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  1. 1. Study Of Japan By: Caitlin Jarvis 2009
  2. 2. 5 Main Islands of Japan Hokkaido (Frozen Tundra) Honshu Shikoku (Holy Island) Kyushu Okinawa (Exotic Coral Bar)
  3. 3. Map of Japan
  4. 4. Japan At A Glance Honshu, Japan’s largest Island, is characterized by its mountainous center and densely populated southern coastline. Most of Japan’s ancient temples, shrines, and imperial cities are on Honshu, along with the vibrant capital, Tokyo. North of Honshu lies the island of Hokkaido, an unspoiled wilderness of national parks, snowbound for most of the year. The quiet, traditional island of Shikoku lies to the south as does Kyushu island. A string of subtropical islands with Okinawa in center stretches away to the southwest.
  5. 5. Hokkaido 北海道 Hokkaido (north sea road) First settled 20,000 years ago Population just under 6 million Just 5% of Japans population reside on the island Home of the Ainu people numbering 45 to 60 thousand Sapporo is the capital and the birthplace of the Sapporo ice festival Home of Suskino, the modern day entertainment district (Is very beautiful, according to brother’s visit in 2002!) Fishing, farming, forestry and mining are the main industries Japans northern most island is on the “ring of fire” at the southern edge of the Okhotsk Sea
  6. 6. Honshu 本州 Honshu is separated into 3 regions: Northern, Central, and Western It is the seventh largest island, and the second most populous island in the world The island is roughly 1,300 km long and ranges from 50 to 230 km wide, and it is 60% of the total area of Japan. Mountainous and volcanic, Honshū has frequent earthquakes (the Great Kantō earthquake heavily damaged Tokyo in September 1923); the highest peak is the active volcano Mount Fuji at 3,776 m, which makes it the world's 7th highest island. A mountain range runs along the length of Honshū from end to end. In addition to Mt. Fuji, the Japanese Alps are features of Honshū. The economy along the northwestern coast by the Sea of Japan is largely fishing and agriculture; Niigata is noted as an important producer of rice. The Kantō and Nōbi plains produce rice and vegetables. Yamanashi is a major fruit-growing area, and Aomori is famous for its apples. Honshū is connected to the islands of Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku by tunnels or bridges
  7. 7. Honshu 本州 Northern Honshu: Sendai, ruled by the most powerful clan, once a thriving castle town, is now the regions largest city Having to adapt to rapid development, the region has kept much of its unspoiled natural beauty: rugged mountains, virgin forests, deep lakes and splendid coastlines Known for its exquisite rice and its smooth sake, northern Japan is the countries main rice producer Over 1,200 years ago , the formidable Buddhist priest Shodo Shonin, on his way to Mount Nantai, crossed the Daiya River and founded the first temple at Nikko. Centuries later, Nikko was a renowned Buddhist-Shinto religious center Tourists attractions include but are not limited to Shrines and Temples of Nikko and Dewa Sanzan
  8. 8. Honshu 本州 Central Honshu: Lying between Tokyo and Kyoto, central Honshu epitomizes the contrasts of Japan today. It’s densely populated coastal belt includes the 2nd and 4th largest city, while the interior contains it’s highest and wildest mountains. Between these extremes much of the region is relatively accessible, yet remote enough to have kept traditional rural lifestyles, architecture, and festivals. The mountains of central Honshu not only contain Mount Fuji, but also the North and South Japan Alps. With many peaks over 3,000 meters, they offer hiking, skiing, and hot springs
  9. 9. Honshu 本州 Notable Cities in Central Honshu
  10. 10. Notable Cities in Central Honshu 本州 Narita: A quiet little town known for it’s Narita-san Shinsho-ji an esoteric Shingon-sect temple founded in 940. Tokyo: Central Tokyo: Situated to the north and west of the Sumida river, this area has been at the heart of Tokyo since the first Shogun, Ieyasu, built his castle and capitol where the Imperial Palace still stands today. Destroyed by a series of disasters, including the Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the Allied Bombing in WWII, this area has revitalized itself several times over. Notable Sites in Central Tokyo: Akihabara Electronics Ginza Imperial Palace Jinbocho Booksellers Kabuki-za Theater Nihonbashi Kanda Myojin Shrine Tokyo Tower Shiba Park Tsukiji Fish Market
