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Japan Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only Japan hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Japan. If you're going to Japan save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Japan online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Japan, and rent a car in Japan right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Japan related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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How to Book a Hotel in Japan

In order to book an accommodation in Japan enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Japan hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Japan map to estimate the distance from the main Japan attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Japan hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Japan is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Japan is waiting for you!

Hotels of Japan

A hotel in Japan is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Japan hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Japan are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Japan hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Japan hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Japan have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Japan
An upscale full service hotel facility in Japan that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Japan hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Japan
Full service Japan hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Japan
Boutique hotels of Japan are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Japan boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Japan may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Japan
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Japan travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Japan focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Japan
Small to medium-sized Japan hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Japan traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Japan hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Japan
A bed and breakfast in Japan is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Japan bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Japan B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Japan
Japan hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Japan hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Japan
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Japan hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Japan lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Japan
Japan timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Japan often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Japan on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Japan
A Japan motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Japan for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Japan motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

Why HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined is the leading hotel metasearch engine founded in 2005, with headquarters in Sydney, Australia. It is widely recognized as the world's best hotel price comparison site and has won many of the most prestigious tourism industry awards. The site operates in over 40 languages, handles 120 different currencies and aggregates more than 2 million deals from hundreds of travel sites and hotel chains. The number of users counts more than 300,000 people a year with over $1,000,000,000 in estimated total cost of hotel reservations.

The main purpose of HotelsCombined hotel price comparison service is to help the travelers in finding a perfect accommodation option in Japan at the best price, eliminating the need to manually analyze hundreds of hotel booking sites and thousands of price offers. Through the partnership with the most popular hotel booking websites, online travel agencies and hotel chains, HotelsCombined allows its users to search for and compare the current rates on Japan hotels in a single search. It also provides an aggregated summary of hotel reviews and ratings from external sites.

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Travelling and vacation in Japan


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日本国 (Japanese)
Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle [1]
Golden circle subdivided by golden wedges with rounded outer edges and thin black outlines
Flag Imperial Seal
  • "Kimigayo"
  • 君が代

"His Imperial Majesty's Reign"
Government Seal of Japan
  • Seal of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Government of Japan
  • Go-Shichi no Kiri (五七桐)
Projection of Asia with Japan's Area coloured green
Area controlled by Japan shown in green
and largest city
 / 35.683; 139.767
Official languages None
Recognised regional languages
National language Japanese
Ethnic groups (2011)
  • 98.5% Japanese
  • 0.5% Korean
  • 0.4% Chinese
  • 0.6% other
  • 51.82% Shinto
  • 34.9% Buddhism
  • 4% Shinto sects
  • 2.3% Christianity
  • 6.98% No answer
Demonym Japanese
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Emperor
• Prime Minister
Shinzō Abe
• Deputy Prime Minister
Tarō Asō
Legislature National Diet
• Upper house
House of Councillors
• Lower house
House of Representatives
• National Foundation Day
February 11, 660 BCE
• Meiji Constitution
November 29, 1890
Current constitution
May 3, 1947
San Francisco
Peace Treaty
April 28, 1952
National Flag
and Anthem's Act
August 13, 1999
• Total
377,972 km (145,936 sq mi) (62nd)
• Water (%)
• 2017 census
126,760,000 (10th)
• Density
336/km (870.2/sq mi) (36th)
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
• Total
$5.420 trillion (4th)
• Per capita
$42,860 (27th)
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
$4.841 trillion (3rd)
• Per capita
$38,281 (20th)
Gini (2008) 37.6
medium · 76th
HDI (2015) Increase 0.903
very high · 17th
Currency Yen (¥) / En (JPY)
Time zone JST (UTC+9)
• Summer (DST)
not observed (UTC+9)
Date format
  • yyyy-mm-dd
  • yyyy年m月d日
  • Era yy年m月d日 (CE−1988)
Drives on the left
Calling code +81
ISO 3166 code JP
Internet TLD .jp
Japanese name
Kanji 日本国
Kana ニッポンコク
Hiragana にっぽんこく
Kyūjitai 日本國
Romanization Nippon-koku
Revised Hepburn Nippon-koku

Japan (Japanese: 日本 Nippon [ɲip̚poɴ] or Nihon [ɲihoɴ]; formally 日本国 About this sound Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, meaning "State of Japan") is a sovereign island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland, and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the southwest.

The kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin". 日 can be read as ni and means sun, while 本 can be read as hon, or pon and means origin. Japan is often referred to by the famous epithet "Land of the Rising Sun" in reference to its Japanese name.

Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions; Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan's total population. Approximately 9.1 million people live in the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor.

Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma, and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism.

The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947 during the occupation by the SCAP, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.

Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, and the G20 and is considered a great power. The country has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world, with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.

Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a very high standard of living and Human Development Index. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world.

Japan: Etymology

The Japanese word for Japan is 日本, which is pronounced Nihon or Nippon, and literally means "the origin of the sun". The character nichi () means "sun" or "day"; hon () means "base" or "origin". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun", and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun".

The earliest record of the name "Nihon" appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country. This name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself 'the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises' (日出處天子). The message said: "Here I the emperor of the country where the sun rises send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you." Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as "Yamato" (大和, or Great Wa) and "Wakoku" (倭国) were used. The term Wa () is a homophone of Wo 倭 (pronounced Wa by the Japanese) used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period. However, the Japanese dislike the connotation of Wa 倭 with the word 'dwarf' and it was therefore replaced with the Wa (), meaning "harmony".

The English word Japan possibly derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or possibly early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本 Japan is Zeppen [zəʔpən]. The old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect, probably Fukienese or Ningpo, and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in South East Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders then brought the word to Europe. The first record of this name in English is in a book published in 1577 and spelled Giapan, in a translation of a 1565 letter written by a Portuguese Jesuit Luís Fróis.

From the Meiji Restoration until the end of World War II, the full title of Japan was Dai Nippon Teikoku (大日本帝國), meaning "the Empire of Great Japan". Today, the name Nihon-koku / Nippon-koku (日本国) is used as a formal modern-day equivalent with the meaning of "the State of Japan"; countries like Japan whose long form does not contain a descriptive designation are generally given a name appended by the character koku (), meaning "country", "nation" or "state".

Japan: History

History of Japan
Naiku 01.JPG
  • Glossary
  • Timeline

Japanese culture has evolved greatly from its origins. Contemporary culture combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. Traditional Japanese arts include crafts such as ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, swords and dolls; performances of bunraku, kabuki, noh, dance, and rakugo; and other practices, the tea ceremony, ikebana, martial arts, calligraphy, origami, onsen, Geisha and games. Japan has a developed system for the protection and promotion of both tangible and intangible Cultural Properties and National Treasures. Nineteen sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, fifteen of which are of cultural significance.

Japan: Architecture

Kinkaku-ji or "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion" in Kyoto, Special Historic Site, Special Place of Scenic Beauty, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its torching by a monk in 1950 is the subject of a novel by Mishima

Japanese architecture is a combination between local and other influences. It has traditionally been typified by wooden structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs. Sliding doors (fusuma) were used in place of walls, allowing the internal configuration of a space to be customized for different occasions. People usually sat on cushions or otherwise on the floor, traditionally; chairs and high tables were not widely used until the 20th century. Since the 19th century, however, Japan has incorporated much of Western, modern, and post-modern architecture into construction and design, and is today a leader in cutting-edge architectural design and technology.

The introduction of Buddhism during the sixth century was a catalyst for large-scale temple building using complicated techniques in wood. Influence from the Chinese Tang and Sui Dynasties led to the foundation of the first permanent capital in Nara. Its checkerboard street layout used the Chinese capital of Chang'an as a template for its design. A gradual increase in the size of buildings led to standard units of measurement as well as refinements in layout and garden design. The introduction of the tea ceremony emphasised simplicity and modest design as a counterpoint to the excesses of the aristocracy.

During the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the history of Japanese architecture was radically changed by two important events. The first was the Kami and Buddhas Separation Act of 1868, which formally separated Buddhism from Shinto and Buddhist temples from Shinto shrines, breaking an association between the two which had lasted well over a thousand years.

Second, it was then that Japan underwent a period of intense Westernization in order to compete with other developed countries. Initially architects and styles from abroad were imported to Japan but gradually the country taught its own architects and began to express its own style. Architects returning from study with western architects introduced the International Style of modernism into Japan. However, it was not until after the Second World War that Japanese architects made an impression on the international scene, firstly with the work of architects like Kenzo Tange and then with theoretical movements like Metabolism.

