoirs. Its source is
located in the prefecture of Kōchi on Mount Irazu and flows into it
The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes.
The largest lake is the Biwakago with an area of about 675 km².
Other larger lakes are:
- the Hashiro with an area of around 302 km²
- the Kasumigata with an area of around 150 km²
- the Inawashiroko with an area of around 105 km²
Pacific, Sea of Japan
Japan borders with a length of about 9,390 km to the Sea of Japan.
The Pacific Ocean is also known as the Pacific, Pacific, or Great Ocean. It has
a gigantic area of 166.24 million km² (not including secondary seas) and
therefore covers around 35% of the entire surface of the earth. The ocean, which
is larger than all continents combined, goes at its deepest point in the Mariana
Trench down to 11,034 meters below sea level, making it not only the largest but
also the deepest ocean in the world. It stretches between the Arctic, North,
Central and South America as well as the Antarctic, Australia, Oceania and
Asia. The ocean goes at its deepest point in the Mariana Trench - east of the
Philippines - down to 11,034 meters below sea level
On January 23, 1960, the Swiss deep-sea researcher Jacques Piccard (1922-2008)
reached the seabed in the Mariana Trench together with the US naval lieutenant
Don Walsh with his deep-sea boat "Trieste" after 4 hours and 48 minutes of
diving. It should be mentioned that the diving depth of nuclear submarines is
approx. 600 m, elephant seals up to approx. 1,500 m and blue whales up to
approx. 600 m deep. Its mean salt content is 34.5 g per 1 kg (= about 1 liter)
of ocean water, i.e. 3.45%.
Sea of Japan The Sea of
Japan is a marginal sea of the Pacific and lies between the Japanese islands
and the mainland (China, Korea and Russia). It covers an area of 1,048,950 km²
- with a maximum Tife of 3,745 m. In addition to Japan, there are also China,
Russia and South and North Korea on the Sea of Japan.
The connections to the Pacific are the Korea Strait in the south, the Tsugaru
Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido (Japan) and the La Pérouse Strait between the
islands of Hokkaido (Japan) and Sakhalin (Russia).
The Sea of Okhotk The Sea of
Okhosk is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of around
1.53 million. km². It has a maximum depth of about 3,375 m. It borders in the
south on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokaido, in the west on Sakhalin,
which belongs to Russia, and in the east on the Kuril Islands, which belongs to
East China Sea
The East China Sea is also a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It covers an
area of about 1.25 million km². The sea lies between mainland China in the
west, South Korea in the north, the southwestern parts of Japan in the east -
the Kyūshū region including the Ryūkyū Islands, which also belong to Japan, and
Taiwan in the south. In the north it is separated from the Sea of Japan via
the Korea Strait and in the south from the South China Sea via the Formosa
Strait. The deepest point is in the Okinawa Trench. At a depth of around 2,720
The Philippine Sea is also a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It covers an
area of around 5 million km². In the north it borders on the islands of
Ryūkyū, Kyūshū, Honshū and Shikoku, which belong to Japan, in the south by Palau
and in the east it is bounded by the Marianas of the open Pacific Ocean 1,325 km
long Philippinengraben, which is one of the deepest places in the world along
with the Mariana Trench. The deep spot was discovered in 1951 by the Danish
research ship Galathea and was named Galatheatief.
It is located approximately at a north latitude of 10 ° 10 'and at an east
longitude of 126 ° 38'.