Japan Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Japan: population and cities


According to Countryaah website, Japan has around 128 million people.

Ethnic groups

Around 99% of the country’s residents are Japanese.

The largest minority are the approximately 650,000 Koreans.

The only indigenous minority are the 50,000 people of the Ainu people.

The origin of the Ainu remains a mystery to this day, as does the origin of the Japanese themselves.

National languages

Japanese is the only official language and is rich in dialects.

There are also special social languages that differ in their vocabulary.

The dialect spoken in the Tokyo area is considered the standard language.

Religious affiliations

It is common for the Japanese to be members of several religious communities.

The largest religious communities are: Shintoism, called the “way of the gods”, it is a religion that developed in Japan from the worship of natural gods and has a strong ancestor cult.

This religion was the state religion until 1945. The Tenno is the head of religion. The Buddhism, based on the worship of the ideas of Buddha, is divided as well as Shintoism in no less than 200 sects and faiths.

The best known is the Soka Gakkai, which advocates national goals and ideas. The roughly one million Christians in Japan do not play a significant role.

Cities, Tokyo

The capital of Japan is Tokyo (Tokyo), with a population of about 9 million. According to Abbreviation Finder, JPN stands for Japan in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Tokyo is not only the capital but also the most populous city as well as the cultural, financial and economic center of the country. The city is also the seat of the Tennos (Emperor).

Together with Yokohama and Kawasaki, Tokyo forms the world’s largest metropolitan area – with around 36 million residents.Other

cities are:

  • Yokohama with around 3.3 million residents
  • Osaka with around 2.6 million residents
  • Nagoya with around 2.2 million residents
  • Sapporo with around 1.8 million residents
  • Kyoto with around 1.5 million residents
  • Hiroshima with around 1 million residents
  • Kobe with around 1.5 million residents

Japan: geography, map

Japan consists of around 3,900 mostly small uninhabited islands in the Pacific off the east coast of Asia. The four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu – they form the core area of the country. The closest neighbors to the Sea of Japan are Russia, China and South Korea. Overall, the country covers an area of 377,855 km² – with around 127 million residents. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Japan.

The capital of the country is Tokyo on the island of Honshu. It is also worth mentioning Kyoto, which was the seat of the imperial court from 794 to 1868 and thus the capital of the country. Nowadays, the city is the administrative seat of Kyoto Prefecture. 14 temples and Shinto shrines in Kyoto were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994, along with the neighboring cities of Uji and Ōtsu.

Japan is also known as the land of the rising sun. After the Second World War, the country developed into one of the leading industrial nations in the world. For European visitors in particular, the incredible density of people is confusing and takes some getting used to.

Islands that make up the country

Japan is made up of 3,900 islands. The largest are:

– Honshu with an area of 227,414 km²,

– Hokkaido with an area of 77,900 km²,

– Shikoku with an area of 18,256 km²,

– Kyushu with an area of 36,554 km²

– Okinawa with an area of 1,185 km².

Many of the smaller islands are often uninhabited.

Area and land use

Of the area of the land area are:

  • ForestAround 68% of the country is forested.
  • Meadow/pasture land2% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Arable land and fieldsaround 12% of the country are used as arable land – especially for growing rice.
  • MountainsAbout 80% of Japan’s area is also taken up by mountain ranges.

Ceremonial rice planting

The importance of rice for the people in Japan is illustrated by the following ceremony: Following

tradition, the current Tenno Naruhito (born 1960) first planted rice in May 2020 in the garden of his palace, which was harvested in autumn and then was sacrificed to his ancestors, including the mythical sun goddess Amaterasu, the most important Kami (deity) of Shinto. She personifies the sun and light and is primarily considered to be the founder of the Japanese imperial family. Naruhito is the eldest son and successor of Tennos Akihito (born 1933). Its predecessor, in turn, was the godlike Tenno Hirohito (1901-1989), who had signed Japan’s document of surrender in 1945, but was left in office by the Americans.

National borders, length of coast

As an island nation, Japan has no common national border with any other country.

Since the peace agreement of San Francisco in 1948 there has been a conflict with Russia (or the former USSR) over the Kuril Islands north of Hokkaido. These islands are claimed by Japan and are occupied by Russia. The USSR therefore did not join the 1948 Agreement. Meanwhile, there are also conflicts with China over small, partially uninhabited islands that have been built up by the Chinese as military bases. The length of the coast at sea is around 9,390 km.

Longitude and latitude

Japan extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 45 ° 33 ‘to 20 ° 25’ north latitude Δλ = from 153 ° 59 ‘to 122 ° 56’ east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under: Geographical longitude and latitude.

Legal time

For Japan, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without daylight saving time). A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δt (CET) = + 8 h

The time in Japan is known as Japan Standard Time (JST).

More detailed explanations of the time can be found under: Time zones, time.

Highest sun in Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, lies at a northern latitude of around φ = 36 °. If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer will start in Tokyo, June 21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun around noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun).

36 ° = (90 ° – h) + 23.5 °


H = 77.5 °

At 77.5 °, the sun in Tokyo has the highest level of the entire year above the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).