Japan: Art

The Shrines of Ise have been celebrated as the prototype of Japanese architecture. Largely of wood, traditional housing and many temple buildings see the use of tatami mats and sliding doors that break down the distinction between rooms and indoor and outdoor space. Japanese sculpture, largely of wood, and Japanese painting are among the oldest of the Japanese arts, with early figurative paintings dating back to at least 300 BC. The history of Japanese painting exhibits synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and adaptation of imported ideas.

The interaction between Japanese and European art has been significant: for example ukiyo-e prints, which began to be exported in the 19th century in the movement known as Japonism, had a significant influence on the development of modern art in the West, most notably on post-Impressionism. Famous ukiyo-e artists include Hokusai and Hiroshige. Hokusai coined the term manga. Japanese comics now known as manga developed in the 20th century and have become popular worldwide. Japanese animation is called anime. Japanese-made video game consoles have been popular since the 1980s.

Japan: Music

Masayo Ishigure playing 13-strings Koto

Japanese music is eclectic and diverse. Many instruments, such as the koto, were introduced in the 9th and 10th centuries. The accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the 14th century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-like shamisen, from the sixteenth. Western classical music, introduced in the late 19th century, now forms an integral part of Japanese culture. The imperial court ensemble Gagaku has influenced the work of some modern Western composers.

Notable classical composers from Japan include Toru Takemitsu and Rentarō Taki. Popular music in post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American and European trends, which has led to the evolution of J-pop, or Japanese popular music. Karaoke is the most widely practiced cultural activity in Japan. A 1993 survey by the Cultural Affairs Agency found that more Japanese had sung karaoke that year than had participated in traditional pursuits such as flower arranging (ikebana) or tea ceremonies.

Japan: Literature

12th-century illustrated handscroll of The Tale of Genji, a National Treasure

The earliest works of Japanese literature include the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki chronicles and the Man'yōshū poetry anthology, all from the 8th century and written in Chinese characters. In the early Heian period, the system of phonograms known as kana (Hiragana and Katakana) was developed. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is considered the oldest Japanese narrative. An account of Heian court life is given in The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon, while The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu is often described as the world's first novel.

During the Edo period, the chōnin ("townspeople") overtook the samurai aristocracy as producers and consumers of literature. The popularity of the works of Saikaku, for example, reveals this change in readership and authorship, while Bashō revivified the poetic tradition of the Kokinshū with his haikai (haiku) and wrote the poetic travelogue Oku no Hosomichi. The Meiji era saw the decline of traditional literary forms as Japanese literature integrated Western influences. Natsume Sōseki and Mori Ōgai were the first "modern" novelists of Japan, followed by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Yukio Mishima and, more recently, Haruki Murakami. Japan has two Nobel Prize-winning authors-Yasunari Kawabata (1968) and Kenzaburō Ōe (1994).

Japan: Philosophy

Kitaro Nishida, one of the most notable Japanese philosophers

Japanese Philosophy has historically been a fusion of both foreign; particularly Chinese and Western, and uniquely Japanese elements. In its literary forms, Japanese philosophy began about fourteen centuries ago.

Archaeological evidence and early historical accounts suggest that Japan was originally an animistic culture, which viewed the world as infused with kami (神) or sacred presence as taught by Shinto, though it is not a philosophy as such, but has greatly influenced all other philosophies in their Japanese interpretations.

Confucianism entered Japan from China around the 5th century A.D., as did Buddhism. Confucian ideals are still evident today in the Japanese concept of society and the self, and in the organization of the government and the structure of society. Buddhism has profoundly impacted Japanese psychology, metaphysics, and aesthetics.

Neo-Confucianism, which became prominent in the sixteenth century during the Tokugawa era, shaped Japanese ideas of virtue and social responsibility, and, through its emphasis on investigating the principle or configuration of things, stimulated the Japanese study of the natural world. Also since the 16th century, certain indigenous ideas of loyalty and honour have been held. Western philosophy has had its major impact in Japan only since the middle of the 19th century.

Japan: Cuisine

Breakfast at a ryokan or inn
Maiko preparing teacups for tea ceremony

Japanese cuisine is based on combining staple foods, typically Japanese rice or noodles, with a soup and okazu-dishes made from fish, vegetable, tofu and the like-to add flavor to the staple food. In the early modern era ingredients such as red meats that had previously not been widely used in Japan were introduced. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food, quality of ingredients and presentation. Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialties that use traditional recipes and local ingredients. The phrase ichijū-sansai (一汁三菜, "one soup, three sides") refers to the makeup of a typical meal served, but has roots in classic kaiseki, honzen, and yūsoku cuisine. The term is also used to describe the first course served in standard kaiseki cuisine nowadays.

