May 27, 2008 was a clear day over Japan and gave the MODIS on the Terra satellite this view. Japan is made up of over three thousand islands, but the largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. In this image, Honshu (stretching across the top of the image), Shikoku (left middle, under some clouds and under Honshu), and part of Kyushu (left) are visible. Hokkaido is not shown.
The large city of Tokyo is visible on the far right side of the image as a large gray area. Mountains cover two-thirds of the country's land surface; each of the main islands has a central mountainous chain. The waters in the center of the image appear silvery due to the sunglint. Sunglint occurs when the sun reflects off the surface of the ocean at the same angle that a satellite sensor is viewing the surface.