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History & Politics of Japan
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of China, Korea, and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea in the south. The characters that make up Japan's name literally mean "Sun's Origin", thus Japan is also sometimes known as "The Land of the Rising Sun", a name that comes from the country's eastward position relative to China. Its capital is Tokyo.
At over 377,872 square kilometres (145,898 sq mi), Japan is the 62nd largest country by area. It encompasses over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Most of Japan's islands are mountainous, and many are volcanic, including the highest peak, Mount Fuji. It has the world's 10th largest population, with nearly 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, with over 30 million residents, is the largest metropolitan area in the world.
Historical & Tourist Attractions in Japan
The Japanese archipelago stretches over 3000km (1900 miles) from the temperate, northernmost island of Hokkaido to the subtropical islands of Okinawa in the south. Both Tokyo and Kyoto are located on Honshu, the largest and economically and culturally most important of the four major islands. Shikoku and Kyushu lie to the southwest. Much of the archipelago is mountainous and only a small percentage of land is available for agriculture and development. Thus large areas remain forested while towns and cities tend to be densely populated. The coastline is indented with numerous bays, inlets and small
islands. Narita, location of Narita Tokyo Airport, is an attractive old town with a large and impressive pilgrimage temple, Narita-san.
Northern Honshu, known as Tohoku, offers wonderful natural scenery spread over three national parks plus numerous lesser-known cultural and historical treasures.
Kyoto, Nara & Osaka located in the Kansai area of central Honshu, these three famous cities are all major tourist destinations, each having contributed distinctive elements towards Japanese history and culture.