Japan has become one of the top technological hubs worldwide, but it was not always this way. Traditions, customs, and ancient gods used to rule this land but now they co-exist with technology. There are many interesting facts about Japan throughout its years of evolution and change. before you visit.
They will give you a glimpse into life and culture in Japan while ensuring you can have new experiences when you visit. Here are some fun facts about Japan to know before making a trip.
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Japanese Culture Facts
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Japan is its culture. It is guided by ancient traditions and customers along with the incorporation of modern life. Here are the key facts about Japanese culture you must know.
People Are Not Afraid To Dine Alone
Japan is also known as the solo dining capital worldwide. The reason for this is because of the decreasing population along with an increase in single-person households. If you feel awkward about dining alone, this place will change your perception. And if you like solo traveling and dining, then you will have a lot of fun eating out in Japan.
People Follow Shinto And Buddhism
The two main faiths of the country include Buddhism and Shinto. Japanese people also practice these religions simultaneously. There are estimates that around 80% of the population follows Shinto rituals to some extent as they worship spirits and ancestors at public shrines and altars.
It Is Not Normal To Wear Shoes Indoors
Whenever you are in an indoor area, be sure to remove your shoes. That is because Japanese culture dictates it is polite to remove shoes before going inside. If you don’t, this can be taken as a sign of disrespect. It is best to watch what locals do and follow the culture, particularly in places of worship.
Bowing Is A Sign Of Respect
Bowing is an important greeting, and this is one of the Japan facts everyone should know. Japanese people also work hard to perfect the bow. Besides that, depth is also important, as a lower bow means more respect.
Fun And Interesting Japanese Facts
There are many fascinating facts about Japan that you have probably never heard before. These make the country what it is and will enhance your traveling experience. So, here are some Japan fun facts for you.
Train Pushers Are A Real Thing During Rush Hours
Yes, train pushers are a real thing in Japan, especially during rush hours. That is because sometimes the trains in Japan get very crowded. Because of this, the railway staff is also employed to push all the passengers inside so that everyone can fit in.
Gambling Is Illegal, But People Can Play Pachinko
While gambling is illegal in Japan, there is a loophole that allows people to gamble and win money with ease. The loophole is known as pachinko which enables players to try their luck and win money. Even tourists can play pachinko, take the chance to try it out when you are in Japan. However, practice good financial thinking and don’t get addicted.
The Country Has The Oldest Construction Company Worldwide
The oldest construction company in the world exists in Japan, and it is known as Kongo Gumi. The company was established in 578 AD and it specializes in constructing shrines and temples. An immigrant found the company, as he was commissioned by Prince Shotoko to build a Buddhist temple.
Male Geishas Came Before Females
It is a common misconception among people that the first geishas in Japan were females; they were actually men. They are known as houkan and taikomochi. Two decades after the male geishas came, the female geishas outnumbered them, and you can still visit geishas here.
Facts About Japan For Kids
All kids should have some info about Japan because it is one of the top countries in the world. If you want to provide kids with Japanese trivia, you are in the right place. Here are some interesting facts about Japan for kids to get them to learn more.
The Country Has The Most Vending Machines In The World
There are more than five million vending machines in Japan, which means there is one vending machine for every twenty-four people. The best part is that these machines stock everything. These include flowers, umbrellas, ramen, sake, batteries, and much more.
You can get all sorts of peculiar and convenient things from vending machines in Japan. It is always fun to take a peek at what a vending machine offers when you pass by one.
Video Games Are A Major Industry
Japan has always led the world in terms of technology, especially in the gaming industry. That is because Nintendo arcade and classic Saga games were created in Japan. Besides that, even some of the biggest games for PlayStation 2, such as Resident Evil and Final Fantasy were created in Japan.
Manga And Anime Are Highly Popular
Manga and anime are highly popular in Japan, and manga is much more popular. As you visit, you will find many manga shops, and they will be flooded with people at all times. These two things are an important part of Japanese culture, and you will not escape their influence no matter where you are in the country.
Facts About Japanese Food
The food of any country represents the land, culture, and people. Because of this, it is crucial to know the various facts about Japanese food that make the country unique.
Fortune Cookies Originated In Japan
The origin of fortune cookies lies in Japan. That is because a few centuries ago, many small family bakeries began making these cookies by hand near a temple outside Kyoto. Ever since then, fortune cookies have become an important part of the food culture in Japan.
