Tourist guide to go to Japan with useful travel information regarding the territory and climate, best times for a holiday, necessary documents and how to get there.
Japan in short
- Capital: Tokyo
- Area in sq km: 372,839
- Population: 127,966,710 (2006)
- Religion: Shintoism and Buddhism
Where is it
Japan is an island state of eastern Asia, located in the Pacific Northwest Ocean, off the coast of Russia and Korea, from which the Sea of Japan separates it. Japan comprises four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu (occupies two thirds of the country's surface) Shikoku and Kyushu, as well as numerous smaller islands, including the island of Sado, the island of Awaji, the Amakusa islands and the Ryu Kyu archipelago. Japan is bordered by the Sea of Okhotsk to the north, the Sea of Japan to the west, the East China Sea to the south west and the Pacific Ocean to the south and east.
The territory of Japan is mainly mountainous and most of its reliefs are of volcanic origin. The plains are scarce and alluvial. The most famous volcano is Fuji (3776) which is located on the island of Hounshu. The imposing phenomena of sinking and fracture of the earth's crust that characterized the geological formation of these islands, explain the frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that occur in this country.
Given the narrow and elongated conformation of the Japanese islands, with the mountains close to the sea, the rivers are short and torrential. The longest river is the Shinanu on the island of Honshu. On the island of Hokkaido the most important river is the Ishikari, while the Yoshino River is the largest on the island of Shikoku. Among the lakes the largest is Biwa. Due to the volcanic nature of the area there are numerous thermal springs.
Japan has a very varied climate. The northern part of the country, Hokkaido and Honshu, in winter is subject to the influence of cold air currents of Siberian origin, which absorbing humidity on the Sea of Japan cause abundant rainfall, including snow on the western slopes of Honshu, while for orographic factors, on the east coast, rainfall is scarce in winter. In the central southern part of Honshu, in the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, the winter temperature is not rigid, and it is mild on the island of Okinawa.
In late spring, especially in south-western Japan, precipitation occurs due to the clash of damp and cold currents, with masses of tropical air. Summer is hot and humid all over the territory; typhoons arrive in September causing heavy rainfall on the southern coast of the archipelago.
The population is made up almost exclusively of Japanese and is concentrated mainly in the cities.
In Japan it is necessary to move the clock hands 8 hours ahead of Italy, (7 hours ahead when daylight saving time is in force in Italy).
The official language is Japanese.
Until the second half of the nineteenth century, Japan was a country of peasants and feudal lords, but within a few decades it came out of isolation and became an industrial and military power; despite the collapse immediately after the Second World War, it saw a remarkable economic growth in the decades following the war (especially 1970/80), up to the economic crisis of the late 90's, which today seems to be overcome thanks to a plan to reorganize the system productive.
Japan, although poor in raw materials (except fishing), has a highly developed industry and exports high quality products from the electronics, automobile, motorcycles and shipbuilding sectors. The tertiary sector (banks, insurance etc.) and the fishing industry have developed. As for agriculture, the arable land is scarce and intensely exploited, rice is the main crop.Recommended readings
- Tokyo (Japan): what to see in the capital
- Osaka (Japan): what to see
- Nagoya (Japan): what to see
- Kyoto (Japan): what to see
- Japan: useful information
When to go
The best times to visit Japan are spring (April / May) and autumn (October / November).
To enter Japan you need a passport with a residual validity of at least three months upon entering the country and be in possession of the return flight ticket. For tourism reasons, a visa is not required up to 90 days of stay. A visa is required for a stay longer than 90 days, which can be requested from the Japanese Embassy in Rome or from the Japanese Consulate in Milan. Foreign citizens who arrive in Japan must provide their biometric data (fingerprints and face photos) upon disembarkation.Excluded are: children under 16 years of age, diplomats, American servicemen in service in the country, Koreans and Chinese who have long resided in the country and guests from the Japanese government.
- The international prefix for calling from Italy to Japan is 0081, followed by the prefix of the city without the 0 and the telephone number.
- To call from Japan to Italy the prefix is 0039 preceded by the access code of the telephone company that we intend to use, since the Japanese telephone system is managed by various companies.
The most used prefixes are: KDDI 001, C&V IDC 0061, Japan Telecom 0041, NTT 0033.
As for European-made cell phones, they don't work in Japan and vice versa as our mobile phone system is different.
The electric current in Japan is 100 Volts respectively at 50 Hz in the eastern part (Tokyo, Kawasaki, Sapporo, Yokohoma and Sendai) and at 60 Hz in the western part of the country (Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Hiroshima). The electrical outlets are type A and B. A transformer and a power adapter are required.
The Japanese currency is the Yen. Credit cards are accepted in all the main hotels and establishments in the country.
How to get
Alitalia has direct flights from Rome and Milan to Tokyo and Rome to Osaka. The most important airports are Tokyo's Narita Airport (welcomes almost all international flights to Japan), Osaka's Kansai Airport and Nagoya's Central Japan Airport. Various airlines operate connecting flights between Italy and Japan with a stopover: Swiss International Airlines (stopover in Zurich), Air France (stopover in Paris), British Airways (stopover in London), Lufthansa (stopover in Frankfurt), Klm (stopover in Amsterdam), Austrian (stopover in Vienna), Finnair (stopover in Helsinki), Aeroflot (stopover in Moscow).