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120 Incredible Japan Facts That Will Shock You!

What Type of Country Is Japan?

We understand that you are curious about Japan facts. But before we proceed, let’s learn something else. Japan is a country located off the east coast of Asia. It is an island country made of a string of islands.

Japan is a crazy place and yet, a peaceful one. It is a fast-paced nation and yet it seems relaxed. Violent crime in Japan is very rare.

The country has very unique traditions and a distinctive culture. Many aspects of its culture developed in complete isolation, completely unaffected by the influences of the outside world.

Japan is surely an incredible country, but that doesn’t mean that Japan doesn’t have some crazy facts to blow your mind.

So, let’s learn some crazy Japan facts and find out what makes this country to incredibly amazing. We are sure, you will be amazed!

Incredible Japan Facts: 1-30

1. Only in 2015 did Japan legalize late-night dancing! The ban was placed after WWII and lasted for 67 years. It was removed because Japan is going to host 2020 Olympics.

2. 1,500 – that’s the number of earthquakes that hit Japan every year on an average. 

3. How many people do you find around you every day those who are above 100 years of age? In Japan, you might find one in a random family you walk into. There are more than 50,000 men and women in Japan who have hit a century and still continuing. 

4. Kongō Gumi Co., Ltd. – this was the longest-running company not just in Japan but also in whole world. The company started back in 578 CE (6th century) and was liquidated in 2006. It started even before Islam was born! 

5. Japan is an archipelago – a conglomerate of islands. Do you know how many islands make up Japan? 6,852 islands! 

6. 18 seconds – that is the maximum delay a train in Japan will make. That’s the type of punctuality Japanese trains have. 

7. Farmers in Japan grow watermelons that have a square shape. The reason for such unusual shape is that the square shape allows easy stacking and storage. 

8. Number of pets in Japan outnumber the number of children in the country. 

9. Birth rate in Japan is so low that the number of adult diapers sold in the country per year, outnumbers the number of baby diapers sold. 

10. All the adoptions that take place in Japan, 98% that are adopted are actually Male Adults! The reason for this is that Japanese families believe in keeping their family businesses within the families. If a girl gets the business, she will marry and the business will shift to another family. 

11. Masabumi Hosono was a Japanese who was traveling on RMS Titanic that sank on her maiden voyage. This man survived that fateful night and returned to Japan only to be condemned as coward by both Japanese people and Japanese Government for not going down with the ship! 

12. Japanese youth like to use their mobile phones even in their showers. That’s the reason why, of all mobile phones sold in Japan, 90% are waterproof. 

13. Japan has cat cafés. 58 of them actually! Here one can simply walk in and have a coffee while hanging out with the cuddly cats. Similarly, rabbit cafés are also there. 

14. Can you guess how many vending machines are present in Japan? 5.52 million! Food, drinks, cigarettes, condoms, daily sundries… they vend a wide range of things. Even cold or hot coffee

15. In Japan, you can take a quick nap in office. Sleeping during work is often looked upon as exhaustion caused by hard work and no one will actually fire you. 

16. During World War II, Japan was really ruthless. She actually bombed China with fleas that were deliberately infected with bubonic plague – the same thing that caused Black Death

17. Russia and Japan are yet to sign peace treaty for formally ending. The dispute is over Kuril Islands.

18. There are no janitors in Japanese schools. In order to teach children, the importance of cleanliness, schools have a rule where students and teachers need to work together to clean cafeterias and classrooms.

19. Japanese killed more Chinese people during WWII that the number of Jews killed during the infamous Holocaust. 

20. In 1997, an intense episode of pokemon was aired. The episode was called “Dennō Senshi Porygon”. It was so intense that after the episode, 685 kids had to be rushed to hospitals because they were attacked by seizures, vomiting and dizziness. 

21. Every single year, Japanese people use as many as 24 billion chopstick pairs! 

22. Kanamara Matsuri is a penis and fertility festival that is celebrated in Japan every year.

23. In Japan, black cats are not considered bad luck. In fact, they are looked up on as bringers of good luck. 

24. Ronald McDonald is called by the name Donald McDonald in Japan. The reason is not a result of mockery or something like that. Japanese language doesn’t have a proper ‘R’ sound and hence, Ronald is pronounced as Donald. 

