Japan is an island country in East Asia, comprising over 3,000 mostly mountainous islands, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea in the south Japan has been settled since 30,000 BC, but only appeared in written history in Chinese history texts in the 1st century AD. A strong central Japanese state with its capital in Nara first emerged in the 8th century. During the sixteenth century western traders and missionaries reached Japan for the first time. An isolationist period followed, during which Japan cut almost all ties to the outside world. Japan entered the modern age in the mid 19th century going through a rapid modernisation phase. Today Japan is a constitutional parliamentary monarchy. It's capital is Tokyo. Japan is the world's second largest economy and is home to some of the world's leading producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles and processed foods.

Tokyo photo gallery  - 354 pictures of Tokyo
Hiroshima photo gallery  - 36 pictures of Hiroshima
Miyajima photo gallery  - 65 pictures of Miyajima
354 photos of Tokyo, the capital of Japan
36 photos of Hiroshima, a Japanese city known worldwide as the first city subject to nuclear warfare when it was bombed by the USA during WW II
65 photos of Miyajima, the island in the Japanese Seto inland sea famous for the Itsukushima Shinto shrine with its red torii gate built in the sea
Kyoto photo gallery  - 112 pictures of Kyoto
Himeji castle photo gallery  - 37 pictures of Himeji castle
Osaka photo gallery  - 66 pictures of Osaka
112 photos of Kyoto, the cultural centre of Japan and its former imperial capital
37 photos of the Himeji castle, the finest surviving example of early 17th century Japanese fortress architecture
66 photos of Osaka, the second largest city and an important commercial centre in Japan
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Related travelogues
  • Japan 2007: A two weeks trip in autumn 2007 to Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Hiroshima and Miyajima island
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