Japan Travel Information

Photo Japan, island nation in East Asia, located in the North Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Asian continent. Japan comprises the four main islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, in addition to numerous smaller islands. The Japanese call their country Nihon or Nippon, which means “origin of the sun.” The name arose from Japan’s position east of the great Chinese empires that held sway over Asia throughout most of its history. Japan is sometimes referred to in English as the “land of the rising sun.” Tokyo is the country’s capital and largest city.

PEOPLE

Japan's population, currently some 126 million, has experienced a phenomenal growth rate during the past 100 years as a result of scientific, industrial, and sociological changes, but this has recently slowed because of falling birth rates. High sanitary and health standards produce a life expectancy exceeding that of the United States.

HISTORY

Traditional Japanese legend maintains that Japan was founded in 600 BC by the Emperor Jimmu, a direct descendant of the sun goddess and ancestor of the present ruling imperial family. About AD 405, the Japanese court officially adopted the Chinese writing system. Together with the introduction of Buddhism in the sixth century, these two events.

ECONOMY

Japan's industrialized, free market economy is the second-largest in the world. Its economy is highly efficient and competitive in areas linked to international trade, but productivity is far lower in areas such as agriculture, distribution, and services. After achieving one of the highest economic growth rates in the world from the 1960s through the 1980s, the Japanese economy slowed dramatically in the early 1990s, when the "bubble economy" collapsed.

Important: Travel to Japan may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Japan visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: none
Capital city: Tokyo
Area: 377,915 sq km
Population: 127,368,088
Ethnic groups: Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%
Languages: Japanese
Religions: Shintoism 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, other 7.8%
Government: a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy
Chief of State: Emperor AKIHITO
Head of Government: Prime Minister Yoshihiko NODA
GDP: 4.444 trillion
GDP per captia: 34,700
Annual growth rate: 0.8%
Inflation: 0.3%
Agriculture: rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit
Major industries: among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish
Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
Trade Partners - exports: China 19.7%, US 15.5%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Thailand 4.6%
Trade Partners - imports: China 21.5%, US 8.9%, Australia 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, UAE 5%, South Korea 4.7%