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Topography, Geography

  It is an island nation lying off the east coast of Asia. It has the general shape of a crescent and extends 3,500 km (1,860 miles) from tip to tip. The country is made up of four main islands (Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Hokkaido) with smaller islands of about 7,000 that referred to as the Japanese Archipelago.

  Japan's land area of about 378,000 km2 (146,000 square miles) is slightly larger than that of Malaysia, one twenty-fifth that of China, one twenty-fifth that of the United States, one twenty-third of brazil, and one fifth that of Indonesia.

  About 70% of Japan's land area is mountainous. The highest peaks are in the 3,000-meter class (10,000-foot class). These ranges are often referred to as the North, Central, and South Alps. Collectively, they are called the Japanese or Nippon Alps. These  designations were introduced into the Japanese vocabulary by Walter Weston, an Englishman, in 1896.

  Mt. Fuji is Japan's highest peak with an altitude of 3,776 meters flowing skirts, the mountain's beauty is most stunning in winter when its upper half is covered with snow. Mt. Fuji's most recent eruption was a major one in 1707, about three hundred years ago. Japan has about sixty active volcanoes.

  Japan is divided into eight districts, and each districts divided several prefectures. Japan has fourty seven prefectures (To-Tokyo-to, Dou-Hokkaido, Hu-Osaka-hu, Kyoto-hu, and four-ty three prefectures.