Japan Information

Tokyo the capital of Japan

Introduction

Japan, or Nihon as it's name is in Japanese, is a island nation located in east asia. Consisting mainly of four main islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku) and over 6,000 smaller islands of which over 430 are populated. Having the world's tenth-largest population with 126 million, making the capital Tokyo with surrounding prefectures the largest metropolitan area in the world.

Transportation

The Shinkansen, Japan's high speed train

By train

Since Japan is a island the only way to get into the country is by plane or ferry. The infrastructure is well developed with a large network of railways connecting Japan from Hokkaido in the north down to the Kyushu in the south. Okinawa, being separated from the main islands is only accessible by air and ferry traffic.

Visitors planning on traveling through the country are advised to get the Japan Rail Pass. The pass allows for unlimited travel on JR lines, including the Shinkansen bullet train. The Japan Rail Pass is only avaiable to tourists and can only be bought before coming to Japan. Please contact your local travel agency, or check out the Japan Rail Pass official help page for more information.

Japan Airlines plane taking off

By air

The largest and dominant carriers are All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), with both consisting of several airlines and serving over 50 national airports. Recent years have also seen an introduction of several low cost domestic airlines, lowering prices on domestic flights making it a more comparable alternative to the Shinkansen. Do bear in mind though that most airports are located outside mayor towns, often making the Shinkansen the most convenient way to travel domestically in Japan.

Example comparison from Tokyo to Hiroshima
PriceTravel time
Shinkansen18,000 Yen4-5 hours
Airplane30,000 Yen90 min + 50 min (from airport to city)
Map of Japan
  • Capital: Tokyo
  • Language: Japanese
  • Area: 377,944 km2
  • Population: 126,434,964
  • Time zone: 9 hours ahead of UTC
  • Currency: Yen