25. In 1974, KFC advertised ‘Kentucky for Christmas’ to the Japanese people and it became so popular that every Christmas, fried chicken from KFC is a typical feast for the Japanese people. 

26. People having tattoos on their bodies can be unlucky because they can be barred from entering public bath houses and hot springs in Japan. 

27. The amount of paper used for comics in Japan is way more than what the Japanese use for toilet paper. 

28. There is a Japanese Island that is actually full of rabbits. Those who love rabbits will have a real good time there.

29. While Japan doesn’t really have a good image when one talks of WWII, it turns out that Japan actually accepted Jewish refugees and completely ignored the protests made by Nazi Germans. 

30. Japan has a levitating train. It actually floats right above the tracks using principles of magnetism. The train is super-fast and can reach speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour. 

Incredible Japan Facts: 31-60

31. Brazil has the largest community of Japanese outside of Japan. 

32. Committing suicide by jumping right in front of a train is not acceptable. The family members of the deceased will have to actually bear what is known as ‘disruption fee’. 

33. World’s highest anorexia rate is clocked in Japan. Argentina follows in second position. 

34. Salmon Sushi was introduced to the Japanese people by Norway in 1980s. 

35. If you are declawing a cat in Japan, it is an illegal business and can mean serious legal hassles. 

36. Many of Japanese streets don’t have any name. 

37. Crying Sumo contest is very real in Japan. The wrestling involves two Sumo fighters holding a baby each and trying to make the babies cry. The one who manages to do that first wins the game. 

38. A black burger – yes, Burger King has launched that thing in Japan. It is all-black. 

39. Godzilla has been granted (officially) the citizenship of Japan. 

40. Mount Mihara is Japan has a very bad reputation. Nearly 2,000 people jumped right into the volcano to commit suicide. 100% success rate. However, the officials of the Japanese government had a fence erected all around the volcano to prevent that from happening again. 

41. Everyone has tasted Fanta at least once (may be some didn’t). But, did you even know that Fanta has 70 different flavors for Japanese people? Three of those flavors are – ‘Hip Hop’, ‘Genius Energy’ and ‘The Mystery Fruit’. 

42. Hikikomori – that’s a condition where people suffer from health and social problems. Hikikomori is a result of Japanese people locking up themselves in their bedrooms for several years. There are about 1 million Japanese people who suffer from this condition. 

43. An earthquake of magnitude 9.0-9.1 close to Japan actually increased the speed of Earth’s rotation by 1.8 micro seconds. This earthquake took place in 2011. 

44. You can say ‘sorry’ to someone in Japan in 20 different ways. 

45. The areas of Japan which were struck by Tsunami in 2011 were found to have ancient tablets with inscriptions reading “DO NOT BUILD YOUR HOUSES BELOW THIS POINT”. 

46. Suicide is the leading cause of death in Japan for men belonging to the age group of 20 to 44. 

47. The first Frenchman who went to Japan and tried preaching Christianity was imprisoned and then tortured and killed. The man’s name was Guillaume Courtet. 

48. Japan has a Snoopy Museum. The museum opened in 2016.

49. 83.7 years – that is the average life expectancy in Japan. That’s highest in entire world. 

50. People who descended from Samurai are still considered as elite even 140 years after the order actually came to an end. 

51. Clergy and Buddhist Samurai had homosexual relationship in Japan and that was quite common. 

52. There is a village in Japan called Nagoro. In that village, the number of people is outnumbered by the number of life-sized dolls! 

53. In Japan, you should not give tip to any waiter who servers you. That’s the story of every single restaurant you walk into. Giving tip is considered very rude. 

54. A little over 25% of unmarried males (who belong to the age group of 30 to 40) in Japan are virgins. 

55. Japan has second-lowest homicide rate. The lowest is in Iceland. The likelihood of a Japanese being gunned down is just as much as the likelihood of an American by taken down by a lightning strike! 

56. There are 24-hour Internet cafés in Japan where homeless people in Tokyo prefer to sleep. That’s because, renting a house is costlier than those cafés. 

57. Hajimi Fuji who was Kumagaya Army Aviation School’s instructor actually became a volunteer for Kamikaze – a suicide mission during WWII. However, his application was not accepted. The reason was that he had a family which included his wife and two daughters. His wife drowned her two daughters and then drowned herself so that Hajimi Fuji could go on the mission.

