Japan Facts

Interesting Japan Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Japan Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

  • Population: 126 million people live in Japan (2022)
  • Capital: Tokyo, which is the biggest city in Japan with over 13 million inhabitants.  
  • Name: Japan, in Japanese: Nihon or Nippon
  • Government: Constitutional Monarchy. The Japanese emperor is called Naruhito.
  • Language: Japanese
  • Religion: majority are Buddhists or Shintoists
  • Life expectancy: 86 years
  • Currency: 1 Yen (JP¥) = 100 sen
  • National Anthem: "Kimigayo" - The Emperor's Reign
  • National Symbols: red sun disk (as shown on the flag), national bird: green pheasant, national flower: cherry blossom and chrysanthemum, national fish: Japanese koi fish
  • National Day/Emperor's Birthday: 23 February - Birthday of Emperor Naruhito, who was born in 1960
  • Prime Minister: Fumio Kishida, since 2021

Japan Geography | Japan Map
Where is Japan?

Japan is an island country on the Asian continent. More exactly, Japan is an archipelago or chain of islands along the eastern coast of Asia, reaching from the northern coast of Russia to the South East China Sea.

On the map below you can spot where Japan is located in eastern Asia. 

Map of Japan

The Japanese islands consist of 4 main islands and many of smaller isles. In total there are over 6,800 islands! The largest of the four major islands is Honshu, which is also the seventh largest island in the world.

The biggest cities in Japan are Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya.

The highest mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji, a dormant (sleeping) volcano, which last erupted in 1707. Mount Fuji is 3,776 metres/ 12,388 feet high.

Snowcapped Mount Fuji in Japan - Japan FactsSnowcapped Mount Fuji in Japan

Japan lies on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire', a chain of volcanoes which are responsible for the most dramatic volcanic outbreakes and tsunamis in the recent years. In Japan, there are more than 108 active volcanos. Japan records the most earthquakes in the world every year. Read our Pacific Ocean here.

Japan is slightly smaller than the state of California in the USA or slightly bigger than Germany.

A flight to Tokyo takes a  8 hours flight from Singapore, 13 hours from London/England, 12.5 hours from New York/USA. 

Japan Attractions

Here are our favourite Japan attractions for kids:

Tokyo Skyline
  • Tokyo: Visit the Imperial Palace and gardens or have fun at Disneyland Tokyo
  • Kyoto: see the historic sites and temples such as the famous Golden Pavilion
  • Osaka: visit Dotonbori, the main entertainment district and the aquarium or go on tour in the Universal Studios
Shinsekai Osaka - shutterstockShinsekai in Osaka at night
  • Hokkaido: Go skiing or snowboarding in one of the oldest ski resorts in Japan
  • Nagano: Monkey parks and hot springs and the famous Matsumoto Castle
  • And don't forget try to go on a ride on the super-fast Shinkansen train, the high-speed Japanese bullet train. The maximum speed of the train is 320 kph/ 200 miles per hour)
Shinkansen Train - image by Sean Pavone

Japan People

Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. About one third of the population live in and around Tokyo and the central plains of Honshu. Most people (over 90%) live in urban areas.

Japan is the oldest monarchy in the world and has an emperor. Naruhito, the reigning emperor is Japan's 126th emperor, in Japanese called 'tenno'. The emperor's wife is Empress Masako. The imperial palace is in Tokyo and this is the main residence of the imperial family.

Emperor Naruhito and empress Masako - wikicommons - Official White House Photo by Andea HanksEmperor Naruhito and Empress Masako

The crown is usually handed down from father to his son or grandson. Naruhito was crowned in May 2019, after his father, Emperor Akihito, stepped down. 

The emperor's father Akihito and mother Michiko at their wedding in 1959 in Japanese traditional dress

Japan Facts | Japanese Language


Japanese, or Nihongo, is spoken by about 128 million people worldwide. The Japanese language is complex, but there are no singular and plural forms and there is no gender form (as in French, Spanish or German) and no articles are used.

There are only 48 sounds so it is relatively easy to learn to speak, but learning how to write Japanese is quite a task.

There are three styles of writing the symbols. The biggest challenge is learning to write the characters!

Japanese Schoolchildren

In Japan, learners at most schools have to wear school uniforms as the primary school children in the image. 

Japan School Kids lining up - image by Stephane Bedouze

The Japanese school holidays are much shorter than in most countries around the world, and even during holidays and on weekends, many Japanese students go to school for club activities or extra lessons.

