Japan is an island country located in East Asia in the northwest
The Pacific Ocean.
It borders the Sea of Japan to the west and extends from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
The reason for naming the country
The name for Japan in Japanese is written using the kanji and pronounced Nippon or Nihon.
Before it was adopted in the early 8th century, the country was known in China as Wa (倭) and in Japan by the endonym Yamato. The characters 日本 mean "sun origin", in reference to Japan's relatively eastern location.
The name Japan is based on the Chinese pronunciation and was introduced to European languages through early trade. In the 13th century, Marco Polo recorded the early Mandarin or Wu Chinese pronunciation of the characters 日本國 as Cipangu.
The old Malay name for Japan, Japang or Japun, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect and encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia, who brought the word to Europe in the early 16th century. The first version of the name in English appears in a book published in 1577, which spelled the name as Giapan in a translation of a 1565 Portuguese letter.
The Flag of Japan was adopted on February 27, 1870.
The last change to the current Japanese flag design was on August 13, 1999.
The flag is known as the "flag of sun".
The flag consists of a white background with a red circle in the middle
of the flag.
The white color is a symbol of the integrity and honesty of the people,
the red sun disc is a representation of Amaterasu, the sun goddess.
Shintoism is a unique indigenous religion from Japan.
Many Japanese people practice both Shinto and Buddhism; they can either identify with both religions or describe themselves as non-religious or spiritual. Taoism and Confucianism from China have also influenced Japanese beliefs and customs
Other minority religions include Christians, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, and Bahá'í Faith.
Japanese is the official language in Japan, 99% of the population speaks Japanese as their first language.
Japanese writing uses kanji (Chinese characters) and two sets of kana (syllabaries based on cursive script and radical of kanji), as well as the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals Public and private schools generally require students to take Japanese language classes as well as English language courses.
Besides Japanese, the Ryukyuan languages (Amami, Kunigami, Okinawan, Miyako, Yaeyama, Yonaguni), also part of the Japonic language family, are spoken in the Ryukyu Islands chain.
The Okinawan Japanese dialect is also spoken in the region.
Japanese yen (¥) (JPY)
Democratic, federal parliamentary republic.
The climate of Japan is cold in the north (where snow and ice dominate in winter), temperate in the central regions, and almost tropical on the small southern islands.
Summer, which begins in mid-June, is hot and muggy in much of the country, except in Hokkaido and the northern part of Honshu, where the temperatures are typically more pleasant. August is the hottest month on the main islands, while on the small southern islands there is no difference between July and August. In August, the daily average temperature is around 22 °C in Hokkaido, 24.5 °C in northern Honshu, and 27 °C in Tokyo.
In most of Japan, summer is the rainiest season of the year.
In autumn, September is still hot and humid, at least in the center and south of the country, and in Tokyo it is the rainiest month of the year. September is the rainiest month in Sapporo as well, but by this time of the year summer is already over. In contrast, the southern island of Okinawa is still in midsummer in September.
Cold, heat, rains and typhoons characterize the climate of the various areas of Japan, so it is difficult to find a good period for the whole country to visit.
But, the best time to visit Japan is probably spring, from April to early June.
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