Japan Overview

Japan Overview

GENERAL

Official name of the state

Japan

Capital

Tokyo.

Geography

According to medicinelearners, Japan is 160 km from mainland Asia. Most of the island chain off the Asian east coast belongs to Japan. The main islands (north to south) are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu.

Japan is very mountainous, around three-quarters of the country consists of hills and mountains. Several mountain ranges run from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south. The Japanese Alps run in a north-south direction through the center of the island of Honshu. The highest mountain is the volcano Fuji-san (Fudschijama) with 3776 m. It is one of over 200 volcanoes, 36 of which have been active in the past hundred years.

The plains are mainly near the coast. They are mostly just small; the largest is the Kanto Plain in Tokyo Bay. The coast is very long in relation to the land mass and the coastal landscape is extremely diverse. At the foothills of the mountain ranges there are deep bays with natural harbors.

Government

Parliamentary democracy since 1947. Constitution of 1947. Bicameral parliament: elections to the lower house (Shugi-in; 475 members) every 4 years, to the upper house (Sangi-in; 242 members) every 6 years. Empire since at least 660 BC Chr.

Head of state

Emperor Akihito, since 1989.

Head of government

Shinzo Abe, since December 2012.

Electricity

100 V, 60 Hz in the west (Osaka). 100 V, 50 Hz in the east (Tokyo). Two-pole flat plug. Adapters are required.

Time zone

Japan Standard Time: CET +10

Japan Overview

LANGUAGE

Overview

Japanese. English is a business and foreign language.

 

 

COMMUNICATION

Phone

The country code is 0081. There are four companies that provide international communications services: KDDI (001), SoftBank Telecom (0061), Nihon Telecom (0041), and NTT (0033). If you want to call Germany, you dial the number (area code) of a provider and then the country code. Direct dial-up calls can be made in the public telephone booths that read “International & Domestic Card / Coin Telephone”. Public telephones can often be found near train stations, hotels, and other tourist spots. They are gray or green and can be used with coins or phone cards. Telephone cards are available in small general stores and at the station kiosk. Public telephones that can be used for international calls with telephone cards,
Cellphone

Cellular networks in Japan are based on PDC (Personal Digital Cellular System) technology, which is not compatible with GSM or other cellular standards. However, UMTS cell phones or 3G cell phones can be used in Japan. The service points of SoftBank Mobile, of DoCoMo as well as the mobile phone provider of the traveler on site set up the use of their own SIM card in their own mobile phone or in the rental mobile phone. International roaming agreements exist. In Japan you can rent cell phones from NTT (Internet: www.ntt.co.jp) or Rentafone Japan (Internet: www.rentafonejapan.com), among others. Rental companies such as SoftBank Mobile can already be found at Narita Airport and Kansai Airport (Internet:www.softbank-rental.jp).

Internet

There are internet cafes in Tokyo and in every other major city. In Tokyo, Kobe and Yokohama, foreign tourists have free access to the Internet via Wi-Fi hotspots (Internet: www.hotspotlocations.com). Most hotels offer internet access for a fee. Many public buildings and so-called Manga caf├ęs also offer inexpensive Internet access.

Post Office

English-speaking staff are available at the main post office at Tokyo Station. Airmail letters to Europe take 4-6 days. Poste restante items are accepted by larger post offices and kept for up to 10 days. Opening times: Mon-Fri 9 am-5pm, Sat 9 am-12pm. The Main Post Office and International Post Office (near Exit A-2 of Otemachi Subway Station; staff speaks English) open until 7:00 p.m., Sat until 5:00 p.m.

Radio

Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.

CULTURE

Religion

84% Shinto and Buddhism (most Japanese follow both religions); Christian and other minorities.

Social rules of conduct

Manners: Although the politeness rules observed by the majority of Japanese differ in many respects from European ones, the Japanese are aware of the difference and accept that foreigners do not know all the customs and traditions. Polite and correct behavior is expected. It’s rude to say “no”. A vague “yes” does not necessarily mean an affirmation. The fact that there are numerous misunderstandings among the Japanese should reassure visitors. Guests are rarely invited to private homes as this is a very serious, formal matter. (Another version says that Japanese apartments are too small to invite guests.) A greeting is bowed. The polite suffix “San” should be used when addressing Japanese men and women: Accordingly, Mr. T. Yamada is addressed as “Yamada-san”. When entering a Japanese apartment or a ryokan one pulls i. General Take off your shoes, the tips of your shoes should point to the front door. Table manners are important, although a Japanese host will be very tolerant of the western guest. However, one should become familiar with the most important table manners and use chopsticks. It is customary to bring a small gift for the host. Businessmen should also give their Japanese business partners a gift. although a Japanese host will be very tolerant of the western guest. However, one should become familiar with the most important table manners and use chopsticks. It is customary to bring a small gift for the host. Businessmen should also give their Japanese business partners a gift. although a Japanese host will be very tolerant of the western guest. However, one should become familiar with the most important table manners and use chopsticks. It is customary to bring a small gift for the host. Businessmen should also give their Japanese business partners a gift.

Smoking: Non-smoking areas are signposted. Cigarettes are not allowed to be thrown on the street. In Japan, therefore, portable ashtrays are common. Smoking while walking is also frowned upon. Smoking is prohibited on public transport and in underground stations. Large catering establishments must have a smoking area. Smoking on the street is prohibited in some major cities and in the following districts of Tokyo: Chiyoda, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, and Nakano. In Kanagawa Prefecture, smoking is prohibited in public places such as hospitals, schools, and government offices.

Tipping: Tipping is not expected, neither in the restaurant, in the hotel nor from the taxi driver. Monetary gifts can be given for special services or as recognition. However, you should never hand over a handful of change, but buy special envelopes for gifts of money.

COUNTRY DATA

Area code +81 Area (square km) 377 915 Population 126 919 659 Population density (per square km) 336 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 119

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