Difference between revisions of "Category:Japan"

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=== Natural Disasters ===
 
=== Natural Disasters ===
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* Earthquakes
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* Tsunami (associated with Earthquakes)
  
 
=== Crime ===
 
=== Crime ===

Revision as of 15:29, 29 November 2006

Flag of Japan Japan
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Ski Season Dec - April
Ski Areas Hokkaido

Honshuu
Tohoku Region
Chubu Region
Chugoku Region

Capital Tokyo
35°41′N 139°46′E
Largest city Tokyo1
Official language(s) Japanese
Area 377,835 km²
Population  
 - 2005 est. 128,085,000 (10th)
 - Density 337/km² (30th)
873/sq mi 
Currency Yen (¥)
(JPYConvert
Time zone JST (UTC+9)
Calling code +81
Overview 

At over 377,873 square kilometers, Japan is the 62nd largest country by area. It encompasses over 3,000 islands, the largest of which are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Most of Japan's islands are mountainous, and many are volcanic, including the highest peak, Mount Fuji. It ranks 10th in the world by population, with nearly 128 million people. Greater Tokyo, with over 30 million residents, is the largest metropolitan area in the world.

Climate

Hokkaido is the northern most major island and has long cold winters and cool summers. The central highlands of Tohoku, Chubu and Chugoku more of an inland climate with large temperature extremes between day and night. Most of Japan is described as temperate.

Snow Areas

There are around 650 lifted snow "resorts" in Japan. Some are tiny one lift hills, while there are many large areas with modern lift systems. Along the middle of Japan run mountain ranges that span most of the 2000km length of the country. Snow resorts are dotted along the two largest islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. Honshu is higher, while Hokkaido is further north. Between Japan and the Asian continent is the Sea of Japan. When storms move off the Asian mainland and hit the Sea of Japan, they pick up moisture and dump huge amounts of snow on the northwestward facing mountains. Some areas receive in excess of 15m of snow a year.

Getting There

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Visas and Documentation

Australia do not require a visa if staying in Japan less than 90 days.

Airports

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Customs and Quarantine

Major Religions

84% observe both Shinto and Buddhist, other 16%

Cultural Info

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National Holidays

2nd Monday in October is Health and Sports day.

Transport

Flying is a good way to travel from the main islands to any of the small islands, and is often not much more expensive than going by rail. JAL offers some bizarre discounts eg for three or more women travelling together, or for a husband and wife if their combined age totals 88 or more so make some enquiries, you never know! Train is the way to travel in Japan. The trains are fast, frequent, clean, comfortable and often very expensive.

Driving is OK once you get out of Tokyo and major roads have English signage.

Food and Drink

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Technology and Networks

Amazingly Japan is far behind the west in the use of computer technology. Many large businesses still remain paper based. Simple conveniences we take for granted like easily accessable ATM's, ability to use credit cards and internet access can all be far more challenging in Japan. And if you ever have to deal with the Japanese bureaucracy then you will really learn what life was like before the computer age with mountains of paperwork for even the smallest things. If bringing a laptop to Japan make sure you have a wireless card and it should not be too difficult to find a free wireless network as many businesses haven't worked out that they can password protect their network.

Mobiles

Japanese do have a love affair with their mobile phones though and the technology in Japan is far advanced. The networks used in Japan are an older 2G network called PDC which is not compatible with GSM, the system used in Australia and most other places in the world. Newer 3G networks are widely used, and some of these are compatible with 3G WCDMA networks used in Australia and other places. Check with your 3G provider to see if you can use global roaming in Japan.

If you want to buy a pre-paid while in Japan it is actually sort of against the law but it is also easy to do. You need a place of residence (motel) and your passport as ID. Places like SoftBank and Shibuya will sell them to you. Alternatively you can rent a phone from somewhere like rentafonejapan.com and they come with English instructions.

Taxes

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Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted but it is very common for people to carry wads of money and it is relatively safe to do so. The majority of ATMs do not accept foreign-issued credit cards. Look out for the Cirrus or Plus logos or check with your card company before departure. Post Offices are the best place to find ATM's that accept foreign cards.

Tipping

Although service is generally of a very high quality, tipping and bargaining are not common in Japan and best avoided except in discount electronics houses where you can often get up to 10% off if you ask politely. To show appreciation it is more common to give a small gift.

Leaving a tip can sometimes result in people chasing you down the street to give you your money back. The courtesy of a smile and a sincere "arrigato gozaimous" is greatly appreciated.

Health and Safety

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Emergency Numbers

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Medical Centers

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Natural Disasters

  • Earthquakes
  • Tsunami (associated with Earthquakes)

Crime

Japan has a relatively very low crime rate. Obviously large cities like Tokyo will have increased incidences of crime but in many rural areas it is almost non existent. Travellers to Japan should be aware that the alchohol limit for driving is 0.0 and that all passengers in the car will be held equally responsible as the driver if caught drink driving. This offence will see you kicked out of the country with little chance to ever return.

Resources

Subcategories

This category has the following 4 subcategories, out of 4 total.