We know that Japan is located in East Asia and is composed of four major islands. It also is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and also is popular because of several things – including anime and manga series, pachinko and bullet trains among others.
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Japan is a popular tourist destination and also offers plenty of job opportunities. Whether you’re planning to visit as a tourist or to find a job, it’s good to learn few things about the country.
Tips and Things to Know about Japan
Here are other interesting facts and trivia about Japan that you should know:
- Japan is composed of over 6,800 islands – making it one of the largest archipelagos in the Asian continent.
- The country is known as “The Land of the Rising Sun” as it was derived from Nihon or Nippon. The belief before is that Japan was the first country to see the sun in the East.
- The Japanese Imperial family are descendants of a lineage that extends 2000 years.
- The country has more than 5.5 million vending machines all over the territory – and the machines offer a lot of items. Some vending machines sell the usual stuff – soda, beer, coffee, cigarettes, junk food, comic books and toys. Quirkier vendo machines sell other things such as condoms, porn magazines, fish bait and for the ever discerning fan, used women’s underwear.
- Crooked teeth is considered a mark of beauty among women in Japan – it is so coveted that many women ask the dentist to purposely make their teeth crooked.
- Japan celebrates several festivals that may be quirky for other cultures – such as Hadaka Matsuri – or the Naked Festival where men remove their clothes in public and strut with private parts covered only by fundoshi. Another quirky festival is the Kanamara Matsuri – the Festival of the Steel Phallus – which celebrates both the penis and female fertility. Yes, you guessed it right, figures of the penis and the vagina get paraded by festival goers.
- While Japan is known for its sushi – which is rice seasoned and flavored with vinegar, salt and sugar – raw fish sliced alone without rice is sashimi and a lot of it is consumed in Japan and in other places in the world.
- Raw horse meat is also considered as a rare delicacy among the Japanese who prefer to eat it thinly sliced and raw.
- Among the most expensive beef comes from Japan and is known as Kobe beef – otherwise known as Wagyu beef in the US. Cows are given daily massages and are fed with natural feed as well as beer mash and sake. The striped beef is pretty succulent and tastes divine.
- The country boasts of a low birth rate and has about 21 percent of its population in the senior age range. The unbalance is pretty problematic and efforts are being made to ensure that the population increases.
- Hello Kitty is one of the most popular characters coming from Japan. She debuted in 1974 as a plastic coin purse – and her item list continued to grow as she now has about 20,000 products in her inventory. Hello Kitty is known as Kitty Chan among her Japanese followers.
- McDonald’s has more than 3,000 franchises on location in Japan which make it the biggest in number outside of the continental US. A bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, meanwhile, is a coveted Christmas dinner item.
- The commuting public do not engage in small talk nor do they look at each other. Japanese consider it bad manners to speak while in transit and so they just let each other be and mind their own business.
- A growing worldwide phenomenon – the manga – is being sold at an astonishing rate of over 2 billion copies per year in the country alone!
- At the base of Mount Fuji is Aokigahara – the second most popular place to commit a suicide in the world.
- The Shinjuku station is considered as the world’s busiest train station as it services more than 2 million commuters every day – with services on the dot, every time – all the time.
- An astounding 90% of all mobile phones sold in Japan are water-proof because the youth who use them cannot be disengaged long enough – as some even use it while taking a shower!
- Black cats, universally a symbol of bad luck, are considered good luck charms in Japan.
- The snow white Japanese monkeys – macaques, really – are the ones which inspired the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” trio. They live in the island of Honshu and are the northernmost living monkey species in the planet.
- Gojira, more popularly known as Godzilla, rose from the depths of the sea after an atomic bomb explosion woke him up. In retaliation, it attacked the city of Tokyo.
These are just some of the many interesting facts and trivia about the Land of the Rising Sun. Explore the country’s many districts and establishments and find out many more during the course of your stay. We are sure you would find so much more interesting facts that would leave you appreciating the character and the resiliency of the Japanese people.