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Japan is 3,000km in length, running from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to almost to Taiwan in the south, so it can seem strange when the Japanese invariably relate how small their nation is. However, Japan is a country of difficult terrain; mostly mountainous, and made up of four main and thousands of smaller islands and islets. Travel between different areas can still be difficult; as a consequence, the better part of the population has crowded into the main cities, sited on the few plains in the nation, which are epitomised by the Kanto, greater Tokyo, region. Living in close proximity to millions of others undoubtedly invokes the notion of being in a cramped country.

Please note that for the sake of simplicity we have taken the liberty of dividing Japan’s principal island, Honshu, into three areas; North, Central and West.