Japan – the Land of the Rising Sun
Japan offers the traveler a fascinating history, delicious taste experiences and brand new technology.
An ancient and at the same time state-of-the-art island state
Japan is often called the Land of the Rising Sun, and a lot of symbolism can be found in the nickname. Japan is located in the east, where the sun rises. The Japanese character of the country name refers to the roots of the sun. Japan is one of the emerging technology countries. Whatever meaning is given to the nickname, one thing is certain: pondering the secrets of Japan does not end with the name.
According to countryaah, Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean on the southeastern edge of Asia, consisting of four main islands and 6,848 smaller islands and archipelagos. The country’s capital, Tokyo, is located in the central part of the main island, Honshu. The other largest islands are Hokkaido Island in the north, Kyushu in the west and Shikoku Island in the south of Hosnhu.
Japan is not much larger than Finland, but its population is many times larger. Japan is home to nearly 130 million people – some in modern and crowded big cities, some in lush countryside.
Japan is a very diverse and multi-faceted country. The island nation can accommodate ancient temples and kimonos dressed in kimono as well as futuristic cities, and even businessmen dressed as bullies.
The most famous travel destinations are Tokyo and Kyoto. The capital Tokyo can easily miss itself among the entertainment. Tokyo is offset by the beautiful and more serene Kyoto. Other popular destinations in Japan include Osaka, Nagoya and Nara.
The history of Japan is best explored in the former capital, Kyoto, which has many spectacular temples, among other things. Pictured is the golden Kinkakuji Temple.
Variable climate and five seasons
Short for JA by abbreviationfinder, Japan is a country with a really varied climate. There are four seasons in Japan, but the early summer rainy season can also be considered the fifth season. More variety is brought by the country’s long shape and varied terrain.
Japan belongs to a temperate zone and a zone of humid monsoon climate, but the weather conditions in the country vary from a climate similar to northern Finland to the subtropics of the south.
In summer, the wind blowing from the Pacific Ocean brings heat and moisture to Japan. The rainy season lasts about a month and takes place in the Tokyo region until June. The rainy season begins in the very south of Japan in early May, while in the north it does not begin until mid-June. In July-August, Japan is hot and humid with temperatures approaching 30 degrees. In western Japan, temperatures can rise above 35 degrees in July-August.
In late summer and early fall, tropical low pressures give birth to typhoons that bring heavy rains to Japan. Otherwise, autumn is a good time to travel to the country, as temperatures stay around 20 degrees for a long time.
In winter, temperatures drop to near zero on the east coast, while on the west coast of the country, there is often decent snowfall with a cold stream of air blowing from Siberia. Indeed, winters in the western and northern parts of Japan are often heavy snow. In southern Japan, the air stays warm even in winter.
The best travel times are spring and autumn. In the spring, the country’s climate is often warm and dry, and even in the fall, temperatures remain at pleasant readings. In spring, the flowering season for cherry blossoms is usually March-April.
Major cities, history and culture
Japan offers the tourist both a hectic city break and a relaxing cultural holiday. The mountainous landscape also offers things to do for active holidaymakers interested in hiking.
Tokyo is a great example of Japan’s state-of-the-art side. Tokyo has plenty to do and the city’s streets and public transportation are at times full to the brim. Crowds are common in Tokyo, where you can prepare for queuing, especially at theme parks and popular attractions. However, there is plenty to do for every taste. Osaka also offers good opportunities for city breaks and nightlife. In both, it is important to get to know the neighborhoods in advance, as cities are large in area.
The calmer side of Japan can be admired in the old Japanese capitals of cherry blossoms in Kyoto and Nara. Kyoto is one of Japan’s most fascinating cultural sites, with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The smaller town of Nara is located just off Kyoto and hides several temples and other cultural attractions.
Japan also has a lot to offer for sports travelers. Active holidaymakers can hike in the country’s mountainous landscapes or spend a winter skiing holiday at the ski resorts in northern Japan. You can also climb Mount Fuji in summer.
The gourmet will find a unique cuisine in Japan that offers other tastes in addition to the world-famous sushi. Fish is used in a variety of ways in Japanese cuisine, and different types of noodles are also popular. Vegetarianism is still a fairly new phenomenon in Japan.
Polite behaviors in Japan
Japanese culture differs from Finnish in many respects. For example, Finns have a little to get used to in the overflowing courtesy of the Japanese, as sophisticated manners are a matter of course in both shopping malls and fine restaurants.
Japan is both an expensive and reasonably affordable tourist destination. Prices depend on what and where to buy. For example, fruit is expensive, but eating out is cheap compared to Finland. Tokyo has often been chosen as the most expensive city in the world, but overall, a tourist can make ends meet in Japan at a reasonable travel cost. Prices are affordable right outside major shopping streets and malls.
Knowledge of the Japanese language is an advantage, but especially in large cities, English is also doing well. It is also worth noting for the tourist that the longest holiday period in Japan, Golden Week, is celebrated in early May. During the weekend, some accommodations and attractions may be more congested than usual.
Security and natural disasters
Japan is a reasonably safe tourist destination. There is little crime against tourists in the country and the biggest threat to tourists is natural disasters.
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in Japan, located in a seismically active area. An earthquake could also cause a tsunami.
In summer and autumn, there are also typhoons in Japan, where heavy rains sometimes cause floods and landslides. It is good for the tourist to follow the local weather reports.