Niigata and Toyama, Japan
About 70% to 80% of Japan is forested, mountainous, and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial, or residential use. This is because of the generally steep elevations, climate and risk of landslides caused by earthquakes, soft ground and heavy rain.
This has resulted in an extremely high population density in the habitable zones that are mainly located in coastal areas. Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
This image of the western shore of Honshu Island, Japan, shows perfectly this contrast between populated coastal areas and mountains.
Along the shoreline, to the North, is the city of Niigata, with the Shinano River and Agano Rivers running through its center. The city and its surrounding urban area occupy the plain.
Further South, similar to Niigata, the city of Toyama occupies the plain between the coast of the Toyama Bay and the mountains.
Sado Island is visible in the Sea of Japan, towards the center.
Despite this region’s usually wet climate, it does not appear to have rained recently, as the rivers and coastal areas are free of sediments.