General information of Japan

Capital Tokyo
National Language Japanese
Population 126,530,000 estimated 2012
Currency Yen, JPY
Time zone JST, no summer time
Date format yyyy-mm-dd, Era (Heisei from 1988), mm, dd
Drives on the
  • left
Calling code +81
  • 100V (50Hz in Eastern Japan, 60Hz in Western Japan)

*Eastern Japan includes Tokyo, Yokohama. Western Japan includes Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka.

Japan consists of 47 prefectures, each overseen by an elected governor, legislature and administrative bureaucracy. Legislature is made by House of Representatives and House of Councilors.

Japan has a total of 6,852 islands extending along the Pacific coast of East Asia. The main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaidō, Honshū, Shikoku and Kyūshū. The Ryūkyū Islands, including Okinawa, are a chain to the south of Kyūshū. Together they are often known as the Japanese Archipelago.

The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate, but varies greatly from north to south. The average winter temperature in Japan is 5.1 °C (41.2 °F) and the average summer temperature is 25.2 °C (77.4 °F).

Japanese writing uses kanji (Chinese characters) and two sets of kana (syllabaries based on simplified Chinese characters): hiragana and katakana, as well as the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals.

Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food, quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients.

Main industries are automobiles, precision machinery, consumer electronics, computers, and other electronic goods.

Tap water is safe to drink any places in Japan, and also you may purchase mineral waters at the super markets / convenient stores. Medical systems and facilities in Japan are well established, you may receive a high standard medical treatment. There are no inoculations required to enter Japan from anywhere in the world.

Travelers Checks are accepted by leading banks, hotels / ryokans (Japanese style inns), and stores in major cities. Credit, debit, and prepaid cards are accepted at the most of the merchants. Outside the major city, some cards may not be used, but you can withdraw cash at the ATMs in post offices and 7 eleven stores.

The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A.C. There are no columnar-shaped plugs or 3-pin plugs used in Japan but 2-flat-pin plugs are used instead. It is therefore advised to purchase a plug adapter beforehand.

You can use your mobile phone (please set roaming available and ensure that you have a 3G hand set) in Japan in SoftBank Mobile or DOCOMO service areas For more details on the roaming possibilities, please check with your local mobile phone service provider.
Rental mobile phone and SIM card service is also available upon arrival at major international airports.

Here is some basic information on the following major Japanese cities