Although Japan is abundantly watered—almost every valley has a stream—no long navigable rivers exist. The larger Japanese rivers vary in size from swollen freshets during the spring thaw or the summer rainy season to small streams during dry weather. Successions of rapids and shallows are so common that only boats of extremely shallow draught can navigate. The longest river in Japan is the Shinano, on Honshu, which is about 370 km (230 mi) long; other large rivers on Honshu are the Tone, Kitakami, Tenryu, and Mogami.
The important rivers of Hokkaido include the second-largest river of Japan, the Ishikari, and the Teshio and Tokachi. The Yoshino is the longest river in Shikoku. The many Japanese lakes are noted for their scenic beauty. Some are located in the river valleys, but the majority are mountain lakes, and many are summer resorts. The largest lake in Japan is Biwa, on Honshu, which covers about 685 sq km (265 sq mi). "Japan" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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