Sushi Was A Means Of Preservation
Many people don’t know these facts about Japan, but Sushi was originally created as a means of preservation. Fermented rice was utilized to store fish for a year.
The process was known as narezushi, and when people wanted to consume the fish, they used to throw the rice away once its purpose had been fulfilled.
Never Stick Chopsticks In The Food
An important food etiquette you should know about Japanese culture is that you should never stick chopsticks into your food. That is because if you stick chopsticks upright like this, it resembles the incense when praying.
Such an act is traditionally done at funerals, which is why you must never do this at any food establishment in the country. It will be seen as a sign of disrespect.
Japan Ranks Second Behind France For Having The Most Michelin Star Restaurants
Japanese food is incredible, and you will know this because it ranks second behind France in having the most Michelin-star restaurants. There are more than 400 restaurants that have earned a Michelin star here.
Of course, you are unlikely to visit them all, but be sure to visit some of them to understand the best of what Japanese food has to offer.
Japan History Facts
Japan has a long and rich history that includes ancient traditions and customs. These have been an important part of the culture and you can still the reflections of it today. Here are some Japan history facts that will help you understand how the past of the country has shaped the present.
Japan Used To Have An Isolationist Foreign Policy For 265 Years
Japan used to have an isolationist foreign policy known as Sakoku. During this time, the relations and trade between Japan and the rest of the world were incredibly limited. The policy and this period lasted for 265 years in the Edo period.
The good thing about this policy was that there was little influence from outside cultures, which meant Japan created its unique culture. Many things came out of this isolation period, which include painting, architecture, sculpture, tea ceremonies, sumo wrestling, and much more.
The Traditions Are An Important Part Of The History
The ancient traditions are an important part of history because they also dictate the present state of the country. Some of the most important traditions include tea ceremonies, bonenkai parties, public sleeping, and much more. It is crucial to respect these traditions when you visit the country as a tourist.
In 1860, Over 70 Samurai Visited The USA
Over 70 Samurai visited New York in 1860, and this is perhaps one of the strangest events in history. That is because 76 samurai took a diplomatic tour of the USA. This happened when the Edo period was ending and Japan was not that isolated any more.
Keep in mind that this was an official delegation and visiting samurais had also become popular in the US. There were also songs and theater performances about them in the US.
Japan Geography Facts
The geography of any country dictates the various landscapes and places you can visit. Japan has some incredible landscapes and natural beauty that you must not miss while you are in the country.
Here are some geographical facts about Japan that will help you understand what the country has to offer.
There Are Close to 7,000 Islands In Japan
There are around 6,852 islands in the country. The four main islands of the country include Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, and Hokkaido. Besides that, there are also four thousand smaller islands in the country.
Keep in mind that these islands were originally attached to Asia’s eastern coast. However, tectonic activity caused them to split, which created the Sea of Japan around fifteen million years ago.
Mount Fuji Is The Highest Point In Japan
4/5th of Japan is covered in mountains, and the highest point is Mount Fuji, which comes to 12,338ft. The mountain is also considered sacred by many people. It is known for its beautiful conical shape and you will find shrines and temples all around the volcano.
This is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan, and you can see photos of the landscape in many postcards.
Weird Facts About Japan
There are some peculiar and unique things that you will find only in Japan. Here are some of the weird facts about Japan you need to know.
Japan Has A Huge Rent-A-Family Industry
Yes, people can hire families for rent in Japan. For example, people that don’t have many relatives can hire a mother, grandson, husband, and much more. You can hire them as actors for social events such as parties or weddings.
When You Are Born In Japan, You Are One Year Old
Many people don’t know this about Japanese culture, but you are one year old when you are born in Japan. This is known as kazoedoshi. However, this system was made obsolete in the 1900s.
Close to 700 Kids Were Rushed To Hospitals In Japan In The Late 90s
There is a Pokémon episode that has been banned in Japan because it sent 700 children into a seizure. This is probably one of the more mysterious and weirder facts about Japan.
These children were rushed to the hospital as they were suffering from irritated eyes, vomiting, convulsions, and much more. This took place just thirty minutes after the episode aired, and this is an important event in the history of Japan.
Ever since then, the cartoon industry has been careful about the kind of episodes they produce. It is safe to say that everyone avoids the technique used in this specific Pokémon episode.
Other Cool Japan Facts
The Flag Has Been In Use Since The 14th Century
Here is an interesting fact about Japan’s flag that makes it unique. The rising sun flag in Japan has been used as a national and traditional symbol since the Edo era. The white stands for integrity and purity while the red stands for warmth, brightness, and sincerity.
