Japan's population of over 127 million is largely homogeneous, that is most of its residents are of Japanese descent. This is a stark contrast to the diverse cultures that comprise the United States. If you visit one of the many large cities in Japan you may meet some other "gaijin" (foreigners), however, if you venture into the smaller cities and towns your changes will decrease a lot! In the above photo I took a random picture of people walking in Shinjuku (one of the districts in Tokyo).
Japan is an island country located off of the coast of Asia that consists of five main islands that span approximately two thousand miles from start to finish. Going from north to south these islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa. During my stay in Japan I was fortunate enough to visit the mid-region of Honshu (Toyko) as well as the northern most part of Honshu (Aomori City and Hirosaki). In addition to its five main islands Japan includes over 30 islands total! The actual land area in Japan is approximately 142,000 square miles, which is amazing when you consider how many people live there! Additionally, much of Japan is quite mountainous. The largest and most famous mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji, known by the Japanese as "Fuji San". Above you will see a picture I took when I was flying from Tokyo to Aomori. I hope to one day return to Japan and climb Mt. Fuji!
The Japanese climate varies greatly from location to location. Because of its small land mass many foreigners might be under the assumption that the climate is the same across the country, but this would be quite wrong. The northern areas are cool and not nearly as humid as the south, with heavy snow in the winter. By contrast the southern parts of Japan get to be quite hot and very humid, especially in the summer months. Japan experiences a wide range of seasons in all areas, which is a wonderful treat for a desert dweller like myself!
When many people think about the government of Japan the first image to come to mind is that of the emperor. The current emperor of Japan is known as "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Akihito".
In today's Japan, however, the national Government consists of branches similar to what we have in the United States. The Japanese government consists of a legislative branch, executive branch and judicial branch. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to tour the National Diet building in Tokyo, which comprises the legislative branch. Photographs of the inside and outside of the National Diet to the left.
Location and Climate