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Nature and Climate

  • Where can I find pictures and information on wild animals in Japan?
    Check out our Nature and Climate.

  • What kind of plants and animals are found in Japan?
    Go to the Q & A section of our page on Nature and Climate.

  • Where are earthquake fault lines located in Japan?
    For information about earthquakes in Japan, go to Why is Japan prone to earthquakes?

  • How many earthquakes has Japan had?
    Each year countless earthquakes occur in Japan, but most are so small that they can't be felt. Over the last century, Japan has experienced 23 earthquakes that have caused major damage, one of the biggest being the Great Hanshin Earthquake that occurred in Kobe in 1995. The most devastating earthquake in modern times was the great Tokyo Earthquake of 1923, in which 100,000 died.

  • How many volcanoes are there in Japan?
    There are around 200 volcanoes, 60 of which are active.

  • How far away is Japan from mainland Asia?
    Located on the western tip of Kyushu island, Nagasaki is the closest prefecture to mainland Asia. The island of Tsushima, part of Nagasaki Prefecture, is only 53 kilometers (33 miles) from the South Korean seaport Pusan.

  • How big is Japan?
    Check out our Nature and Climate section.

  • What is the highest mountain in Japan? How tall is it?
    To find out, go to either the "Opening of Climbing Season on Mt. Fuji" page in our Annual Calendar section or "What is the highest mountain in Japan?" in Nature and Climate!

  • Has mount Fuji ever erupted before? If so, when?
    Mount Fuji, known to the Japanese as Fujisan, is the tallest mountain in Japan and a famous symbol of the country. It is classified as an active volcano, although the last time it erupted was in 1707.

  • What percentage of land in Japan is mountainous?
    About 75% of Japan's land is mountainous. For more information on Japan's geography, go to the Nature and Climate section of Explore Japan.

  • What are Japan's rivers like?
    Check out this Website on the land and climate of Japan.

  • What is the longest river in Japan?
    The longest river in Japan is the Shinano River, which runs for 367 kilometers from the mountains of Nagano Prefecture to the Sea of Japan in Niigata Prefecture. The second longest river is the Tone River, which runs across the Kanto plain. The third longest is the Ishikari River in Hokkaido.

  • What is the normal temperature in Japan?
    Japan is blessed with a variety of climates ranging from subarctic to subtropical. Go to our Nature and Climate section to find out more.

  • What is Japan's average summer temperature?
    Summer in the far north of Japan (Hokkaido) is warm, with an average temperature of about 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit), while in Tokyo summer is hot and humid, with an average temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). On most summer days in Tokyo, daytime temperatures rise above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). In the far south (Okinawa), it is even hotter, averaging about 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit). Find out more in our Nature and Climate section.

  • What city or cities are associated with snow and ice festivals?
    Go to the Sapporo Snow Festival page in Annual Calendar to read about Japan's biggest snow festival, held in Hokkaido Prefecture's capital city. Other prefectures also host snow and ice festivals - mostly those in northeastern Japan and along the Japan Sea coast - but Hokkaido is where the largest number of these festivals are held.

  • What is the climate like in Japan?
    Most of Japan has four distinct seasons: a warm spring, a hot and humid summer, a cool autumn, and a cold winter. There is also a short rainy season in June, and typhoons sometimes strike around September. You can find out more in our Nature and Climate section.

  • When do typhoons blow?
    Typhoons are tropical depressions that bring heavy rain and strong winds to Japan and other East Asian countries. The typhoon season in Japan runs from June to October, with August and September often the peak time for these storms. For more information on typhoons, see September in our calendar section.

  • What time is it in Japan if it's 10:00 pm in San Diego, California, U.S.A.?
    In summer, when it's 10:00 pm in San Diego, it's 2:00 pm the next day in Japan. In winter, when it's 10:00 pm in San Diego, it's 3:00 pm the next day in Japan. Japan Standard Time is nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Unlike the United States, Europe, and many other countries, however, Japan does not use Daylight Saving Time, so the time difference with those countries gets one hour shorter in summer. Confused? Well, recently the Japanese government has been thinking of introducing DST. That would make the time difference the same all year round.