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Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands.[10] The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan's land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with over 127 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Archaeological research indicates that people were living on the islands of Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan begins with brief appearances in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament called the Diet.

A major economic power, Japan has the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP (though recent government numbers from China claim China is now second)[12] and the third largest in purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and fifth largest importer. It is currently serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern and extensive military force in self-defense and peacekeeping roles. It is a developed country with very high living standards (11th highest HDI). After Singapore, Japan has the lowest homicide (including attempted homicide) rate in the world. Japan has the highest life expectancy of any country (according to both the UN and WHO estimates) and the third lowest infant mortality rate.

Ms Mari MIWA

• Bachelor of Business (Tourism Management) - La Trobe University
• Diploma of Travel and Tourism (Wholesale & Retail) - William Angliss Institute of TAFE
• Certificate of Education Support - Integration/Teacher Aide - Monash University

Mari was born and raised in Shizuoka, Japan. She has a passion for travel and has travelled the breadth of Japan from Hokkaido toOkinawa and expanded her horizons by venturing overseas to the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, the USA as welas other Asian countries. Her passion led to her dream that one day she would be able to take Japanese people overseas as a tour coordinator. Instead, she came to Melbourne to study Tourism Management and learn more about western culture. Mari has recently also been working at a Catholic primary school. At Passport Travel she now enjoys organising tours for Australian students to experience her homeland of Japan. Contact Mari for your group tour plans.

Feel free to contact us on 1800 337 031 for a free quote and itinerary.