Destination Guide | Tokyo Japan

General Information

Geographic Location

Japan is situated in northeastern Asia in between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The area of Japan is 377,873 square kilometers, the equivalent of Germany and Switzerland combined or slightly smaller than California. Japan consists of four major islands and is surrounded by more than 4,000 smaller islands.

Area

Total: 377,835 sq km
Land: 374,744 sq km
Water: 3,091 sq km

Climate

The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate but varies greatly from north to south. Japan's geographical features divide it into six principal climatic zones namely Hokkaidō, The Sea of Japan, the central highlands, the Seto inland sea, the Pacific Ocean and the southwest islands.

The rainy season (Baiu/Tsuyu season) begins in early May in Okinawa. The rain front works its way north until it dissipates in northern Japan before reaching Hokkaidō in late July. In the most area of Honshū, the rainy season begins before the middle of June and lasts for approximately six weeks. In late summer and early autumn, typhoons often bring heavy rainfall.

Japan is home to nine forest eco-systems reflecting the climate and geography of the islands. They range from subtropical broadleaf forests in the Ryūkyū and Bonin islands, to temperate broadleaf and mixed forests in mild climatic regions of the main islands, to temperate coniferous forests in cold, winter regions of the northern islands.

Average Daily Temperature & Four Seasons in Tokyo

Sakaura

In Spring, the temperatures are mild. Summer brings high temperatures, humidity, the rainy season (mid-June), and typhoons season (late July through September). Typhoons usually form in the Philippine Sea and hit the southern part of Japan, including Okinawa, from July to September, with an average of 20 occurrences a year. The fall/autumn is a little warmer than spring. The clear skies and sunny days make October a great time to travel around Japan to take in all the fall harvest festivals. The first snow usually comes in late November.


Average Temperature Spring Summer Autumn Winter
March April May June July August September October November December January February


Maximum
12
54
17
63
22
72
24
75
28
82
30
86
26
79
21
70
16
61
11
52
8
46
9
48


Minimum
2
36
8
46
12
54
17
62
21
70
22
72
19
66
13
55
6
43
1
34
-2
36
-1
30

Weather Information

Weather information online is also available at a number of sites:

Japan Meteorological Agency

NOAA Internet Weather Souses

Weather Underground

Population

Japan's population is over 128 million. Most people reside in densely populated urban areas. Japan's capital city is Tokyo. The population of the Tokyo metropolitan area and its surrounds is approximately 13 million people.

Major cities of Japan and their approximate populations

City Population
Tokyo 13,159,000
Yokohama 3,689,000
Osaka 2,665,000
Nagoya 2,263,000
Sapporo 1,913,000
Kobe 1,544,000
Fukuoka 1,463,000
Sendai 1,045,000

Reference: Population Census, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, disclosed on 2011/10/26

Ethnic Groups

Japanese 99%, others 1%

Religions

Observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)

Languages

There is only one official language spoken in Japan, which is of course Japanese. However, many Japanese speak some English as English is the foreign language that everyone learns as part of compulsory education.

However, some Japanese will take you a long way. Here are some useful phrases:

Useful Japanese Phrases

Japanese English
Ohayou gozaimasu Good morning
Kon'nichiwa Good afternoon
Kon'banwa Good evening
Oyasumi nasai Good night
Sayōnara Good-bye
Sumimasen Excuse me
Gomen nasai I am sorry
Wakarimasen I don't understand
Arigatō Thank you
Hai Yes
Iie No
Massugu Straight
Migi Right
Hidari Left
Ushiro Back

Safety

Japan is the one of the safest countries in the world. Reported incidents of crimes are extremely low. It is not a main concern to tourists or residents.

If you are a victim of a crime, please dial 110, the emergency number for the police. You can also report crimes at one of the many small koban (police boxes), located throughout the city.

Literacy Rate

99.8% of total population
Definition: People over 15 who can read and write

Natural Hazards

see Earthquake and Typhoon in Emergency Procedures