About Japan


Practical Info - About Japan


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

    Shown below are the four major islands, their locations and sizes.
    Hokkaido (northern island)
    83,000 Square Kilometres
    Honshu (main island)
    231,000 Square Kilometres
    Shikoku (smallest island)
    19,000 Square Kilometres
    Kyushu (southern island)
    42,000 Square Kilometres

    Japan's topographical features include coastlines with varied scenery, towering mountains, which are very often volcanic and twisted valleys that invite visitors into the mysterious world of nature.

    There is only one official language spoken in Japan, which is of course Japanese. However, many Japanese are able to understand English to a certain extent since English is the foreign language that everyone must learn as part of compulsory education.

    Even if you don't understand Japanese, you can still certainly enjoy Japan. But if you know a few everyday Japanese phrases then it will make your trip even more memorable. A few words make a big difference.

    Useful Japanese Phrases

    Japanese > English

     Ohayou gozaimasu
     Good morning
     Kon'nichiwa  Good afternoon
     Kon'banwa  Good evening
     Oyasumi nasai
     Good night
     Sayounara  Good bye
     Sumimasen  Excuse me
     Wakarimasen  I don't understand
     Arigatou  Thank you
     Hai  Yes
     Iie  No


    Japan's population is over 127 million. Most Japanese reside in densely populated urban areas. Japan's capital city is Tokyo. The population of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area including the city, some of its suburbs and the surrounding area is approximately 13 million.

    All of Japan is in the same time zone, 9 hours ahead of G.M.T. No Daylight Saving Time is practiced in Japan. Shown below is a list of time differences between Japan and other major international cities.
    Sao Paulo
     - 12 hrs
     Toronto  - 14 hrs
     New York
     - 14 hrs
     Chicago  - 15 hrs
     Mexico City
     - 15 hrs
     Los Angeles
     - 17 hrs

     Asia & Oceania
     Sydney  + 1 hr
     Seoul     0
     Hong Kong
     - 1 hr
     Beijing  - 1 hr
     Singapore  -1 hr
     Bangkok  - 2 hrs
     Jakarta - 2 hrs

     Moscow  - 6 hrs
     Frankfurt  - 8 hrs
     Geneva  - 8 hrs
     Paris  - 8 hrs
     London  - 9 hrs

JNTO Partners