  11. 11. Notable Cities in Central Honshu 本州 Northern Tokyo: The northern districts of Ueno and Asakusa contain what remains of Tokyo’s old Shitamachi(low city). Once the heart and soul of EDO culture, Shitamachi became the subject of countless ukiyo-e woodblock prints. The last great battle in Japan took place in Ueno in 1868 when the Emperors Meiji’s forces defeated the Tokugawa shogunate Notable Sites in Northern Tokyo: Senso-ji Temple Ueno Park Inaricho District and Kappabashi- dori Yanaka District Shitamachi Museum Tokyo National Museum Ameyoko Market
  12. 12. Notable Cities in Central Honshu 本州 Western Tokyo: Shinjuku and Shibuya, the dual centers of Western Tokyo, 3 stops apart on the Yamonote line, started to boom only after the 1923 earthquake. This part of the city is new Tokyo- all vitality and energy, fast-paced, constantly changing, and challenging the more traditional pleasures of Central and Northern Tokyo Notable Sites in Western Tokyo: Akasaka Shinjuku Harajuku Minami-Aoyama Roppongi Meiji Shrine Sword Museum Yoyogi Park Shinjuku station
  13. 13. Notable Cities in Central Honshu 本州 Yokohama: 2nd largest city in Japan Japans largest port Sights include Minato Mirai 21- redeveloped docks Land Mark Tower Built by U.S architect Hugh Stubbins An astounding 69 floors, 269m It houses the worlds fastest elevator Yokohama Bay Bridge 860m Yokohama Ramen museum Kirin beer village Kamakura: A seaside town of temples and wooded hills Japan’s capital from 1185-1333 19 Shinto shrines, 65 Buddhists temples Hase-dera temple Simple and elegant It houses 11-faced kannon, bosatsu of mercy 33 incarnations of kannon 1421 images of Daikokuten (God of Wealth)
  14. 14. Notable Cities in Central Honshu 本州 Mount Fuji and the 5 lakes: Hachiman shrines dedicated to the God of War Mount Fuji: 3,776m; dormant since 1707; first erupting 8-10,000 years ago Lakes Motosu, Shoji, Kawaguchi, Sai, and Yamanaka Nagano: Venue for the 1998 Winter Olympics Main skiing area Known for Zenki-ji a non-sect temple that draws up to 1 million people a year. Built in 670, it enshrines what is thought to be Japan’s oldest buddhist image, an Amida triad brought from Korea in the 6th century Kyoto: To truly understand Japan you must spend time in the backstreets and environs of it’s old imperial capital Founded in 794 as Heian-kyo (capital of peace and tranquility) 10 year period of civil-strife known as the Onin War (1467-1477) during the Edo period (1600-1868) balance of power shifted from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto eventually lost it’s capital status in 1868
  15. 15. Notable Cities in Central Honshu 本州 Kyoto continued: Rebuilt in 1644, Toji’s magnificent 5-story pagoda at 55m is Japan’s tallest wooden structure: A fragment of the Buddha’s bone is enshrined at the base of the central pillar; Level5- Sky, Level4- Air-Wind, Level3- Wood, Level2- Water, Level1- Earth Headquarters of Shingon Buddhism Kyoto National Museum Established in 1895 by the Imperial Household agency Known for its collection of pictoral works and Heian period sculptures Nijo Castle: Created by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyaso (1543-1616). Known for its ornate interiors and so-called nightingale floors, the floors were designed to make bird-like squeaking sounds when walked upon as a warning of possible intruders Kano painters One of Kyoto’s best loved spots, Philosophers Walk follows a cherry-tree- lined canal meandering along the scenic Higashi-yama (Eastern Mountains) and connects with roads leading to the precincts of Nanzen-ji. The route is so called because a Kyoto university philosopher, professor, Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945), used it for his daily constitutional
  16. 16. Honshu 本州 Western Honshu: The cultural heartland of the country, Western Honshu is where Japan’s first imperial courts held sway, in an area called Yamato. A rich fusion of literature, imagination, and religious mysticism permeates many tourists attractions, while Osaka and other teeming cities are vibrant places constantly reinventing them selves.
