Japan is an island country in the North Pacific Ocean. It lies off the northeast coast of
mainland Asia and faces Russia,Korea, and China. Four large islands and thousands of
smaller ones make up Japan. The four major islands-Hokkaido,Honshu,Kyushu and
Shikoku form a curve that extends for about 1,900 kilometres.
Japan is a land of great natural beauty. mountains and hills cover about 70% of the
country. IN fact, Japanese islands consist of the rugged upper part of a great mountain
range that rises from the floor of the North Pacific Ocean. Jagged peaks, rocky gorges,
and thundering mountain waterfalls provide some of the country's most spectacular
scenery. Thick forests thrive on mountansides, adding to the scenic beauty of the
Japanese islands. Forests cover about 68% of the country's land.
Japan lies on an extremely unstable part of the earth's crust. As a result, the land is
This shifting causes two of Japan's most striking features--
earthquakes and volcanoes. The Japanese islands have about 1500 earthquakes a year.
Most of them are minor tremors that cause little damage, but severe earthqaukes occur
every few years. Underseaquakes sometimes cause huge, destructive tidal waves, called
tsunami, along Japan's Pacific coast. The Japanese islands have more than 150 major
volcanoes. Over 60 of these volcanoes are active.
Numerous short, swift rivers cross Japan's rugged surface. most of the rivers are too
shallow and steep to be navigated. Their waters are used to irrigate farmland, and their
rapids and falls supply power for hydroelectric plants. Many lakes nestle among the
Japanese mountains. Some lie in the craters of extinct volcanoes. A large number of hot
springs gush from the ground throughout the country.
The Japanese islands have a total land area of about 337,708...