Baseball Is A Highly Popular Sport
Baseball was imported from the US in the 19th century, and it has become the national sport of Japan. Even primary schools have baseball teams and competitions. Besides that, the high school teams are incredibly competitive and fierce.
Discovering More Interesting Japanese Facts
These are just some of the fun facts about Japan that are both important and surprising to know. It is one of the most interesting countries that combine technology and tradition. Nothing beats a trip to the land of the rising sun yourself. There is so much to experience and you can uncover lots more interesting facts about Japan.
PIN THESE FUN FACTS ABOUT JAPAN FOR LATER!
What are 20 interesting facts about Japan? ›
- Late-night dancing was illegal until 2015. ...
- Nearly all smartphones sold are waterproof because people use them even in the bath. ...
- The world's oldest company was from Japan. ...
- Japan consists of 6852 islands. ...
- Japan has a festival dedicated to the phallus. ...
- Taking a power nap at work is socially acceptable.
- Over 80% of the country is mountainous. ...
- In Japan KFC Is a Christmas tradition. ...
- 3. Japanese people have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. ...
- There is a rabbit island in Japan. ...
- The world's oldest company is found in Japan.
- Japan is mostly mountains. ...
- There's a Rabbit Island in Japan. ...
- The number four is extremely unlucky. ...
- There's a bizarre naked festival. ...
- 7. Japanese trains are some of the most punctual in the world. ...
- The Japanese love wacky flavours. ...
- Everyone has their own seal. ...
- Anti-ninja floors are a thing.
Historians say the Japanese called their country Yamato in its early history, and they began using Nippon around the seventh century. Nippon and Nihon are used interchangeably as the country's name.How old is Japan? ›
Japan has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic period (30,000 BC), though the first written mention of the archipelago appears in a Chinese chronicle (the Book of Han) finished in the 2nd century AD.What is unusual about Japan? ›
Japan is known for many incredible things, including their delicious cuisine (especially sushi), anime and manga, and origami. Japan has also become well known for its weird selection of vending machine items and unique flavour range of candy bars.What is Japan best at? ›
Japan is known worldwide for its traditional arts, including tea ceremonies, calligraphy and flower arranging. The country has a legacy of distinctive gardens, sculpture and poetry. Japan is home to more than a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites and is the birthplace of sushi, one of its most famous culinary exports.Why Japan is so clean? ›
Cleanliness is a Part of Buddhism/Shinto
In Buddhism and Japanese Shintoism, cleanliness has historically been regarded as an important part of religious practice. In these religions, cleaning is believed to be a simple, but powerful way to improve good mental health through keeping one's surroundings beautiful.
Japan has approximately 1 vending machine for every 23 people. This fact comes from the Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association. Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.What is Japan's nickname? ›
Nihon and Japan originate from the same word, each translating to "sun origin." As such, the country has also earned the nickname "Land of the Rising Sun." The nickname dates back to the days of western expansion, when Marco Polo learned of the wonders of this island nation through traders in Southern China.
What is Japan's national animal? ›
Macaque Monkeys (snow monkeys)
Macaque monkeys are the national animals of Japan. Also known as snow monkeys because they often live in snowy mountain ranges, they have long, thick hair and red faces.
Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two major religions. Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture, while Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6th century.What is the coolest thing about Japan? ›
While its many traditions and cultural landmarks persist, Japan is also one of the leading economic and technological centres of the world. Ancient gods and traditional customs sit side by side with cutting edge technologies and trendy pop culture, and there is always something new to experience on a visit.What is a good name for a girl in Japanese? ›
|Aiko||beloved one, little love||Female|
Summary: ・The reason why Japan is called Japan or similarly in most languages is because the country was once called Zu-pang in the Southern China meaning the sun's origin. ・Who named Japan? - Marco Polo is the one who brought the name of Japan to the Western world although he did not actually name it.Is Japan a free country? ›
Japan is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2022, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.What year is a 12 year old in Japan? ›
|10-11||ELMN 5||Year 6|
|11-12||ELMN 6||Year 7|
|12-13||JHS 1||Year 8|
|13-14||JHS 2||Year 9|
km) than many of the world's 180 countries, including the United Kingdom and Italy. Mountains occupy over 80% of Japan's landmass. Most of the mountains, such as the Japan Alps, were “uplifted” by the collision of the Pacific oceanic crust and continental crust of Asia.What is the most interesting Japanese culture? ›
- Temples and shrines. Temples and shrines make up a huge part of Japanese culture as sacred places for worship. ...
