Quick facts about Japan


Territorial boundaries: North-West: Sea of Japan; South-East: Pacific Ocean                                              

Area: 377 915 km2 – Archipelago of 6000 islands

Most important waterways: Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan

Capital: Tokyo

Important cities: Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Saporo, Hiroshima, Nagoya

Highest point: Fujiyama (Mount Fuji) (3 776 meters)

Lowest point: Hachiro-gata (-4 meters)

Time zone: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Environment – current issues: air pollution from power plant emissions results in acid rain (nuclear); acidification of lakes and reservoirs degrading water quality and threatening aquatic life; Japan is one of the largest consumers of fish and tropical timber, contributing to the depletion of these resources in Asia and elsewhere

Climate: varies from tropical in south to cool temperate in north

Tourist seasons: Best time to travel: April-May (end of March – Cherry blossom) & October-November

Political regime: a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy

Population: 127 061 000 (2014); which a decrease of more than 280 000 people since 2013

Language: Japanese (not really any English)

Ethnic minorities: Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6%

Note:up to 230,000 Brazilians of Japanese origin migrated to Japan in the 1990s to work in industries; some have returned to Brazil (2004)

Religions: Shintoism 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, other 7.8%

Note: Total adherents exceeds 100% because many people belong to both Shintoism and Buddhism (2005)

Main sources of revenue: among world’s largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods

Currency: Japanese Yen: 1$CAD = 90 Japanese Yen – xe.com

Gastronomy: Various and one of the finest in Asia; Sushi’s represent only a small part of Japanese cuisine; Examples : SOBA noodles – hot pot SHABU SHABU – KUSHIAGE chicken, pork, seafood and vegetables skewers, OKONOMIYAKI pancake, TEMPURA seafood or vegetables, hot pot SUKIYAKI, YU DO-FU tofu (expensive delicacy in Kyoto), famous NIGIRI-ZUSHI (sushi)

Accessibility from Montreal: Main airports: Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Saporo, Hiroshima, Nagoya; Most of the big enough city has their small airport for domestic flights (or international flights from China , Taiwan, etc..

Main airlines: A wide range of flights is offered; Between 1200-1300$; Prioritize a Asian or Middle-Eastern airline: Japan (JL), Korean (KE), Quatar (QR), Singapore (SQ), Emirates (EK), Cathay Pacific (CX), Eva (BR), (+ or – China CI); European airlines : TK, AF, BA, LX, KL AY; North American airlines: AC, UA, DL, NH

The culture of travelling by train…

Entry requirements: Valid passport

Tourist Visa: Free at the arrival for a maximum stay of 90 days

Business Visa: Required

Safety issues: One of the safest countries!

Crime: Crime against foreigners is very low.

Transportation: Traffic drives on the left. Travel by motor vehicle is challenging. Roads are narrow, signs are in Japanese and city traffic is congested; Travel by taxi can be difficult; have your destination written in Japanese.

Health issues: Tap water is good to drink; No special precaution to take about food; No tropical deseases

Vaccines to consider:

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Influenza (flu) 

Good medication to bring for:

Antibiotic to treat diarrhea

Antibiotic to treat salmonella


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