Japan has more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites, with four forests inscribed on the UNESCO list for their outstanding natural value and also beauty.
Japan lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the China Sea in the south. Japan is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and comprises an archipelago of 6,852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq. mi); the five main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.
About three-fourths of the country’s terrain is mountainous concentrating its population of 126.2 million on narrow coastal plains and making Japan the 11th most populous country in the world, as well as the most densely populated and urbanized. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.4 million residents
The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate but varies greatly from north to south. The northernmost zone has long, cold winters. The region usually develops deep snowbanks in the winter. And surprisingly the title of the world’s snowiest city belongs to Japan. The pacific south is usually warmer and often hot. It has a subtropical kind of climate with a lot of rainfall. Japan has an amazing four-season climate.
Japan has nine forest ecoregions that reflect the climate and geography of the islands with the wildlife of animals, flora, and fauna. Four sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding natural value and also beauty. There are many natural hiking trails in the country.
The islands of Japan were inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period.
Between the 4th and 9th centuries, the kingdoms of Japan became unified under an emperor and imperial court during the Heian era (794-1185). Japanese heritage developed rapidly during the time with enduring art, poetry, and prose. Then the political power of the samurai lords or the shogun took over the government from 1185 until 1868.
Japanese society is linguistically, ethnically, and culturally homogeneous, composed of 98.1% ethnic Japanese, with small populations of foreign workers from different countries around the world. The most dominant native ethnic group include the indigenous Ainu and Ryukyuan people.
Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on the seasonality of food, quality of ingredients, and presentation. Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients. Seafood and Japanese rice or noodles are traditional staples of Japanese cuisine, typically seasoned with a combination of dashi, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Traditional Japanese sweets are known as wagashi. Ingredients such as red bean paste and mochi are used. And Green tea is produced in Japan.