  17. 17. Shikoku 四国 The Inland Sea formed a natural barrier for centuries, isolating Japan’s 4th largest island from much of the forces of population growth and westernization. Still relatively off the tourist track, despite the construction of 3 bridge systems across the Inland Sea, Shikoku offers a nostalgic glimpse of fishing and farming villages, and of rice paddies set against a backdrop of forested hills, castles, and temples In 1183, the War between Taira and Minamoto clans for dominance of Japan spilled over into the Inland Sea and Shikoku. Some of the defeated Taira went into hiding in a gorge in central Shikoku, where many of their descendants still live today. Farmland and mountains continue to dominate the landscape, but agriculture employs only 3% of the island. Shikoku’s coastline remains relatively unspoiled. The capes that jut into the Pacific, Muroto to the east and Ashizuri to the west, offer panoramic vistas such as are rarely seen in Japan.
  18. 18. Kojiki 古事記 Late Paleolithic sites and kofun (tumuli) dating from the 3rd century AD are evidence of early human activity on Shikoku. The Dogo Onsen (spa) in Matsuyama is referred to in the Kojiki, Japan’s oldest chronicle, written in 712. Despite such ancient sites, the islands most famous figure is Kukai, who was born into a poor aristrocratic Shikoku family in 774. This Buddhist priest, who has been called the Father of Japanese Culture, visited 88 of the island’s temples in a pilgrimage that has been imitated by others for thousands of years
  19. 19. The Inland Sea & Takamatsu 高松市 Japan’s most beautiful body of water, is not landlocked, as it’s name suggests, but seems almost with its serene waters and over 3,000 pine- studded islands. Bridges, local ferries, and cruise boats provide access to the 750 or so inhabited islands, among the most visited are Awaji, the largest island, Setoda, Omi, Shodo, a beautiful green island that, with its olive and orange groves, and sparkling, wine-dark seas, seems to belong in the Mediterranean than the Orient The capital of Kanagawa, prefecture on the Inland Sea, Takamatsu is the main hub between Shikoku and the out-side world. Nonetheless, it maintains a local charm with its neighborhood shops and historic landmarks. The town expanded after Ikoma Chikamasa erected Takamatsu Castle in 1588, the remains can still be seen today.
  20. 20. Kyūshū 九州 Kyushu is the third-largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. The island is mountainous, and Japan's most active volcano, Mt Aso at 1,591 m, is on Kyūshū. There are many other signs of tectonic activity, including numerous areas of hot springs. Fukuoka, the largest city on Kyushu, is a major business center with a large international airport as well as one of the five stock exchanges in Japan. Nagasaki has one of Japan’s oldest international ports, which was the only gateway to the outside world during the Edo period, from the mid 16th to the mid 18th centuries. Nagasaki is also famous for being hit by one of the atom bombs at the end of WWII. Major agricultural products are rice, tea, tobacco, sweet potatoes, and soy; silk is also widely produced. The island is also noted for various types of porcelain. Heavy industry is concentrated in the north and includes chemicals and metal processing.
