Land and Resources, Coastline
irregular coastline, Osaka Bay, Wakasa, eastern coast of central, Tokyo Bay
Japan has a long and irregular coastline totaling some 29,750 km (18,490 mi). The coastlines of Hokkaido and western and northern Honshu are relatively straight. The most prominent features of Hokkaidoís coastline are the Oshima Peninsula at the south end of the island and the Uchiura and Ishikari bays, which flank the peninsula on opposite coasts. The western coast of Honshu on the almost tideless Sea of Japan possesses Japanís largest sandy beaches and its tallest dunes. The only conspicuous indentations in this coastline are Wakasa and Toyama bays and one major peninsula, the Noto Peninsula. The eastern coast of Honshu north of Tokyo has few navigable inlets.
By contrast, the coastlines of eastern Honshu south of Tokyo and of Kyushu contain deep indentations resulting from erosion by tides and severe coastal storms. Japanís most important bays are all on the irregular Pacific coast of central and southern Honshu: Tokyo Bay at Tokyo and Yokohama, Ise Bay near Nagoya, and Osaka Bay at the Kobe-Osaka metropolis. All of these bays have major harbors. The eastern coast of central and southern Honshu also contains several of Japanís most prominent peninsulas: the Chiba, Izu, and Kii peninsulas. Kyushuís coastline is marked by the Satsuma and Nagasaki peninsulas and Kagoshima Bay.
The economic importance of Japanís coastline is seen in its hundreds of towns and villages given to fishing, whaling, and aquaculture, as well as in its several major international ports and many huge industrial complexes. Most of Japanís urban centers are located on or near the coast. In many urban-industrial areas, the coastline has been extended by reclamation projects to create new land for sprawling factories, oil storage tanks, expanded harbor facilities, airports, and other uses.
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