Japan is an island group of wide variations in its geography. The northern to southern extremities of the islands cover over 20 degrees in latitude and range from tropical islands in the south to continental climate of Hokkaido in the north.
Tokyo is the largest city in Japan and is one of the largest cities in the world. The drive to cultivate the available flat land in this dramatically mountainous country has led to much largest island, Honshu, to have been developed. The steep sloped mountains therefore provide a treasured natural escape for the largely city dwelling Japanese population.
With over 6,500 islands in the archipelago Japan has long had a strong relationship with the sea. The highest mountain of Mount Fuji is an iconic emblem of the nation situated on the edge of the Tokyo plain and the longest river is Ishikari at 167 miles long.
The dramatic geography of Italy is characterised by the mountain ranges of the Apennines and the Italian Alps, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and the industrial heart of the country in the Po Valley. These strikingly different geographical regions have gifted Italy with a diverse range of cultures and traditions.
The highest mountain in Italy, Mont Blanc, straddles the western border with France and the largest city is Rome on the western coast of the peninsula. The volcanic spine of the country has several active volcanoes and Mount Etna can be found on the southern island of Sicily. The longest river in Italy is the Po (405 miles) which bisects the country from west to east from the Alps to the Adriatic sea just south of Venice.
The volcanic North Atlantic island of Iceland is an iconic emblem of Scandinavian culture.