Japan’s Geographical Location. Unlike the giant China which is located in the large mass that forms the continent of Asia, Japan is an island country separated from mainland Asia. It has an archipelagic location and is surrounded by the “Sea of Japan and the western Pacific Ocean” (“Japanese Archipelago,” 2008). According to Duiker &. Spielvogel (2006), it is made up of four main islands and thousands of smaller ones. These larger islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyusu and Shikoku. It is relatively small, with an approximate size like that of United States’ Montana (p. 239), and about “1/48 the size of Russia and 1/25 the size of China inland area” (Yamada, 2001. Kurashige, 2003). In numbers, its total land area is 145,883 square miles including land and water (WorldAtlas.com, n.d).
The country is further made up of mountainous terrains and forests, which gives the people only a little space for agriculture and living (Asia for Educators, n.d.). Lying behind most of its mountains are volcanoes that compose 10 percent of the world’s most active ones that are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Mt. Fuji—notably dormant—is the most popular and also the highest peak in the country (Kirk, 1966, pp. 26-28). Japan also lies exactly on the juncture of the “Pacific-Philippine-Eurasian triple tectonic plates” which mainly answers why Japan experiences earthquakes every so often that it records an average of 1,500 minor shocks per year (Encyclopedia of the Nations, n.d.).
Japan’s Climate. Japan has got the four seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall. In Deal’s (2006) book, however, it was emphasized that the country’s climate patterns are continuously changing as an effect of its East Asian monsoon zone location (p. 58). The island of Hokkaido experiences both the drier and cooler weather conditions compared to Honshu, Kyusu and Shikoku. Deal (2006) also specified that Japan undergoes heavy snowfall, warm and dry to humid conditions ended with stormy, rainy, and cooler season during winter, summer, spring and fall respectively.