The Chinese characters: Tokyo
The Chinese character, kanji, have more than 50,000 letters, I hear.
Of all of them, leaning 3,000 letters are said to be enough to read Japanese newspapers or books. The character is more than 100 times as 26 letters of the alphabet.
What is the difference between the alphabet and the Chinese character?
The alphabet itself has no meaning until the letters are combined. The Chinese character itself is pictographic letter and has the meaning each. For example, :-) means "smile", five letters, and in Chinese character "笑", only one letter. Each letter in Chinese character is very specific, and so they have many letters.
By the way, when I was walking in the city of Florence, I found the young boy wearing T-shirt printed "onara" in Japanese, then I burst into laugher. Because "onara" means gas, breaking wind, in English.
Now I hear some foreigners have a Japanese letter tattoo on their arms. Ask Japanese to make sure the meaning before it's too late!