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Welcome to Japan

Japan is situated in north eastern Asia between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The area of Japan is 377,873 square kilometres, nearly equivalent to Germany and Switzerland combined or slightly smaller than California. With total population of 127 million, The Japan is covered by four major islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu and surrounded by more than 4,000 smaller islands. Among the vibrant green of the mountains, amidst the fluttering cherry blossom petals, within the transition of the four seasons, people see colours. Within characters painstakingly written by brush, in Japanese-style homes fragrant of wood, in tableware that colours the dining table, people admire shapes. Japan’s colours and shapes are messages that convey spirit and culture

 

Time - Japan is 1 hour behind Eastern Standard Time (EST) in Australia.

Language - The official national language is Japanese, however, English is widely spoken. 

Entry Requirements - Passports must be valid for six months beyond the length of stay. Visas are not required for Australian passport holders for entry into Japan for stays of up to 90 days.

National Holiday in Japan

 
January 1                                New Year’s Day


2 nd Monday in January            Coming of Age Day


February 11                             National Foundation Day


March 21 (or 20)                      Vernal Equinox Day


April 29                                   Greenery Day


May 3                                      Constitution Memorial Day


May 4                                      Adjoining Holiday


May 5                                     Children’s Day


3rd Monday in July                   Maritime Day


3rd Monday in September        Respect for the Aged Day


September 23 (or 24)              Autumnal Equinox Day


2rd Monday in October             Health Sports Day


November 3                            Culture Day


November 23                          Labour Thanksgiving Day


December 23                          The Emperor’s Birthday

* When a national holiday falls in Sunday, the following Monday becomes a holiday.

 

Average Temperature in Japan Main Cities              Unit: Celsius

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Sapporo

-4.1

-3.5

0.1

6.7

12.1

16.3

20.5

21.7

17.2

10.6

4.3

-1.4

Sendai

1.5

1.7

4.5

10.1

14.9

18.3

22.1

24.1

20.1

14.4

8.9

4.0

Tokyo

5.8

6.1

8.9

14.4

18.7

21.8

25.4

27.1

23.2

17.6

12.6

7.9

Osaka

5.8

5.9

9.0

14.8

19.4

23.2

27.2

28.2

24.2

18.3

12.9

7.9

Fukuoka

6.4

6.9

9.9

14.8

19.1

22.6

26.9

27.6

23.7

18.2

13.0

8.2

Okinawa

16.6

16.6

18.0

21.3

23.8

26.6

28.5

28.1

27.2

24.5

21.4

18.0

  • Tokyo
    • Tokyo consists of the south western part of the Kanto region, the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and the place where over 12 million people live, making it one of the most populous cities in the world. When the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu established a government there in the early 17th century, the area started to develop, spreading out around his residence, Edo Castle. Most of the city was devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and then again by the bombing in the WWII, however, Tokyo was able to achieve a remarkably rapid recovery both times.

  • Mt. Fuji
    • Mt. Fuji is 3,776 meters high and is the highest mountain in Japan, situated at the border of two prefectures, Shizuoka and Yamanashi. With unrivalled magnificence and a beautiful cone shape, Mt. Fuji has often been selected as the subject of paintings and literature. It is the world-famous as a symbol of Japan.

  • Osaka
    • Osaka prefecture located in the centre of Kinki region in the Midwest Japan covers the smallest prefecture land area in Japan, but boasts of largest population and highest population density second only after the capital, Tokyo. Mountains surround three sides of the prefecture and the west faces the arc-shaped Osaka Bay. Since it is close to former capitals of Japan Kyoto and Nara, it prospered as an important point for land and water transportation as well as a commercial city.

  • Fukuoka
    • Fukuoka is situated in the northern extremity of Kyushu, facing the Sea of Suo to the northeast, the Sea of Genkai to the northwest, and the Sea of Ariake to the southwest. As the prefecture borders the Korean Peninsula to the continent of China with a strait in between, Fukuoka was the first place in Japan to be exposed to the culture of the continent. Ever since the Government-General of Kyushu, Dazaifu, was set up in the 7th century, Fukuoka has grown as the hub of the Kyushu region.

  • Kyoto
    • Kyoto became the capital of Japan in the 8th century. It flourished as the centre for Japanese politics, economy and culture for some 1,1w00 years, until the capital functions were transferred to Tokyo in the mid-19th century. There remain many temples and shrines in Kyoto that were built during this long period. Seventeen historic sites including, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle, are inscribed as World Cultural Heritage Sites.

  • Nagoya
    • Nagoya is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan. Located on the Pacific coast in the Chubu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan’s major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji. It is also the centre of Japan’s third largest metropolitan region, known as the Chukyu Metropolitan Area. As of 2000, Chukyu Metropolitan Area has 8.74 million people, of which 2.17 million live in the city of Nagoya.

  • Sapporo
    • Sapporo is the fifth-largest city in Japan by population, and the largest city on the island of Hokkaido. It is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, located in Ishikari Subprefecture, and an ordinance designated city of Japan. Sapporo is best known outside Japan for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics, the first ever held in Asia, and for the annual Yuki Matsuri in the city, internationally referred to as the Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than 2 million tourists from around the world. The city is also home to Sapporo Brewery and the famous white chocolate biscuits “White Lovers” exclusively sold in Hokkaido.

  • Kobe
    • Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyogo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshu, approximately 30 km west of Osaka. With a population of about 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto. The earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingu in AD 201. For most of its history the area was never a single political entity, even during the Tokugawa Period, when the port was controlled directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889. Its name comes from “kanbe”, an archaic title for supporters of the city’s Ikuta Shrine. Kobe became one of Japan’s 17 designated cities in 1956.

  • Hiroshima
    • Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chugoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M. on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War II. Hiroshima gained city status on April 1, 1889. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became a designated city. The city’s current mayor since April 2011 is Kazumi Matsui.

  • Saitama
    • Saitama is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, ¨ miya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance. Being in the Greater Tokyo Area and lying 15 - 30 kilometres north of central Tokyo, many of its residents commute into Tokyo.

  • Sendai
    • Sendai is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, and the largest city in the To hoku Region. In 2005, the city had a population of one million, and was one of Japan! ̄s 19 designated cities. The city was founded in 1600 by the daimyo Date Masamune, and is well known by its nickname, the City of Trees ; there are about 60 zelkova trees on Jozenji Street and Aoba Street. In the summer, the Sendai Tanabata Festival, the largest Tanabata festival in Japan, is held. In winter the trees are decorated with thousands of lights for the Pageant of Starlight, lasting through most of December. On 11 March 2011, coastal areas of the city suffered catastrophic damage from a magnitude 9.0 off shore earthquake which triggered a destructive tsunami.

  • Yokohama
    • Yokohama is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kanto region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area. Yokohama’s population of 3.6 million makes it Japan’s largest incorporated city. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan’s prominent port city following the end of Japan’s relative isolation in the mid-19th century, and is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo, and Chiba.

  • Kanazawa
    • Kanazawa is an important city in the Hokoriku Region and serves as the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. Kanazawa is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and is a City of Crafts and Folk Art, boasting many historical attractions and is renowned for traditional handicrafts and traditional performing arts. Kanazawa's main attraction is Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s top three gardens.

  • Takayama
    • Takayama is nestled high in the mountainous Hida alpine region of Japan. It has retained a traditional atmosphere unlike many other Japanese cities, especially in the beautifully preserved old town. It is the perfect location to soak in hot spring baths (onsen), after a long day of sightseeing.