Facts

  • Population: 126.4 million
    • More than three quarters of the population live in sprawling cities on the coastal fringes of Japan’s four mountainous, heavily-wooded islands.
  • Life expectancy: 81 years (men), 87 years (women)
    • The Japanese have one of the highest life expediencies.
    • Okinawa, often called ‘the land of immortals’, has been a global centre for longevity research, as these southern Japanese islands have more than 400 centenarians.
  • Language: Japanese
  • Major religions: Shintoism, Buddhism
  • Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY)

Geography

  • Area: 377,864 sq km (145,894 sq miles)
  • There are 6,852 islands in the Japanese archipelago
    • Only 430 of the islands are inhabited.
    • 97% live on just 4 islands: Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Hokkaido
    • 80% (104 million) live on Honshu
      • Home to country’s major cities and cultural sites
      • Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, Mount Fuji are located on Honshu
    • Close to half of the Japanese population is packed into just 17% of the land area!
      • Meaning there are many open and natural areas outside the cities.

Notes

  • Japan has the world’s third-largest economy.

Tourism

  • Canadians do not require tourist visa for stays up to a maximum of 90 days
    • Overstaying the 90-day tourist visa-free limit or any other visa time limit is a criminal offence.

Overlanding

  • Drive on the left side
  • Drivers using phones while driving could face steeper fines and six-month jail terms.
  • Ferry connections between Japan, South Korea, and Russia means no containers to worry about
    • Ferry between Busan, South Korea and Fukuoka, island of Kyushu, Japan
    • Vladivostok, Russia via South Korea
    • When you ship your car by container to Japan, a Carnet de Passage may be required
      • If you enter by ferry with your vehicle (from South Korea and Russia), there is a special exception that will allow temporary import without a carnet (Customs Form C 5014).
      • Shipping by freight (sea or air), you will most likely require a Carnet.
    • When ferrying from Japan or South Korea to Russia, use DBS Ferry
  • Vehicles registered in Germany, Slovenia, Monaco, and Switzerland are not permitted in Japan (Rouletout)
    • “Due to the ratification of different conventions on the road traffic, Japanese authorities don’t accept vehicle registrations from Germany, Switzerland, Monaco or Slovenia. Therefore, it is possible that the temporary importation will be refused even if you have a Carnet de Passages.” Source: ADAC 2020.08.01

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This page was last updated on 2021.03.18 by Robert Vinet