Information about Japan
Japan is an archipelago located in an arc around the Sea of Japan in the very east of Asia and consists of 3,000 large and small islands, including 4 largest ones: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, with a territory of 377 thousand km2. Being in the volcanic Pacific belt, the country is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and throughout its territory there are hot natural water sources.
In a country surrounded on all sides by the sea, the picturesque indented coast creates many natural bays. Japan is divided into 8 regions: (starting from the north) Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu-Okinawa, and 47 administrative prefectures. The climate of the country, stretched along the latitude by 25 *, varies greatly. In Hokkaido, in the north, the average temperature is below 10°C for more than half of the year and above 25°C for more than half of the year in Okinawa. Basically, the country is located in the temperate zone with favorable climatic conditions and is rich in greenery.
Pronounced seasons come about every three months, coinciding with the division adopted in Russia into spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each season has its advantages, but spring and autumn are considered optimal for travel.
According to Computerannals, the population is 125 million people (1998). The relief of the country is mountainous (mountains occupy more than 80% of the country’s territory), so the population density on the plains is high. A particularly high population density is observed on the industrially developed Pacific coast, in the areas of Kanto (whose center is Tokyo), Kinki (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe) and Chubu Tokai (Nagoya).
As a result of the Meiji revolution in 1868, the 300-year-old power of the feudal Tokugawa shogunate was overthrown and a constitutional monarchy was established. After the defeat in the Second World War in 1945, Japan turned into a country of parliamentary democracy. Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors, the government is carried out by the Cabinet of Ministers and the Prime Minister elected from among its members. The emperor is the symbol of the nation and does not interfere in politics.
After the war, production in Japan developed at a fairly good pace, GDP in 1996 amounted to 503 trillion. yen. The world is well aware of the high quality of Japanese products, especially automobiles, high-tech products, electrical goods, precision instruments, etc. Agriculture and fisheries, using rich natural resources, are flourishing.
Transport and communications are very well developed. JR’s Shinkan-sen superexpress train is widely known with 7 high-speed lines leaving Tokyo: Tokaido, Sanyo, Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu, Nagano. The traveler can use the dense network of railways that runs throughout the country, consisting, in particular of the JR company, not only of superexpresses, but also of expresses, semi-expresses and trains with all stops. In addition to JR, major cities have private rail and metro lines linking these centers with their suburbs. There are also many buses and taxis in the cities.
The main cities are connected with Tokyo, Osaka and others by a large number of daily flights. The main international airports are New Tokyo Airport (Narita) and Kansai Airport (Osaka), which are connected to America, Europe and Asia.
The telephone network is well developed, and it is very easy to get through to any point in the country or abroad.
The culture and daily lifestyle of the Japanese people are Europeanized, but at the same time, traditional culture, customs and lifestyle are largely preserved in Japan. Every day, the Japanese dress in European clothes, and kimonos are now worn for weddings and other special occasions. In everyday food, leaving priority for Japanese cuisine, they enjoy a variety of European and Asian cuisines. In the dwelling, a combination of Japanese and European styles is common – there are, as a rule, rooms where they sit on the floor on a tatami mat and a living room with a table and chairs.
After the Meiji Revolution of 1868, Japan actively joined European and American knowledge, culture, art, sports, and made efforts to preserve its traditional national cultural heritage. Historical buildings – feudal castles, temples, gardens – can be seen everywhere, starting from Tokyo. In particular, it is worth visiting Kyoto and Nara at least once, where numerous temples and gardens have been preserved.
Spectacular arts are represented by well-known “no”, “kabuki”, “bunraku” theaters, traditional dance, “ikebana” flower arrangement, “chano-yu” tea ceremony. National ancient sports are “sumo” (Japanese version of power wrestling), “judo”, “kendo” (Japanese version of fencing), “aikido” and others, but baseball and football are the most popular now.
Straw Sculpture Festival
Every year, after the harvest of rice, a festival of straw sculptures is held in Japan. The most significant events take place in Kagawa and Niigata prefectures. Straw is used to make animals, machinery, and mythical creatures.