Japanese generally divide Japan into nine geographical areas that are usually listed in the order of Hokkaido as the most northern and Okinawa as the most southern region. Historically one can consider that Japan was populated from the northern Kyushu and Chugoku area and spread out over the rest of Japan over the centuries. Hokkaido, in the north, was actually opened up by the Japanese roughly at the same time settlers from the eastern coast of North America were opening up the area west of the Appalachian Mountains.
The Japanese islands cover approximately 147,116 square miles (381,000 square kilometers) and measure nearly 2,361 miles (3,800 kilometers) from north to south.
You can further explore Japan by clicking on one of the 8 areas shown on the map.