Things to Know About Japan Before Travel

Japan is a stunning destination that combines modern technology, ancient temples, and bustling cities. Before you go, you need to familiarize yourself with Japanese customs, cuisine, and language in order to truly experience the culture. Here are some things you should know before you go so that you can have an unforgettable trip to this amazing country.

How to know what time is it in Japan?

If you’re an American looking to know what time it is in Japan, there are several ways to find out.

1. Check the Time Zone Map: Japan is in the Japan Standard Time (JST) zone, which is 9 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). If you know the current time in EST, simply add nine hours to calculate the time in Japan.

2. Use an Online Converter: There are many online converters that can quickly tell you the current time in Japan. All you need to do is enter your local time and location, and the converter will automatically convert it to the time in Japan.

3. Download a Clock App: You can also download a clock app to your phone or computer that will automatically adjust to the current time in Japan. This can be a convenient way to keep track of the time in Japan while you’re on the go.

4. Ask Locals: If you’re already in Japan, you can always ask locals what time it is. Many Japanese people are happy to help, and they may even provide you with a more accurate answer than any online converter or app could give you.

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Is Japan a country?

Yes, Japan is a country located in East Asia.

Where is Japan?

Japan is located in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of East Asia. It is bordered by the Sea of Japan to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

What type of government does Japan have?

Japan is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The emperor is the head of state, and the Prime Minister is the head of government.

How many people live in Japan?

Japan is an island nation located in East Asia with the total population of 125.7 million people according to the 2021 estimates. This number is estimated to increase slightly to 126.48 million by mid-year 2020, making Japan the world’s tenth most populous country.

The current population of Japan is 123,620,322 as of January 3, 2023, which is a 0.53% decline from 2022 based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.

One of the main reasons for the large population of Japan is its spectacular population growth since 1868. Its population has increased nearly fourfold since then due to slow but steady urban growth, the development of Hokkaido, Tōhoku, and southern Kyushu, and the introduction of commercial agriculture.

However, Japan’s population is now shrinking due to the decline in its fertility rate. According to the UN estimates, the population of Japan is expected to decline to 106 million by 2050.

This is mainly due to the fact that fewer young women are getting married, thus reducing the birth rate.

The proportion of never-married women at their peak reproductive age of 25‒34 had been stable until the mid-1970s, but this proportion jumped from 21 per cent in 1975 to 66 per cent in 2020.

What is the age of consent in Japan?

The age of consent in Japan is 13. This is the lowest of any developed country, however, many prefectures have local statutes that raise the de-facto age of consent to 16-18, unless they are in a “sincere romantic relationship”, usually determined by parental consent. In Tokyo, the effective age of consent is 18.

The age of marriage is 16 for girls and 18 for boys with parental permission and 20 otherwise as stated in ‘Nasu Kouenjou’, the Child Welfare Act of Japan.

The Penal Code of Japan was established in 1907 and sets the age of consent at 13. Any sexual activity with a person under 13 is considered to be statutory rape and can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

In 2008, the United Nations adopted a finding recommending that Japan raise the age of consent, however, it has not changed since 1907. This is due to, at that time, the average life expectancy of women being 44 years and it being common for women to marry and have children at a young age. Therefore, the age of 13, which is two years younger than 15, was considered sensible.

There are also multiple other laws that impose penalties for engaging in lewd acts with minors, such as the Child Welfare Law, the Youth Protection and Nurturing Ordinance, and the Child Prostitution Prohibition Law.

Penalties are also prescribed for businesses that are aware of age violations but fail to take action.

Is Japan a democracy?

Japan is often regarded as a democracy, but its actual political system is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. The current Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihiko Noda, is the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and his authority to govern is derived from the constitution.

There is a bicameral national legislature in Japan, consisting of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors, which is responsible for passing laws. The executive branch is headed by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, whose sovereignty lies in the hands of the Japanese people.

Despite the democratic nature of the country’s political system, it has been ruled almost continuously by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) since 1955, a phenomenon known as the 1955 System.

This party is largely dominated by economic self-interest and electors often do not identify along lines of class, religion or individual rights. Notably, Japan began to modernize and adopt a more democratic approach in the late 19th century, during Emperor Meiji’s reign. This modernization process saw Japan unify under one state and a constitution was proclaimed in 1889.

Although Japan is widely seen as a champion of democracy in the Pacific region, some critics argue that politicians are opportunistic in their defence of democratic values.

For example, Japan has been accused of being slow to impose sanctions on Myanmar following the military coup in February 2021. Furthermore, there are those who believe that Japan’s stability could be threatened by the possibility of a populist movement arising, such as in response to economic hardship or global pandemics.

What is the tallest mountain peak in Japan?

The tallest mountain peak in Japan is Mount Fuji, which stands at 3,776 meters (12,388 feet). Mount Fuji is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Honshu, about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Tokyo. The mountain is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and relaxation, and is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains” along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.

What is the life expectancy in Japan?

The life expectancy in Japan is incredibly high, with the average Japanese citizen living an average of 85.0 years according to 2020 data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

This includes an average life expectancy for men of 81.9 years and for women of 88.1 years. The average life expectancy in 2022 is estimated to be 84.91 years, a 0.14% increase from 2021. This is significantly higher than in Canada where the life expectancy is 80.9 years for men and 84.7 years for women.

The high life expectancy in Japan can be attributed to the low rate of obesity, low consumption of red meat, and high consumption of fish and plant foods such as soybeans and tea.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Japanese consume on average 2,697 kilocalories per day, which is significantly less than other countries such as Canada, France, Italy, and the United States. Additionally, the Japanese eat 46% less meat than Canadians but twice as much fish and seafood.

Since the 1970s, the average cholesterol level of Japanese has increased, however, the incidence of coronary heart disease remains substantially lower in Japan than in the West.

This is likely due to the changes in the Japanese diet, specifically the increase in consumption of animal products and dairy products, and consequently of saturated fat and calcium combined with a decrease in salt consumption.

Does it snow in Japan?

Yes, it snows in Japan.

When do cherry blossoms bloom in Japan?

Cherry blossoms typically bloom in Japan from late March to early May, with the peak blooming period varying slightly by region.

Do you need a visa to go to Japan?

Yes, most foreign visitors to Japan need a visa.

The following countries do not need a visa to visit Japan for stays of up to 90 days:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City.

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How many islands makeup Japan?

Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands, making it the fourth-largest island country in the world. Of these islands, 260 are inhabited and the rest remain largely undeveloped. Five of the islands are classified as “mainland”, namely Hokkaidō, Honshū, Shikoku, Kyūshū, and Okinawa. These are the five largest islands and are home to most of Japan’s population.

The remaining islands range in size from 4.12 square kilometers to 227,960 square kilometers. The majority of them are remote and uninhabited, with 6,432 islands remaining mostly deserted. However, this number can fluctuate from year to year due to people moving away or to a remote island.

The four main islands of Japan are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, and each of these has its own distinct culture and character. Other islands that makeup Japan include the Southern Half (Okinawa Prefecture), the Central Group (the Ryukyu Proper), the Seto Inland Sea Islands, and the Kuril Islands which are disputed between Russia and Japan.

To explore the beauty of Japan, there are many hidden gems among the thousands of islands. All of the islands have their own culture, customs, and traditions and many offer different climates, making them a great place to explore.

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