Honshu, Japan's largest island, has an area of 87,805 square miles. About 80% of the Japanese people live here.
Three mountain ranges run side by side across northern Honshu. Many people live in small valleys. Agriculture is the chief occupation.
The towering peaks of the Japanese Alps, Japan's highest mountains, rise central Honshu. East of these mountains, a chain of volcanoes cuts across the center of the island. Japan's highest mountain and most famous peak, Mt. Fuji, or Fujiyama, is one of these volcanoes. Mount Fuji is inactive. The Kanto Plain, the country's largest lowland, spreads east from the Japanese Alps to the Pacific. This lowland is an important center of industry and agriculture. Tokyo stands on this Plain.
Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's four major islands, covers 30,144 square miles. It is the country's second largest island, but has only about 5% of Japan's total population. The largest city Hokkaido's and administrative center of the island is Sapporo.
Much of the island consists of forested mountains and hills. The economy depends mainly of dairy farming, forestry. and fishing. The island is also very popular for winter sports since it has long winters and heavy snowfall.
Kyushu, the southernmost of the main islands is 14,114 square feet. After Honshu, Kyushu is Japan's most heavily populated island, with about 11% of the population.