Traditional Japanese sweets are known as wagashi. Ingredients such as red bean paste and mochi are used. More modern-day tastes includes green tea ice cream, a very popular flavor. Almost all manufacturers produce a version of it. Kakigori is a shaved ice dessert flavored with syrup or condensed milk. It is usually sold and eaten at summer festivals. Popular Japanese beverages such as sake, which is a brewed rice beverage that, typically, contains 15%~17% alcohol and is made by multiple fermentation of rice. Other beverage like beer is produced in some region such as Sapporo Brewery, the oldest Japan beer's brand. The Michelin Guide has awarded restaurants in Japan more Michelin stars than the rest of the world combined.

Japan: Holidays

Young ladies celebrate Coming of Age Day (成人の日 Seijin no Hi) in Harajuku, Tokyo

Officially, Japan has 16 national, government-recognized holidays. Public holidays in Japan are regulated under the Public Holiday Law (国民の祝日に関する法律 Kokumin no Shukujitsu ni Kansuru Hōritsu) of 1948. Beginning in 2000, Japan implemented the Happy Monday System, which moved a number of national holidays to Monday in order to obtain a long weekend. In 2006, the country decided to add Shōwa Day, a new national holiday, in place of Greenery Day on April 29, and to move Greenery Day to May 4. These changes took effect in 2007. In 2014, the House of Councillors decided to add Mountain Day (山の日, Yama no Hi) to the Japanese calendar on August 11, after lobbying by the Japanese Alpine Club. It is intended to coincide with the Bon Festival vacation time, giving Japanese people an opportunity to appreciate Japan's mountains.

The national holidays in Japan are New Year's Day on January 1, Coming of Age Day on Second Monday of January, National Foundation Day on February 11, Vernal Equinox Day on March 20 or 21, Shōwa Day on April 29, Constitution Memorial Day on May 3, Greenery Day on May 4, Children's Day on May 5, Marine Day on Third Monday of July, Mountain Day on August 11, Respect for the Aged Day on Third Monday of September, Autumnal Equinox on September 23 or 24, Health and Sports Day on Second Monday of October, Culture Day on November 3, Labour Thanksgiving Day on November 23, and The Emperor's Birthday on December 23.

Japan: Festivals

Popular Japanese festival, Hanami celebration at Ueno Park, Tokyo

There are many festivals in Japan, which are called in Japanese as matsuri (祭) which celebrate annually. There are no specific festival days for all of Japan; dates vary from area to area, and even within a specific area, but festival days do tend to cluster around traditional holidays such as Setsubun or Obon. Festivals are often based around one event, with food stalls, entertainment, and carnival games to keep people entertained. Its usually sponsored by a local shrine or temple, though they can be secular.

Notable festival often feature processions which may include elaborate floats. Preparation for these processions is usually organised at the level of neighborhoods, or machi (町). Prior to these, the local kami may be ritually installed in mikoshi and paraded through the streets, such as Gion in Kyoto, and Hadaka in Okayama.

Japan: Sports

Sumo wrestlers form around the referee during the ring-entering ceremony
National High School Baseball Championship at Koshien Stadium

Traditionally, sumo is considered Japan's national sport. Japanese martial arts such as judo, karate and kendo are also widely practiced and enjoyed by spectators in the country. After the Meiji Restoration, many Western sports were introduced in Japan and began to spread through the education system.

Japan hosted the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964 and the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998. Further, the country hosted the official 2006 Basketball World Championship. Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, making Tokyo the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice. Japan is the most successful Asian Rugby Union country, winning the Asian Five Nations a record 6 times and winning the newly formed IRB Pacific Nations Cup in 2011. Japan will host the 2019 IRB Rugby World Cup.

Baseball is currently the most popular spectator sport in the country. Japan's top professional league, now known as Nippon Professional Baseball, was established in 1936 and is widely considered to be the highest level of professional baseball in the world outside of the North American Major Leagues. Since the establishment of the Japan Professional Football League in 1992, association football has also gained a wide following. Japan was a venue of the Intercontinental Cup from 1981 to 2004 and co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with South Korea. Japan has one of the most successful football teams in Asia, winning the Asian Cup four times. Also, Japan recently won the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011. Golf is also popular in Japan, as are forms of auto racing like the Super GT series and Formula Nippon. The country has produced one NBA player, Yuta Tabuse.

