All About Japan!

By: Chandru Sundarrajan, Sriram Palepu, Annabelle Kim - 5th

Basic Information

Country: Japan


Relative Location: Japan is an island located to the east of China and North/South Korea.


Absolute Location: Tokyo, the capital city, is located at 35°41′N 139°46′E.

Seasons in Japan

Just like America, Japan has four different seasons - spring, summer, fall, and winter.


      • Spring in during March, April, May

      • Summer is during June, July, August

      • Fall is during September, October, November

      • Winter is during December, January, February


The seasons of America and Japan are almost the same because both countries are just about at the same latitude, which are the lines that left to right on the globe.


The tilt of the Earth causes the four seasons. During a full turn that takes one year, the tilt causes different areas of the Earth to get different amounts of sunlight, which makes different temperatures during the four seasons.

Japan's Climate (Weather)

Japan is in the temperate climate zone, which is an area that has weather changes depending on the four seasons. There are four main islands in Japan; Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. All the islands are very close to each other, but each island has different temperatures and the amount of rain.


Honshu: This is the largest island because Tokyo is here and there are more than 110 million people. The temperature is usually 38º F in the winter and 77º F in summer, and precipitation, which is the amount of rain and snow, is really high. It is 170 cm a year.


Hokkaido: This island is the coldest island in Japan and it the one closest to the North Pole. The temperatures is 15º F in winter and 65º in the summer. This island receives a little less precipitation, 110 cm a year.


Kyushu: This island has a more subtropical climate and is like to Nevada, United States. It receives about 140 cm of precipitation a year, and temperatures is 40º F to 80º F all year.


Shikoku: Shikoku also has a subtropical climate, and the precipitation and temperatures are almost like twins with Kyushu.


Land/Water Forms in Japan

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is the largest, tallest mountain in Japan and is on the island of Honshu. It is only 62 miles from the capital Tokyo and is a cultural landmark of Japan because it is an active volcano that has gotten bigger from lots of ash, lava, and stone.

Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa is a lake created by tectonic plates moving. Tectonic olates are plates that are the crust of Earth. It is close to the capital, Tokyo, and is home to many cool species found only in the lake.

Kibi Plateau

The Kibi Plateau was made from magma inside the Earth that couldn’t break through the crust and instead made the land higher and taller. It is growing bigger!


Abukuma-Do Cave

These caves were created when acids and water in rain eroded a mineral in the limestone rock causing large holes to appear. These holes slowly became larger and became caves.

The Japanese Archipelago

The Japanese archipelago is actually the country of Japan itself! When tectonic plates moved a long time ago, they made a large pile of granite and other stones which rose out of the water and became Japan.


Kanto Plain

This plain was formed when dirt from the volcanoes was deposited onto this flat area of land through wind and water. This dirt mixed in with the area making a plain with lots of nutrients.


The Ring of Fire

When two large tectonic plates crashed into each other, one of them fell under the other one. This is called subduction and made a large ring of volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean which is called The Ring of Fire.

The Japan Trench

When a "wet" plate and a "dry" plate collided, the "wet" plate slipped under the "dry" plate creating a large, deep portion of the sea which is called the Japan Trench. A "wet" plat is called an oceanic plate and a "dry" plate is called a continental plate.

Shimanto-Gawa River

Water on the other side of a mountain range had collected up and then the low height of these mountains caused the water to flow down creating this river. It is famous for its minerals and gold which came from the mountain range it starts at.

Kagoshima Bay

This bay was caused by pyroclastic flow from a volcano. This means that the volcano's gases cracked open large volcanic rocks and caused them to break apart in the ocean. The water from the ocean than overcame this land and created this bay of the coast of the Kagoshima prefecture.

Biomes of Japan

Japan has two main biomes:

Temperate Deciduous Forest: This biome is made up of trees such as oak, beech, and maple, and is in the Southern islands of Japan. The warm climate here helps such trees to grow.


Coniferous Forest: This biome is made of evergreen trees that have needle-like leaves. These trees are out in cold climates, and that's why they are in Northern Japan.

Natural Disasters

Earthquakes

Japan have huge earthquakes because the country sits near the intersection of three tectonic plates. Tectonic plates are large pieces of crust under the ground, and when they shake, an earthquake occurs. One of the largest earthquakes in history was off the coast of Honshu, Japan in 2011.

Tsunamis

Tsunamis are like earthquakes, except that they happen underwater. The large earthquake underwater causes huge waves that can wipe out an entire city! The same earthquake mentioned above, which was in 2011, caused a huge tsunami with waves over 40 feet high in the air!

Volcanic Eruptions

Volcanoes are mountains with lava underneath that may erupt. Japan's Ring of Fire region causes this because it is full of volcanoes formed by the many tectonic plates underneath that bump into each other. The 1914 Sakurajima Volcano was record-breaking and sent lava spewing across much of Japan.

Bibliography

"Japan Climate." Weather in Japan, Climate & Environment in Japan. STA Travel Co., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2013. <http://www.statravel.com.au/japan-climate.htm>.


"Kids Web Japan." Nature and Climate. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2013. <http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/explore/nature/>.b


"What Are the Landforms of Japan?" Travel Tips. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://traveltips.usatoday.com/landforms-japan-35872.html>.


"Landforms - Japan's Geography." Landforms - Japan's Geography. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <http://japansgeography.weebly.com/landforms.html>.