Climate and Overall Weather Conditions
Japan's weather in winter, from December to February, is quite dry and sunny along the Pacific coast and the temperatures rarely drop below 0°C. The temperatures drop as you move north, with the Central and Northern regions experiencing snowfall.
Spring is from March to May. Temperatures are warm but not too hot, plus there isn’t too much rain. The famous cherry blossoms are out during this time and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy.
Summer begins in June and the country experiences a three to four-week rainy season during which the farmers plant their rice. It is hot and humid during this time and temperatures are often in the high 30’s. Summer wraps up in August.
There is only one official language spoken in Japan, which is of course Japanese. However, many Japanese are able to understand English to a certain extent since English is the foreign language that everyone must learn as part of Compulsory Education.
Even if you don’t understand Japanese, you can still certainly enjoy Japan. But if you know a few everyday Japanese phrases then it will make your trip even more memorable. Knowing even a few words make a big difference!
Japan- being a country full of bustling cities- has a large network of transportation systems. One of the most common however, are trains or Shinkansen (A popular type of Japanese bullet train). Many Japanese citizens are also partial to bikes, due to their economic advantage and Japan's smooth roads.
About The Author
Janevra Pier is is a grade 7 student at GISS who would like very much to visit Japan, as she has been enamored with the culture for several months. Especially their delicious food, their beautiful art and interesting ideals about life. She is a VERY EXPERIENCED author who has published several novels and won the Nobel Prize. Repeatedly. If you have any questions about this website, feel free to call
Historic Sites and Landmarks
Jigokudani Monkey Park: Jigokudani Monkey Park is a famous hot spring area near Nagano. The name Jigokudani (meaning “Hell’s Valley”), is due to steam and boiling water that bubbles out the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and cold forests. It is famous for its large population of wild Snow Monkeys that go to the valley during the winter when snow covers the park.
Todaiji Temple: The Todaiji Temple in Nara is an amazing feat of engineering. It is not only the world’s largest wooden building, it is home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and wildlife, Deer are allowed to freely roam the grounds as messengers of the Shinto gods.
Mount Fuji: Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 meters. The volcano’s symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as a popular tourist attraction for sightseers and climbers.
Geography and Setting
Japan is situated in northeastern Asia between the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. Japan has many islands, but also has many forests as well. It has immense, gorgeous cities- included but not limited to Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka.
Amazing Facts about Japan
1. Melons are very expensive in Japan. One can go for up to $400
2. The life expectancy of the Japanese is 84 years. This is 4 years more than that of the United States.
3. Karaoke is a Japanese word for "empty orchestra."
4. There are square watermelons in Japan.
5. Squid is the most popular pizza topping.
6. crooked teeth are considered attractive. This belief is so deep seated that girls usually go to the dentist to have their teeth un-straightened.
7. The Japanese believe that black cats bring good luck
The Japanese cuisine offers a great variety of dishes and regional specialties.They are categorized mostly into rice dishes, seafood dishes, noodle dishes, nabe dishes, meat dishes, soybean dishes, yoshoku dishes. Though food from Japan is very diverse, there are a few ingredients that are more common than others- here are a few:
Soybeans: Soybeans are a versatile food and one of the main ingredients of Japanese cuisine. They are used as a base for many distinct Japanese flavors, such as soy sauce, miso and tofu. Soybeans are used in: Edamame, Natto (fermented soybeans), soysauce, tofu, miso soup, Yubba, Okra, and beansprouts.
Seaweed: Although nori seaweed is the most well known variety of Japanese seaweed because it is often used in sushi, there are many other seaweeds that are heavily used in Japanese cuisine, like wakame seaweed in miso soup, kombu kelp for making dashi and hijiki seaweed for salads. Japanese seaweed is incredibly healthy and provides a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
Noodles: Yes! Believe it or not, Japan uses a variety of Italian pasta- especially noodles such as spaghetti, vermicelli & fusili. Tomato sauce is really popular, along with flavors of Japan such as Sea Urchin and Spicy Cod. Udon are the thickest Japanese noodles served in Japanese cuisine. These are white and wheat-based noodles, served cold with dipping sauce during summer and used in hot dishes when the temperature is cold. The toppings are chosen according to the seasons.
Japanese Entertainment, Recreation, Arts and Culture
Pachinko: it is a combination pinball and slot machine. The only thing in the game that the player can control is the speed at which the steel balls hit the playing surface. Most of the balls fall down and disappear, but a few find their way through holes that activate a sort of slot machine. If you end up with three similar pictures, you bring home the cash prize.
Outdoor Hot Springs: As a volcanic country, Japan has thousands of scattered natural hot springs, or onsen. Almost every region has its own onsen resort town. People often visit them with friends, family members, and colleagues
Japan has a very unique, simplistic garden style. It uses lots of evergreens, ground cover ( e.g. Periwinkle),and vibrant flowers. It often likes to have a vocal point- usually a complex looking flower of intricately trimmed bush. Japan is also a big fan of bonsai, a small tree grown in a pot that is is carefully pruned to give the illusion of being a regularly sized tree. The regular price of a bonsai tree would range from $30-$100, depending on the species of tree and how long it had been grown/cared for.