Japanese celebrate many festivals among them the most popular in springtime to celebrate the spring flower season and the cherry blossom. The Gion Matsuri in July is celebrated in Kyoto when the Japanese people dress in traditional kimonos.

Famous Japanese People

Jellyfish Eyes by Takashi MurakamiArtwork 'Jellyfish Eyes' by Takashi Murakami

Famous Japanese are:

  • Miyamoto Musashi, a samurai 1584 - 1645
  • Yoko Ono, anti-war activist and artist (and widow of Beatles star John Lennon). Born in 1933
  • Haruki Murakami, writer (born 1949), he won many awards for his works
  • Takashi Murakami, artist (born 1962), see his artworks 'Jellyfish Eyes' in the image
  • Yamapi, actor and youth idol (born 1985)
  • Emperor Akihito, former emperor/'tenno heika' (reigning from 1989 - 2019)

Japan Facts | Japanese Food

The Japanese diet consists mainly of rice, fish, soy products and vegetables. Many dishes contain these ingredients and soups as well as sushi are very popular.

Japanese sushi in bento boxJapanese Sushi in a typical bento box

Popular Japanese dishes are:

  • Sushi: raw fish or seafood dish but also vegetable can be used in these dainty little bites or rice rolls
  • Bento box: Lunch boxes often filled with sushi or other treats and snacks
  • Ramen: thin egg noodles, usually served in broth
  • Soba: buckwheat noodles, usually served in broth
  • Tempura: light and crispy deep-fried food such as fried vegetables, fish, seafood or meat
  • Teriyaki: dark sticky sauce containing honey, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. This sauce is popularly served with meat or fish dishes.
  • Taiyaki: sweet cake treat with various fillings in fish shape
  • Yakitory: chicken cubes on skewers often dipped into a salty soy sauce
Typical Fishmarket shop

Japan Economy

Japan is the third largest economy in the world after the USA and China. The country however, has no natural energy resources and is the world's largest importer of oil, coal and liquefied natural gas. Japan was was badly affected by the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in 2011, there are many coal plants currently under construction in Japan.

Jjapan car assembly line - image by Bandit Chanheng/shutterstock.comJapan car assembly

The main trading partners of Japan are the USA, China, South Korea and Australia. The main export products of Japan is known for the production of motor vehicles, electronics, robotics and mobile games. Some of the biggest companies in Japan are Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda and Sony.

The unemployment rate in Japan is very low, but still more than 15% of the Japanese population live under very poor conditions.

Japan Facts | Animals in Japan

In Japan, deer roaming the many parks are a common sight. Here you see a girl with a deer.

Deer in Japan

Japan has also one of the largest thermal regions in the world. Many popular hot springs are to be found on the southwestern side of Japan. The hot springs are called 'onsen'. There are local snow monkeys which keep warm by bathing in the hot springs as you can see below.

Japanese snow monkeysJapanese snow monkeys taking a bath

Diverse species of animals can be found in Japan, the most common animals are snow monkeys (Japanese macaques), deer, flying squirrels, wild cats and bears. There are about 160 species of wild animals, 700 species of birds and 32 000 insect species in Japan.

Interesting Japan Facts
Did you know...?

ikebana - Japanese art of flower arrangingJapanese art of ikebana - flower arranging

... that Japanese love plants and they even have an artform of arranging flowers which is called 'ikebana'. This art of arranging flowers is known worldwide for its special way of showcasing the beauty of the flowers in the flower arrangement. 

Another artform involving plants is the art of growing bonsai trees. Growing these miniature trees is a common hobby in Japan. Pine, maple, cherry and plum trees are the most popular trees used for this art of cutting back and trimming. The mini trees are kept small and healthy but in a similar shape as their counterpart in nature, just a lot smaller.

Japan Facts for Kids | Resources

Find more Japan Facts for further research here:

  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Japan." CIA WorldFactBook. Last updated 17 February 2022. Last accessed 1 March 2022
  • Ellen Freeman. "9 Ways Japanese Schools Are Different From American Schools." Mental Floss.18 September 2015. Last accessed 1 March 2022

Popular Pages

We hope you enjoyed reading our Japan Facts for Kids. Make sure to bookmark this page, as we plan to add on more information to make this page even more interesting, not only for children:-)

Picture credits on this page: Images by Shutterstock.com, Schoolkids by Stephane Bidouze, Fishmarket by F11Photos, top image for Japan facts by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

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