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Basic Info

Population: 127 million

Race: Almost entirely Japanese. This is a very homogenous culture although there still exist around 150,000 Ainu, the original inhabitants of Japan. They can be recognized by their facial hair and they have traditionally been oppressed and ridiculed.

Language: Japanese. They all learn English for years and years in school but are generally too shy to try and speak.

Religion: Shinto, Sony

Government: Democracy.

CIA Info on Japan Getting There and Away and Around

Almost everyone flies into Japan and most flights will take you to Tokyo.

It’s possible to arrive there by boat from South Korea or Tai Wan and this is fairly cheap but then again domestic flights or buses cost the earth within Japan.

Hitchhiking is easy and a safe, effective way of getting around.

Visas and Overstays

Arriving in Japan the immigration officials are very likely to want to see a return ticket. It’s also best to reserve a room in a hotel even if you have no intention of going there.

Most nationalities are given 90 days stay on entering Japan and it’s possible to extend for another 90. It’s unclear what happens if you overstay.

When to Travel in Japan

Japan is sweltering in the summer and that makes life for the budget traveler a lot easier as you can always go and sleep in the park safely or hitchhike around. There’s also more outdoor events, parties and festivals.

The winter can be bitterly cold on the northern islands with Tokyo reaching near freezing and Sapporo catching some snow. You have to warm your hands all the time on hot cans of coffee from the vending machines in the streets.

From September to November the rains hit and all the street merchants feel sorry for themselves.