Japan Guide

Japan Guide

Japan – country information

Country name Japan
Official name Japan
Capital Tokyo
Continent Asia
Area 377,873 km2
Population 127,180,000 (2014)
The highest mountains Fuji 3776 m
The largest lakes Biwa 695 km2
State system pluralistic constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Tokyo (capital city) 11,950,000, Yokohama 3,325,000, Osaka 2,640,000
Official language Japanese
Ethnicity/National Composition Japanese 99.2%, Korean 0.6%, other 0.2%
Religious affiliation Shinto 39.5%, Buddhist 38.3%, Christian 3.8%, other 18.4%
Currency 1 yen = 100 sen
gross domestic product (GDP) US$35,855 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 81.25 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 2.2%, mining 0.3%, industry 35.5%, construction 8.7%, services 53.3%

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Japan is an island nation on the edge of the continental shelf off the east coast of Asia. It is separated from mainland South Korea by the Korea Strait, about 180 km wide. Japan’s relative geographic and cultural isolation (the empire cut off contact with other cultures for two hundred years until the mid-19th century) contributed to the development of a remarkably unified society.

From the very beginning, Japanese civilization has faced the destructive forces of the natural elements: earthquakes, volcanoes, destructive tsunamis and typhoons. Settlement, as well as agriculture and industry, was concentrated in the coastal plains due to the inaccessible mountains and dense forests. Despite the mentioned adverse conditions and the lack of raw materials, in the 20th century Japan changed from a feudal state to one of the most dynamic industrial countries in the world.

Country data

Location: East Asia

Time zone: CET + 8 (during summer time: CET + 7)

Total area: 377,915 km²

Land area: 364,485 km²

Water area: 13,430 km²

Length of the state border: 0 km

Coastline: 29,751 km

Capital: Tokyo

Prefectures: 47
Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gumma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi

Electric current: 110 V / 50, 60 Hz

Telephone code: 00 81 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Fujiyama 3,776 m


Population: approx. 127 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: -0.1% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 336

Life expectancy: 81 (male), 88 (female)

Official language: Japanese


  • 71% Buddhists
  • 2% Christians
  • 27% other


The temperate climate in the north turns into a tropical climate to the south. With temperatures sometimes over 30 ° C, the summer months are very warm. Typhoons occur occasionally.

Heavy and long-lasting snowfalls often occur in the north in the winter months. During the summer months there is a lot of rain in the east of the country. In the western regions, however, there is more rain in winter.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Japanese Yen (JPY)

Classification: 1 yen = 100 sen

ATMs: Available in many cities.

International credit cards: These are accepted by many hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. A declaration is required from an amount equivalent to 1 million yen.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • 3 bottles of 0.75 liters of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 20 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

There is an import ban for:

  • Firearms and ammunition of all kinds
  • Drugs of all kinds
  • obscene (pornographic) newspapers and magazines
  • flesh
  • plants

Travel advice

Warnings are given against traveling to the red zone around the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Travel to the yellow and green zones is still not recommended.

After the tsunami of March 11, 2011, the Japanese government designated a 20 km exclusion zone (red zone) around the power plant and evacuated the area over a large area.

Behavioral advice

Foreigners staying in Japan must always have their passport with them. Failure to comply could result in arrest for several days and a fine.

Japan is the country where most of the earthquakes occur (around 1500 per year). Please observe the relevant information from the local authorities.


The island nation in East Asia is often referred to as the -land of the rising sun-.

The empire, consisting of around 3,900 islands, has risen to become a major economic power in recent years.

Industries: chemistry, electrical engineering, vehicle construction, fishing, mechanical engineering, textiles

Natural resources: fish

Land use:

  • Usable land: 11%
  • Grain cultivation: 1%
  • Pasture area: 2%
  • Forests: 67%
  • other: 19%


Many thousands of different plant species grow in the mild, humid climate. Ornamental plants make up most of it.

You can see these in many variations in particularly lavishly landscaped gardens and green spaces.

The cherry blossom festival, to which thousands of Japanese pilgrims also make a pilgrimage, is particularly interesting for tourists every year. The different bonsai cultures are particularly well known outside of Japan.


The fauna of Japan has declined sharply due to the high level of industrialization. Mammals can hardly be found on land.

However, there are still a few hundred species of birds and smaller reptiles here.

Many different and rare animal species live in the waters around Japan. Due to the severe overfishing, some of these are threatened with extinction.

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