Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Japan
Japan is a nation that consists of a number of islands off
the east coast of mainland Asia. On its west is the Sea of Japan and the East China
Sea. To its east is the Pacific Ocean. Japan's closest neighbors are
South Korea to the west, Taiwan to the south, and
its closest geographic neighbor, Russia to its north.
Most of Japan's land area is contained on the islands
of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Hokkaido, the most northerly of these
islands is hilly, but also very fertile, although it contains no true mountains.
Honshu is where most of the population lives, including the city of Tokyo and this
island consists of numerous plateaus and volcanoes, including the famous Mt. Fuji.
Both Shikoku and Kyushu are more mountainous and hence more isolated, although the
coasts are still home to numerous cities.
Japan is a very seasonally and regionally diverse country
as it stretches north to south and contains every landscape from mountains to near
tropical islands. Summers in the south and southern islands are tropical in nature
with high humidity, with possible typhoons hitting in late summer. Meanwhile, the
most northerly islands and mountains are cool, while Tokyo falls in the middle with
average highs of about 85° F (30° C). Winters are just as diverse as the south gets
cooler, but still remains in the 70s° F (21-26° C), while most of the northern islands
and mountains are covered with snow and temperatures rarely get above freezing.
Again, Tokyo falls in the middle, but the ocean keeps the city somewhat warm as
the average temperature only tends to fall to around the 40s° F (4-9° C). The fall
experiences falling temperatures and the spring experiences increasing tourists.