  21. 21. Okinawa 沖縄県 Okinawa Prefecture is one of Japan's southern prefectures, and consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 1,000 km long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū (the southwesternmost of Japan's main four islands) to Taiwan Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of the largest and most populous island, Okinawa Island, which is approximately half-way between Kyūshū and Taiwan. Following the Battle of Okinawa and the end of World War II in 1945, Okinawa was under United States administration for 27 years. During this time the USAF established numerous military bases on the Ryukyu islands. In 1972, the U.S. government returned the islands to Japanese administration. The US has maintained a large military presence in Okinawa, in fact 18% of the main island is occupied by U.S. military bases. The island is largely composed of coral rock, and rainwater filtering through that coral has given the island many caves, which played an important role in the Battle of Okinawa. , an extensive limestone cave in the southern part of Okinawa's main island, is a popular tourist attraction. Okinawa is said to have the most beautiful beaches in all of Japan and normally enjoys temperatures above 20°C for most of the year. Okinawa and the many islands that make up the prefecture boast some of the most abundant coral reefs found in the world. Rare blue corals are found off of Ishigaki and Miyako islands. Sea turtles return yearly to the southern islands of Okinawa to lay their eggs. The summer months carry warnings to swimmers regarding poisonous jellyfish and other dangerous sea creatures Okinawa is a major producer of sugar cane, pineapple, papaya, and other tropical fruit, and the Southeast Botanical Gardens represent tropical plant species.
  22. 22. Okinawa 沖縄県 continued: Having historically been a separate nation, Okinawan language and culture differ considerably from that of mainland Japan. There remain numerous Ryukyuan languages which are more-or-less incomprehensible to Japanese speakers. These languages are in decline as the Mainland Japanese is being used by the younger generation. Okinawa also has its own religious beliefs, generally characterized by ancestor worship and the respecting of relationships between the living, the dead, and the gods and spirits of the natural world. Okinawa's most famous cultural export is karate, probably a product of the close ties with and influence of China on Okinawan culture. The people of Okinawa maintain a strong tradition of pottery, textiles, and glass making. Okinawan culture features the eisa dance, a traditional drumming dance. Okinawans eat low-fat, low-salt foods, such as fish, tofu, and seaweed. Okinawans are known for their longevity. Individuals live longer on this Japanese island than anywhere in the world. Five times as many Okinawans live to be 100 as in the rest of Japan, and the Japanese are the longest lived nationality in the world. Okinawa has many remains of a unique type of castle or fortress called Gusuku. These are believed to be the predecessors of Japan's castles. Various baseball teams hold training during the winter in Okinawa as it is the warmest prefecture of Japan with no snow and higher temperatures than other prefectures.
  23. 23. Weather 気象 & Climate 気候 The most remarkable thing about the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, and its capital city Sapporo, is the contrast in temperatures between winter and summer. Sapporo, site of the 1972 Winter Olympics, is a favourite ski destination with temperatures plummeting well below freezing in December and January - the lowest ever recorded was in January 1945, when the mercury dropped to -11ºF (-24ºC). Summer time, however, sees daytime highs of above 86ºF (30ºC), although evenings and mornings remain cool and pleasant. HonShu: The climate is temperate, but has marked difference between the eastern or southern (Pacific or Inland Sea coast) side, and the western or northern (Sea of Japan coast) side. The city of Tokyo has four distinct seasons, similar to New York. The summer months (June, July and August) are hot and sticky while winter can be freezing. Tokyo is best visited in spring or autumn. Shikoku: The region of Shikoku mainly has a mild climate with frequent typhoons and heavy summer rains. The highest rainfall in the area can reach up to 266 cm in a year. In general, the climate is of a humid subtropical type. Kyushu: The climate is slightly warmer and more tropical than Honshu, and the southern and eastern coasts are regularly battered by typhoons each year. Okinawa: The climate on Okinawa has very high humidity, usually above 60%. The average summer temperature is 89 degrees, while the winter norm is 58 degrees. Rainy season is April-June, typhoon season is May to Nov. The temperature range varies from 52-90 degrees with an annual precipitation of 84 inches. If there are severe depletions of water level due to lack of rain fall Okinawa sometimes goes into mandatory water-rationing. The severity of this is determined on the length of the dry spell.
  24. 24. Currency 通貨 The currency is the Japanese Yen (JPY), which is equal to 100 sen. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels and stores, but most Japanese operate with cash. Cash and travellers cheques can be exchanged in banks, post offices and currency exchange bureaux. Banks are usually open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm. Travellers cheques offer the best exchange rate and are best taken in US dollars. ATMs do not accept all credit and debit cards; only the international ATMs in post offices, airports and some major stores. The yen is available in 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 & 500 coins, as well as 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10,000 bills. (many vending and ticket machines will not accept new 2000 yen bills.)