Japan: Media

Fuji TV headquarters in Tokyo
NHK Broadcasting Building in Osaka

Television and newspapers take an important role in Japanese mass media, though radio and magazines also take apart. For a long time, newspapers were regarded as the most influential information medium in Japan, although audience attitudes towards television changed with the emergence of commercial news broadcasting in the mid-1980s. Over the last decade, television has clearly come to surpass newspapers as Japan's main information and entertainment medium.

There are 6 nationwide television networks, such as NHK (public broadcasting), Nippon Television (NTV), Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), Fuji Network System (FNS), TV Asahi, and TV Tokyo Network (TXN). For the most part, television networks were established based on capital investments by existing radio networks. Variety shows, serial dramas, and news constitute a large percentage of Japanese television show. According to the fourth NHK survey on television viewing in Japan, 95 percent of Japanese watch television every day. The average daily duration of television viewing ranged from approximately four hours.

Japanese readers have a choice of approximately 120 daily newspapers with a total of 50 million copies of 'set paper' with an average subscription rate of 1.13 newspapers per household. The main newspaper's publishers are Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nikkei Shimbun, and Sankei Shimbun. According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Newspaper Association in June 1999, 85.4 per cent of men and 75 per cent of women read a newspaper every day. Average daily reading times vary with 27.7 minutes on weekdays and 31.7 minutes on holidays and Sunday.

Japan: See also

  • Index of Japan-related articles
  • Outline of Japan
  • Housing in Japan

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Japan: Notes

  1. Bestor, Yamagata. 2011. pp. 66–67: 無宗教 mushūkyō, "no religion", in Japanese language and mindset identifies those people who do not belong to organised religion. To the Japanese, the term "religion" or "faith" means organized religions on the model of Christianity, that is a religion with specific doctrines and requirement for church membership. So, when asked "what is their religion", most of the Japanese answer that they "do not belong to any religion". According to NHK studies, those Japanese who identify with mushūkyō and therefore do not belong to any organised religion, actually take part in the folk ritual dimension of Shinto. Ama Toshimaru in Nihonjin wa naze mushukyo na no ka ("Why are the Japanese non-religious?") of 1996, explains that people who do not belong to organised religions but regularly pray and make offerings to ancestors and protective deities at private altars or Shinto shrines will identify themselves as mushukyo. Ama designates "natural religion" what NHK studies define as "folk religion", and other scholars have named "Nipponism" (Nipponkyō) or "common religion".
  2. According to the Dentsu survey of 2006: 1% Protestants, 0.8% members of the Catholic Church, and 0.5% members of the Orthodox Church.

Japan: Further reading

  • Flath (2000). The Japanese Economy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-877503-2.
  • Henshall (2001). A History of Japan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23370-1.
  • Iwabuchi (2002). Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism. ISBN 0-8223-2891-7.
  • Jansen (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Belknap. ISBN 0-674-00334-9.
  • Kato; et al. (1997). A History of Japanese Literature: From the Man'Yoshu to Modern Times. Japan Library. ISBN 1-873410-48-4.
  • Pilling, David (2014). Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-84614-546-9.
  • Samuels (2008). Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia. ISBN 0-8014-7490-6.
  • Silverberg (2007). Erotic Grotesque Nonsense: The Mass Culture of Japanese Modern Times. ISBN 0-520-22273-3.
  • Sugimoto; et al. (2003). An Introduction to Japanese Society. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52925-5.
  • Taggart Murphy, R. (2014). Japan and the Shackles of the Past. Oxford and New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-984598-9.
  • Varley (2000). Japanese Culture. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2152-1.
  • Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, official site
  • The Imperial Household Agency, official site of the Imperial House of Japan
  • National Diet Library
  • Public Relations Office
  • Japan National Tourist Organization
  • "Japan". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Japan from UCB Libraries GovPubs
  • Japan at DMOZ
  • Japan Encyclopædia Britannica entry
  • Japan profile from BBC News
  • Japan from the OECD
  • Wikimedia Atlas of Japan
  • Geographic data related to Japan at OpenStreetMap
  • Key Development Forecasts for Japan from International Futures

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