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Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

The kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest, of which 98.5% are ethnic Japanese. 90.7% of people live in cities, while 9.3% live in the countryside. About 13.8 million people live in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people.

I was able to gain my first experience with this country in the 80s. At that time I visited the land of the rising sun together with my father!

In 2015 I also visited my son in Beppu as a father, because he had decided to start his studies and career in this country. In total I spent 3 weeks in the country and travelled together with my partner and my son. As a European you dive into a new and completely different world. Our journey included the following important stops:

  • Fukuoka

  • Beppu

  • Kyoto

  • Osaka

  • Kobe and

  • Hiroshima

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