Monday, 9 April 2012


If you decide to take a vacation in Japan it will be definite an unforgettable experience. Japan, is also called Nippon, which translated, means "The Land of the Rising Sun".

It is in the north-west Pacific Ocean, on the southern side it is 175km off the coast of Asia, in the north it is 300km from Russian Siberia,

Japan consists of 3000 islands of which four are the most important ones.

The biggest of the four is Honshu and lies in the centre. There are 80 per cent of the people living on the island and has as well as most of the big cities. Tokyo is one of them and with a population of over eight million people. It is one of the largest cities in the world.
Opposite from Honshu is Shikoku. This island is the main producer of rice. To the south lies the island of Kyushu where the first settlers came to in pre-historic times. In the north of Honshu is Hokkaido which is the coldest and least populated of the four islands.

Japan's climate is very extreme. In the north the winters are cold, snowy and the summers short. In the south it has a hot and humid climate. Rainfall is high with an almost continuously fall for six weeks during June and July.

People along the coastline can experience typhoons coming from the Pacific Ocean during the end of summer and beginning of autumn. They can cause widespread damage.
Japan is also known for earthquakes. A very devastating earthquake was just experienced in the last months plus a tsunami. Previous earthquakes in 1923 almost destroyed Tokyo and Yokohama with a death toll of 130,000 people.

In 1948 the city of Fukui in the west of Honshu was almost demolished and it cost 3,500 lives.
Most of Japan is mountainous and the rest is coastline. The mountains are steep with narrow valleys between them. The highest mountain is Mt. Fuji with 3776m and is on the west of Tokyo. This is an extinct volcano but there are still 60 active volcanoes in the country.
The country has few plains which are around the coast. Most of the people live there. The mountains rise too steeply for agriculture and are only useful for growing trees.
The mountains are covered with pines, Japanese cypress, spruce, beeches, oaks, cedars, firs, and bamboo.

Tropical palms and evergreens are growing in the lowlands. Japan is famous for the flowering blossoms of cherry, plum and peach, in spring. In summer, red and white lotus blossoms and in autumn the glory of the countryside is the chrysanthemums which is the national flower of Japan.
                                       MOUNT  FUJI  WITH  CHERRY  BLOSSOM  TREES.
It was Japan introducing flower arrangement. Native wisteria, irises, azalea, cherry trees and many others have been spread throughout the world.
The four main islands count 450 different bird species. However, big wild animals are rare or non-existent. There still exist foxes, badgers, otters and Japanese mink.

Even though the agricultural land is only one fifth of the whole country the farmers manage to grow most of the fruit and vegetable for their needs. However, they import large amounts of grain to feed the animals they raise. Japan is known for the quality of their beef.
The people eat mainly rice and fish. Their are self sufficient and export the remaining amount of fish.
Japan was the second largest economy till the huge earthquake plus tsunami struck. At the moment they are struggling but Japanese people are resilient, strong and very industrial.
Their great success came from producing goods of good quality but lower priced than the rest of the world. Loyalty counts for their achievements and is a virtue most regarded by Japanese people. Their devotion is almost religiously. The companies pay their employees back with job security and a number of benefits unheard in the industrial world.
Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji ended the rule of the shoguns in 1867. He also moved Japan into the modern era and kept traditional culture.
Soon after that Japan adopted European and American ideas and built up an industry and armed forces. They tried to establish an Asian empire which caused problems with the world, especially the USA.
1941 Japan bombed the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. From there they conquered most of the South-East Asia.
Soon American bombers struck back and cause terrible damage in Japan. Finally they dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki and one on Hiroshima. 100,000 people were killed immediately and thousands died from injuries and radiation later on. After that Japan surrendered.
The USA forced Japan into a democratic constitution. It took the power from the emperor and renounced the use of military force. The industry recovered within seven years and Japan challenged the world economical
                     THE GOLDEN TEMPLE  --  KYOTO


  1. Those are lovely photos. Have you been there recently?

    1. Checkout my recent trip to Japan

  2. Thank you your comment, Bill Kasman, but sadly I have never been to Japan. I am very pleased you enjoyed my photos.

  3. Thank you for your comment and I apologise for the late reply. I certainly will.