Honshū (本州) is the largest island of Japan, housing the great majority of its population and hosting most of the visitors as well. Due to its size it commonly subdivided into smaller regions. From northeast to southwest:
- Tohoku - the remote northern part of the island, known for seafood, skiing and hot springs
- Kanto - the eastern plateau dominated by capital Tokyo, the world's largest city, and shadowed by Mount Fuji, Japan's iconic mountain
- Shikoku - the smallest and least developed of the four major islands. Shikoku is composed of four prefectures, Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi. Shikoku is famous for its Buddhist pilgimmage.
- Kyushu - The southernmost of the four main islands, Kyushu has several major cities, including Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima. Kyushu is also very volcanically active and has many famous hot spring resorts, the most famous of which is Beppu. Kyushu is also the location of Nagasaki.
- Okinawa - Okinawa is a small prefecture with a unique culture and cuisine. Okinawa has been dominated for many years by the presence of several large US military bases. Okinawa has a sub-tropical climate. The Okinawan people are not ethnically Japanese, although this distinction has become increasingly less obvious as time passes.