IIYDROGRAPHY. Owing to the mountainous character of the country, and the narrowness of the islands. Japan cannot boast. of long rivers, no part being farther distant from the sea than about 100 miles. Vet the eountry is well watered. Every valley has its stream or its stream let, and one of the chief (Alarms of the scenery is the rush of the numerous waters. and the beauty of its waterfalls, while the swiftness and torrential eharacter of many of the streams pre sent grave problems to the engineer engaged in railway construction or bridge-building. The largest river in the Empire is the Ishikari, in Yew, which flows into the Sea of Japan. after a course of 407 miles. On the main island, the three great kawa, or rivers, are the Shinanogawa, the Tonegawa. and the Kisogawa. The Shinano rises in the province of that name. has a course of 320 miles. and flows northwest into the Sea of .lapan. The Kitagami, in the north, east, has a enlarge of 122 miles, and flows south east into the Bay of Sendai. The Tonegawa rises in Kodzuke, traverses the plain of 1i:want°, and enters the Pacific near Tokio, after a course of 170 miles. The third great river is the Kiso ga•a, which pursues a devious course from Shi nano, and falls into the Pacific. Another im portant river is the Ten-riu, which rises in Lake Suwa and flows south for 135 miles to the Pacific. Other rivers are the Sumida, flowing through Tokio into the Gulf of Yedo, and the Yodogawa, the outlet of Lake Biwa, which enters Osaka Bay. They are all swift, and spread out greatly when they leave the mountains.
Japan has few lakes of any great extent. Sev eral shallow sheets of water are found in Yezo, and along both the east and the west sides of Hondo or :Main island, but they are of little con sequence as lakes, and have little beauty. The
largest and most noted is Lake Omi, better known as Biwa-ko (No-lake) from a fancied resemblance in shape to the Chinese guitar (0-pa). It lies in the centre of the Province of Omi, at no great distance from Kioto (q.v.), and is much visited by tourists on account of its `Eight Beauties.' It is 37 miles long and 12 miles wide at the widest part, and has an area nearly equal to that of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Northeast of this, in the Province of Shinano, is Suwa Lake, the source of the Ten-riu-gawa, 2600 feet above the level of the sea. In winter it is covered with ice more than a foot thick. Farther north, in the Nikko Mountains, is the beautiful Chiuzeu-ji, at the foot of Nantai-san, with an area of nearly 18 square miles, and situated 4375 feet above sea-level. It is of great depth, and contains no fish. Farther north still is Ina washiro,near Bandai-sainwith an area of perhaps 90 square miles. and situated about 1840 feet above sea-level. It abounds in fish and is said never to be frozen over. Its outlet is the Ika no-gawa, which falls into the Sea of Japan near Niigata. Another well-known lake is that of Hakone, about 50 miles west of Yokohama. It is said to fill the crater of an ancient volcano, at an elevation of 2:300 feet above sea-level. It is about 10 miles long, and is of unknown depth. Its outlet is the Haya-gawa, and by a tunnel at one end it supplies water for irrigating the rice fields of 17 villages on. the plain to the west.