- Capital: Tokyo
- Official Language: Japanese
- Currency: Japanese yen (JPY)
The Floating Gate in Miyajima. About an hour long train ...
Japan is known historically as “the Land of the Rising Sun,” as symbolized by its flag. It has an intriguing social and political history, with Chinese influences found in the prevalent Buddhism, government structure, and written language. As the country evolved, its emperor system was compromised by the reign of Shoguns until Emperor Meiji was able to regain control in the late 1800s. Since then, Japan has prospered, adopted democracy, and developed into one of the world's leading powers.
Japan consists of four main islands—Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu—and thousands of smaller islands. Throughout the islands, all four seasons are enjoyed with warm, humid summers and mild winters. The western side of the island is usually colder than the eastern (Pacific) side. On Hokkaido Island and in northern Honshu Island winters can be quite cold, whereas in the south a more tropical climate prevails.