- Cherry blossoms. ...
- Onsens. ...
- Sumo wrestling. ...
- Geisha. ...
- Itadakimasu. ...
- Visit a themed Cafe. ...
- Don a Kimono.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, Japan achieved one of the highest economic growth rates in the world. This growth was led by: High rates of investment in productive plant and equipment. The application of efficient industrial techniques.
Why is Japan loved? ›
Japan is one of the oldest civilizations and has a beautiful and diverse history. The stunning, diverse scenery with mountains and breathtaking views, which are much appreciated by the Japanese, offers so many different experiences that attract tourists from all corners of the world.What are the 5 traditions in Japan? ›
- Taking off shoes when entering someone's house.
- Wearing a mask when sick.
- Not shaking hands and not hugging when meeting with loved ones.
- Bowing 45 degrees to show respect.
- Making the slurping sound when eating noodles.
- Symbolically washing hands when entering a shrine.
On April 1, 2022, Japan lowered the legal age of adulthood to 18 years old. Some two million people who are 18 and 19 years old came of age in Japan on that day. This follows revision of the Civil Code, which first set the legal age at 20-year-old in 1876. It's the first time this has been changed in over 140 years.Can you drink at 18 in Japan? ›
In Japan, the legal adult age is 20. Japanese law prohibits individuals under the age of 20 to drink alcohol or smoke. Regardless of age, you must not force anyone to drink or smoke as it may cause serious health and social consequences.How old is a child in Japan? ›
The Penal Code of Japan provides that an act of a person under 14 years of age is not punishable. Under the Juvenile Law of Japan, however, "juvenile" (shonen) refers to anyone under 20 years of age.What are 3 main cultural values in Japan? ›
Harmony, order, and self-development are three of the most important values that underlie Japanese social interaction. Basic ideas about self and the nature of human society are drawn from several religious and philosophical traditions.Does Japan have a child limit? ›
There is no upper or lower limit placed on the number of kids you can have in Japan. It is not a matter regulated by the government. The government is trying to encourage people to have more children, but no one is penalized for not having kids or for having too many.Why is Japan healthier than America? ›
As their diet is traditionally high in soy and fish this may also play a significant role in reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The Japanese also have the lowest rates of obesity among men and women as well as long life expectancy.What country is the cleanest? ›
Denmark. With a total EPI score of 82.5, Denmark is 2020's cleanest and most environmentally friendly country. Denmark stands out for its high scores in several categories, including Wastewater Treatment (100), Waste Management (99.8), and Species Protection Index (100).Does Japan have dirty air? ›
There are three main sources of air pollution in Japan which are as a result ofindustrial production activities, vehicle emissions and cross-border air pollution.
Will a vending machine take a $20? ›
But the most significant realized from cash recycling in vending machines is the ability to reliably accept larger denominations including $20, $10, and $5 bills.How much is a drink in a vending machine in Japan? ›
A majority of machines sell non-alcoholic beverages such as soft drinks, juice, energy drinks, tea and coffee for a reasonable 100 to 200 yen. These drink machines usually offer both hot and cold beverages. Vending machines that sell alcoholic beverages and cigarettes are less common.Do Japanese vending machines sell alcohol? ›
You'll even find vending machines on top of Mount Fuji. They sell cold and hot drinks, toys (for humans and their pets), food, cigarettes and alcohol. Anything you can think of, there's a vending machine selling it.What is a unique fact about Japan? ›
In Japan there is 1 vending machine for every 24 people
With 5 million vending machines- Japan has the highest density in the world. Batteries, ramen, sake, umbrellas. flowers- you name it and the vending machines probably stock it.
Japan's architecture, art, traditions, crafts. Also, its worldwide known pop culture (including manga, anime, and video games).What is Japan best known for? ›
Japan is known for everything from onsen hot springs and kabuki baths (dating to the 6th and 16th centuries, respectively) to all-night neon-lit dance parties, anime, and sushi boat restaurants, all of which are decidedly more modern.How did Japan get its name? ›
The origin of the name Japan is not certain, but researchers say it probably came from the Malayan ″Japung″ or the Chinese ″Riben,″ meaning roughly land of the rising sun. Historians say the Japanese called their country Yamato in its early history, and they began using Nippon around the seventh century.