Japan - Nature and Wildlife
Despite the impression that all of Japan is made up of bustling cities, more than two-thirds of the country is covered in mountains, hills and forests while industrial areas account for less than 10% of the land area. There are between 5000-6000 plant species found in Japan ranging from subtropical to coniferous forests in the north. The Sakura (cherry blossom) is the unofficial flower and symbol of Japan. The Ume (Japanese plum) is popular and is a sign of early spring. The Momji (Japanese Maple) and the Japanese Pine are used frequently in gardens as centrepieces with the pine symbolising youth and longevity as it remains green all year long.
There are approximately 130 mammals in Japan. The Japanese Macaque is endemic to the country and is considered the most northernly monkey in the world. Its habitat is mainly tropical rainforests but it is unique in that it can also adopt to snowy conditions. Brown Bears and the Asiatic Black Bear live in Japan as well as two wild cats, the Leopard Cat on Tsushima Island and the Iriomote Cat, unique to the island that shares its name.
There are 600 bird species found throughout Japan and many are endemic. The Japanese woodpecker, the copper pheasant, the Okinawa rail, the Izu thrush and the national bird - the green pheasant - are only found in Japan. Nearly half of the 73 reptile species in Japan are native and there are also 40 amphibians including the Japanese Giant Salamander. Fish number around 3000 different freshwater and saltwater species.
Due to the economic growth after the Second World War, the government expressed concern over potential environmental pollution and introduced environmental protection laws in the 1970s. There are now 30 National Parks as well as many conservation areas throughout the country. Some examples include the Shiretoko Peninsula, which is a national park in Hokkaido. It is home to abundant wildlife including one of the highest concentrations of brown bears in the world. Mt. Takao is a refuge for wildlife with more than 1300 species of plants and approximately 150 birds and over 500 insects calling it home. It also serves as a monkey park. On top of conservation efforts, today, Japan is one of the leaders in development of new environmentally friendly technologies in the world.
Japan Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Japan.
Learn about the history and culture of Japan, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Japan's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Japan for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Japan tours today!
Extend Your Trip
After your Japan tour, consider taking the time to visit other destinations. Goway offers exciting China vacation packages, India tours and Thailand vacation packages plus a comprehensive selection of vacation packages in many other Asian countries.
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