There are 13 mountains in Japan that are higher than 3,000 m, while another mountain is just below that with a height of 2,999 m – it is the Tsurugi-dake in the Hida Mountains on the main island of Honshu. The highest and most beautiful mountain in the country, the 3,776.2 m high volcano Fuji San (Fudschijama) on the island of Honshū, on which the capital Tokyo is located, is known worldwide. The Eurasian Plate, the Pacific Plate and the Philippines Plate collide at Mount Fuji. It is a stratovolcano (stratovolcanoes) in the Pacific Ring of Fire and is considered active with a low risk of eruption. In Shintuism, the mountain is considered sacred. The first ascent probably took place around the year 700, while the first ascent by a foreigner in 1860 by the Briton Rutherford Alcock. (! 809-1897) took place. Other high mountains are the 3. 193 m high Kita-dake and the 3,190 m high Hotaka-dake, both of which are also on Honshū. Other high mountains that are not on Honshu:

  • On Hokkaido, the Daisetsuzan is part of the Kuril volcano chain at an altitude of 2,290 m.
  • On Shikoku, Ishizushijama is the highest mountain in a volcanic chain with a height of 1,981 m.
  • On Kyushu lies the Kujusan with a height of 1,788 m, the highest point on the island.


The Japanese mountains are often of volcanic origin, with some volcanoes still operating. Eruptions and earthquakes are not uncommon. Japan therefore has one of the most effective earthquake and tsunami warning information systems in the world. Nevertheless, there was a quake under the sea floor – around 170 kilometers east of the city of Sendai on March 11, 2011 with a magnitude of 7.3 and in the same region of the sea another quake with a magnitude of 9.0 – it was the strongest known quake in Japan. The quake had led to a tsunami with a height of up to 20 m. The protective dams of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima in the northeast of the island of Honshu were not able to cope with this tidal wave. The consequences were core meltdowns in reactor units 1, 2 and 3 with considerable radiation in the near and far surroundings and also in the sea.



The Shinano has a length of 367 km, making it the longest river in the country.

It has its source at Kobu-Shigatake Mountain on the island of Honshu and flows into the Sea of Japan.


The Tone has a length of 322 km and is the second longest river in Japan after the Shinano. It rises on Mount Ōminakami on the island of Honshu and flows into the Pacific.


The Ishikari is located on Hokkaidō and has a length of around 268 km – it is the third longest river in Japan and the longest on Hokkaidō. It rises on the 1,967 m high Ishikari Mountain – hence the name – and flows into the Sea of Japan.


The Shimanto has a length of around 195 km, making it the longest river on the Japanese island of Shikoku and is considered the most beautiful river in Japan. Not least because, unlike other Japanese rivers, it is left in its natural state and flows into the Pacific in the Tosa Bay near Shimanto municipality without being interrupted by artificial reservoirs. Its source is located in the prefecture of Kōchi on Mount Irazu and flows into it


The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes.


The largest lake is the Biwakago with an area of about 675 km².

Other larger lakes are:

  • the Hashiro with an area of around 302 km²
  • the Kasumigata with an area of around 150 km²
  • the Inawashiroko with an area of around 105 km²

Pacific, Sea of Japan

Japan borders with a length of about 9,390 km to the Sea of Japan.


The Pacific Ocean is also known as the Pacific, Pacific, or Great Ocean. It has a gigantic area of 166.24 million km² (not including secondary seas) and therefore covers around 35% of the entire surface of the earth. The ocean, which is larger than all continents combined, goes at its deepest point in the Mariana Trench down to 11,034 meters below sea level, making it not only the largest but also the deepest ocean in the world. It stretches between the Arctic, North, Central and South America as well as the Antarctic, Australia, Oceania and Asia. The ocean goes at its deepest point in the Mariana Trench – east of the Philippines – down to 11,034 meters below sea level

On January 23, 1960, the Swiss deep-sea researcher Jacques Piccard (1922-2008) reached the seabed in the Mariana Trench together with the US naval lieutenant Don Walsh with his deep-sea boat “Trieste” after 4 hours and 48 minutes of diving. It should be mentioned that the diving depth of nuclear submarines is approx. 600 m, elephant seals up to approx. 1,500 m and blue whales up to approx. 600 m deep. Its mean salt content is 34.5 g per 1 kg (= about 1 liter) of ocean water, i.e. 3.45%.

Sea of Japan The Sea of

Japan is a marginal sea of the Pacific and lies between the Japanese islands and the mainland (China, Korea and Russia). It covers an area of 1,048,950 km² – with a maximum Tife of 3,745 m. In addition to Japan, there are also China, Russia and South and North Korea on the Sea of Japan.

The connections to the Pacific are the Korea Strait in the south, the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido (Japan) and the La Pérouse Strait between the islands of Hokkaido (Japan) and Sakhalin (Russia).

The Sea of Okhotk The Sea of

Okhosk is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of around 1.53 million. km². It has a maximum depth of about 3,375 m. It borders in the south on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokaido, in the west on Sakhalin, which belongs to Russia, and in the east on the Kuril Islands, which belongs to Russia

East China Sea

The East China Sea is also a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It covers an area of about 1.25 million km². The sea lies between mainland China in the west, South Korea in the north, the southwestern parts of Japan in the east – the Kyūshū region including the Ryūkyū Islands, which also belong to Japan, and Taiwan in the south. In the north it is separated from the Sea of Japan via the Korea Strait and in the south from the South China Sea via the Formosa Strait. The deepest point is in the Okinawa Trench. At a depth of around 2,720 m.

Philippine Sea

The Philippine Sea is also a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It covers an area of around 5 million km². In the north it borders on the islands of Ryūkyū, Kyūshū, Honshū and Shikoku, which belong to Japan, in the south by Palau and in the east it is bounded by the Marianas of the open Pacific Ocean 1,325 km long Philippinengraben, which is one of the deepest places in the world along with the Mariana Trench. The deep spot was discovered in 1951 by the Danish research ship Galathea and was named Galatheatief.

It is located approximately at a north latitude of 10 ° 10 ‘and at an east longitude of 126 ° 38’.

Japan Population