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A description of the geography of japan

Geologic framework

The two primary factors influences in Japan's climate are a location near the Asian continent and the existence of major oceanic currents. Two major ocean currents affect Japan: The Oyashio Current, which abounds in plankton beneficial to coldwater fish, flows southward along the northern Pacific, cooling adjacent coastal areas.

  • Its topography dictates to a large extent where and how its people earn their livings, and its climate influences its agriculture and styles of living;
  • There has been some discussion of employing new technology that creates sand from substances in seawater to help protect Okinotori from erosion;
  • However, Japan's island arcs come with unique benefits;
  • Earthquakes are common and result from a fault that circles the Pacific Ocean, causing earthquakes on the west coast of North and South America as well.

The intersection of these currents at 36 north latitude is a bountiful fishing ground. Japan's varied geographical features divide it into six principal climatic zones. Belonging to the humid continental climateHokkaido has long, cold winters and cool summers. Precipitation is not great. The northwest seasonal wind in winter gives heavy snowfall, which south of Tohoku mostly melts before the beginning of spring. In summer it is a little less rainy than the Pacific area but sometimes experiences extreme high temperatures due to the foehn wind phenomenon.

Geography of Japan

A typical inland climate gives large temperature variations between summers and winters and between days and nights. Precipitation is lower than on the coast due to rain shadow effects. The climate varies greatly between the north and the south but generally winters are significantly milder and sunnier than those of the side that faces the Sea of Japan.

Summers are hot due to the southeast seasonal wind. Precipitation is very heavy in the south, and heavy in the summer in the north. Precipitation is very high, and is especially affected by the rainy season and typhoons.


Japan is generally a rainy country with high humidity. Tokyo is at about 35 degrees north latitude, comparable to that of TehranAthensor Las Vegas. Regional climatic variations range from humid continental in the northern island of Hokkaido extending down through northern Japan to the Central Highlandthen blending with and eventually changing to a humid subtropical climate on the Pacific Coast and ultimately reaching tropical rainforest climate on the Yaeyama Islands of the Ryukyu Islands.

Climate also varies dramatically with altitude and with location on the Pacific Ocean or on the Sea of Japan. Northern Japan has warm summers but long, cold winters with heavy snow. Central Japan in its elevated position, has hot summers a description of the geography of japan moderate to short winters with some areas having very heavy snow, and southwestern Japan has long hot summer and short mild winters.

The generally temperate climate exhibits marked seasonal variation such as the blooming of the spring cherry blossoms, the calls of the summer cicada and fall foliage colors that are celebrated in art and literature.

The climate from June to September is marked by hot, wet weather brought by tropical airflows from the Pacific Ocean and Southeast Asia. These airflows are full of moisture and deposit substantial amounts of rain when they reach land.

  • By late 1941 this latter policy caused direct confrontation with the United States and its allies and to defeat in World War II 1939—45;
  • The Inland Sea Seto-naikai is the region where the greater amount of depression has resulted in the invasion of sea waters;
  • One consequence is that mountain blocks are often bounded by fault scarps and flexure slopes that descend in step formation to the adjacent lowlands;
  • Volcanos in Japan are ranked A to C in accordance with the degree of their volcanic activity, with A being the most active;
  • Several rows of mountains, lowlands, and volcanic zones are closely oriented to the general trend of the insular arc of this region, which is convex toward the Pacific Ocean.

There is a marked rainy season, beginning in early June and continuing for about a month. It is followed by hot, sticky weather. Five or six typhoons pass over or near Japan every year from early August to early October, sometimes resulting in significant damage.

The result is a flow of cold air southeastward across Japan that brings freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls to the central mountain ranges facing the Sea of Japan, but clear skies to areas fronting on the Pacific. In Okinawa, the rainy season starts early in May and continues until mid June.

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Unlike the rainy season in mainland Japan, it rains neither everyday nor all day long during the rainy season in Okinawa. Between July and October, typhoonsgrown from tropical depressions generated near the equator, can attack Japan with furious rainstorms.

In December there is a very pronounced sunshine gradient between the Sea of Japan and Pacific coasts, as the former side can receive less than 30 hours and the Pacific side as much as 180 hours. In summer, however, sunshine hours are lowest on exposed parts of the Pacific coast where fogs from the Oyashio current create persistent cloud cover similar to that found on the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin.

As an island nation, Japan has the 7th longest coastline in the world. Two prefectures— Hokkaido and Okinawa —are composed entirely of islands. The hottest temperature ever measured in Japan, 41. Environmental issues in Japan Environment - current issues: In the 2006 environment annual report, [16] the Ministry of Environment reported that current major issues are: Environment - international agreements: