About East Java

About East Java , Indonesia
East Java is one of the Republic of Indonesia’s 33 provinces, occupying an area of some 48,000 square kilometres just south of the equator. Including the island of Madura, it accounts for a little more than a third of Java’s total land surface and supports a population of almost 37,000,000 inhabitants. To the east, across a narrow strait, lies the island of Bali; to the west are the provinces of Central Java and the Special Region of Yogyakarta.

The Land
Anyone who opens a physical map of Java will notice immediately the high, mountainous ridge extending along the entire length of the centre of the island. Some of the highest and most active of these volcanic peaks are to be found in East Java, whose flat, fertile plains are punctuated by no less than six separate ranges, becoming progressively higher towards the east. These mountains are among East Java’s principal attractions and some of the more outstanding include the 3,676 metre active cone of Mt Semeru, Java’s highest peak; the famous sand sea and steaming crater of Mt Bromo; the sulphureous summit of Mt Welirang, and the strangely beautiful crater lakes of Ijen. Two main waterways, the Brantas and Solo rivers, are lifelines for much of East Java’s predominantly agricultural community. The former rises in the highlands to the north west of Malang and follows a circuitous path before dividing into a number of smaller streams to meet the sea at Surabaya. The famous Bengawan Solo, longest river in Java, has its source in the centre of the island and stretches 540 kilometres before joining the coast at Gresik. Other important rivers include the Madiun, Konto, Sampeyan and Grindulu.

The Climate
Like the landscape, East Java’s climate is varied, depending upon altitude. The plains and lower hill regions are hot and humid, making conditions ideal for wet rice cultivation (sawah). Further up in the hills the air becomes quite cool, while in high mountainous areas at night the temperature can drop to near zero. Hill regions are well suited for the cultivation of a large variety of fruits and vegetables, which thrive in the colder climate. Principal crops, aside from rice, include corn, tobacco, sugar cane, coffee, rubber, kapok, cloves, tea, cocoa, peanuts soybeans and cotton. In addition, there are extensive plantations of teak and pine. East Java has a marked wet and dry season, with rain occurring between October and April. The wettest months are December, January and February.


For the tourist, East Java has much to offer. The landscape is one of great variety and natural beauty and includes, aside from its impressive volcanic peaks and sparkling rivers, large areas of natural rain forest, waterfalls, picturesque lakes, mysterious caves and secluded beaches. There are eight national parks, preserving a wide selection of native animals and plants. There is also history to be found in East Java, beginning with the fossilized remains of pre-historic animals and mankind’s early ancestors at sites such as Trinil. Evidence of ancient megalithic culture can be seen in the regions of Situbondo and Mt. Argopura in the eastern part of the province. Then there are the numerous temple ruins from the classical Hindu/Buddhist period (7th – 15th C.), as well as the historical sites dating from the early days of Islam and Dutch colonial times. More recent history, concerning Indonesia’s struggle for independence and the birth of the modern nation can be seen in several well arranged museum displays and in the many monuments which stand in cities and towns throughout the province. Arts, crafts and cottage industries are plentiful in East Java and each region has its own speciality. Tuban and Madura, for instance, are well known production centres of batik, the cloth for which Java is especially famous. At Tulungagung there is a marble industry, at Pacitan agate, at Situbondo shell handicrafts and at Nganjuk the speciality is onyx and brassware. ‘Adventure ‘, or ‘special interest’ touring is still in its infancy in East Java, yet there is enormous potential in this area. Mt. Bromo, of course, is already a well known destination, but other remote and exciting places to visit, such as the crater lakes of Ijen and Kelud, or the forested slopes of Semeru, Lawu and Argopura, receive comparatively few visitors. There are also many small islands Iying off the coasts of East Java and Madura, among them the Kangean group , as well as Bawean Island, with its unique species of deer. For rest and relaxation there are beach resorts like Pasir Putih, Prigi or Slopeng; hill towns such as Batu and Sarangan, or the lake areas of Karangkates and Selorejo, to name just a few. Whether one’s taste be swimming, sailing, horse riding, water skiing, hiking, fishing, or just enjoying beautiful surroundings, there is sure to be something for everyone in the fascinating province of East Java.

Welcome to East Java, Indonesia

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