  25. 25. Popular Japanese Phrases 言 語 English Japanese Hello Kon ni chi wa Goodbye Sayoo na ra Please One-gai-shi-masu Thank you Arigatoo (gozaimasu) Yes Hai No Lie My name is... Watashi no namae wa... How much...? Ikura desuka...? Where is...? Wa doko desuka...? Do you speak English? Anata wa eigo o hanashimasu ka? No, I don’t understand Lie, wakarimasen One, two, three, four, five Ichi, ni, san, shi, go I need a doctor Byouin ni ikitai
  26. 26. Government 行政 The current Japanese constitution was promulgated in the year 1946 during the occupation by the Allied powers: Legislature: The Japanese parliament is called the Diet. It consists of the House of Representatives (480 members) and the House of Councillors (242 members). The members of the Diet are elected by the Japanese people. Executive: The cabinet is headed by the Prime Minister. The cabinet further consists of the ministers which are appointed by the prime minister and are usually members of the Diet. The prime minister is elected by the Diet. Judiciary: The highest court is the Supreme Court. Other courts are district courts, high courts, family courts, and summary courts. Judges are appointed by the cabinet. Elections: The minimum voting age is 20 years. Women received the right to vote in the new constitution. Elections for the House of Representatives are carried out every four years, and half of the House of Councillors is elected every three years. Beside the national elections there are prefectural and municipal elections. The emperor does not have any effective power but is only the symbol of the state.
  27. 27. Political Parties of Japan 政党 Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (Jiminto) Democratic Party (Minshuto) Komei Party (Komeito) Japanese Communist Party (Kyosanto)
  28. 28. Summary 大体 All in all Japan has something for all varieties of travelers. From the 88-temple pilgrimage starting and stopping near Naruto,The Inland Sea Japan’s most beautiful body of water, Peace Memorial Park, the ShoGun castles, to the modern urban bustling city centers, Japan has something to offer for everyone. Japan has 120 million people yet is roughly the size of California. The country is made up of 47 prefectures (called ken). Tokyo Metropolitan prefecture itself consists of 23 wards (ku), 27 cities (shi), one county (gun) and four island districts (shi-cho). Japan is a living paradox and a land of contrasts. You walk through central Tokyo and will see a briefcase toting businesswoman off to a power lunch alongside a woman in an elegant kimono headed for tea ceremony. Pop culture abounds, but the traditional arts also remain. Modernization and commercialism have been wholeheartedly embraced, but in a uniquely Japanese way that could not be replicated elsewhere in the world. Japan is also arguably the most homogenous society in the world, however if you live in one of the commercial centers it's easy to stay immersed in the international community, western restaurants and gaijin watering holes.
  29. 29. Summary 大体 continued: Foreigners in Japan often comment on the pinpoint efficiency of the transportation system and often remark on how such a crowded place runs so harmoniously and that it would never work that well in their home country. Japan's natural environment is just as varied as it's social landscape. The country itself is 78% mountainous, yet most of the population is concentrated in the major metropolitan areas. Most visitors that come Japan fall into two categories: business travelers that mainly stay in the metropolitan centers or tourists who've come to see the unique cultural areas such as Kyoto, Nara and Kamakura. Surprisingly, Japan has the most diverse climate and natural environment in Asia. Head north and ski or snowboard world-class resorts in Hokkaido. The central mountainous area features the Northern, Central and Southern Alps and was the host to the 1998 winter Olympics. Western Japan has moderate temperatures, while southern Kyushu area is more tropical. The country is an island nation, so beach lovers can easily escape to a number of sandy destinations, Okinawa being the most popular.
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  35. 35. Study Of Japan by Caitlin Jarvis May 18th 2009 Sources & Bibliography: wikipedia.com; gojapan.com; worldfacts.ca/japan; Japan Tourism & City/Island Homepages about.COM/Japan Other sources: Rira Shinoda & my brother Moose