Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido,Kyushu and Shikoku, together comprising about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with over 127 million people. Honsh?'s 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.
The culture of Japan has evolved greatly over the millennia, from the country's prehistoric period, to its contemporary hybrid culture, which combines influences from Asia, Europe, and North America. The inhabitants of Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world during the Tokugawa shogunate, until the arrival of “The Black Ships” and the Meiji period.
Through a long culinary past, the Japanese have developed sophisticated and refined cuisine. In recent years, Japanese food has become fashionable and popular in the United States, Europe, and many other areas. Dishes such as sushi, tempura, and teriyaki are some of the foods that are commonly known. The Japanese diet consists principally of rice; fresh, lean seafood; and pickled or boiled vegetables. The healthy Japanese diet is often believed to be related to the longevity of Japanese people.