58. There are McRefugees in Japan. These are the people who stay in McDonalds’ restaurants which have a policy of ‘doors are always open’. 

59. Of the four modern countries that Europe never colonized, Japan is one of them. The other three are Liberia, Thailand and Korea. 

60. Fish hooks as old as 23,000 years were found in a Japanese cave. They are oldest known fish hooks. 

Incredible Japan Facts: 61-90

61. Japanese people heard the voice of their Emperor for the first time when he announced that Japan has surrendered. The announcement of surrender during WWII was made using Radio. 

62. There is a common phenomenon in Japan known as Kodokushi. It literally translates into ‘lonely death’. There are many people who just die alone in a room and then stay that way for quite some time until the dead body is discovered by someone. 

63. There is a word in Japan. It is “Karoshi”. In English it means, “death from overwork”. Yes, that happens in Japan and hence, the word exists. 

64. In Japan you can actually buy ice cream that has the flavor of ‘eel’. Yes! Eel. 

65. Rocks that kind of look like ‘faces’ – well, that’s possible because Nature can do extraordinary. However, Japanese people actually decided create an entire museum for such rocks. The name of the museum is Chinsekikan. 

66. Those prison inmates in Japan who are on death row are actually not told the date of their execution. So, every morning they wake up knowing that it might be their last day. 

67. Tokyo’s former name was Edo. This name change took place in year 1868. The meaning of the name Tokyo is ‘eastern capital’. 

68. Japan is home to a whopping 80,000 Ramen shops! 

69. A hotel with robots as staff members. Now that is weird. But here is the shocker: an animatronic velociraptor is the one that mans (robots) the check-in desk. 

70. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has such high radiation levels that a robot was sent for removing the fuel rods that melted. Unfortunately, the robot died of radiation exposure. 

71. There are braille imprinted on beer cans sold in Japan. This is to ensure that a blind man doesn’t confuse between a can of alcohol and can of soft drinks. 

72. Bitcoin is officially considered as payment method in Japan. However, it is not considered as a currency. 

73. There is only one museum in whole world that is dedicated to only and only parasites. That museum is located in Japan and it is home to more than 45,000 different items. It is known as Meguro Parasitological Museum. 

74. On an average, the Japanese farmers live up to the age of 70. 

75. Japan has something called ‘white man café’. In this café, Japanese women get a bell that they ring and when the bell rings, caucasian males wearing tuxedos will show up and say, ‘yes princess’ and then serve those ladies with cake. 

76. How did feudal lords of Japan defend themselves against Ninjas? They made houses that had squeaky floors. Yes, nice defense! 

77. The conviction rate in criminal courts of Japan is a whopping 99%! 

78. Michelin Star was awarded to a tiny 9-seater Ramen restaurant in Tokyo in 2015. It became world’s first Ramen restaurant to achieve that award. 

79. Japanese people don’t really put signatures on their documents. They carry Hanko – a type of stamp that they carry with themselves. They just use it. Even in banks. Each stamp is unique. 

80. Japanese people don’t tear off the wrapping paper used on a gift. It is considered to be very rude.

81. The name for Japan in Japanese language is not Japan. It is either Nippon or Nihon, both of which actually mean, ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. So, you won’t find a Japanese speaking out the word ‘Japan’.

82. Tokyo-Yokohama is world’s highest-populated metropolitan area. In case you didn’t know, total population of Japan in 2016 was 127 million out of which 33 million lives in Tokyo-Yokohama.

83. McDonalds has 3,000 restaurants in Japan. That’s the maximum number of restaurants that McDonald has in a single country outside USA.

84. Love the Star Wars series? Well, George Lucas actually took inspiration for the series from the movie ‘The Hidden Fortress’ that was directed by Akira Kurosawa – a Japanese film director.

85. Japanese are highest fish consumers on Earth. Each year, they consume a whopping 17 million tons of fish.

86. When it comes to sea food, Japan is world’s largest importer. About 4 million tons of sea food are imported each year by the Japanese people and out of that, 1/3rd is shrimp.

87. Japanese are such big fans of comics that each year they buy around 2 billion graphic novels and comic books (usually known as manga).

88. Just like manga, they are also heavy consumers of instant Ramen noodles. Nearly 5 billion servings are consumed by Japanese people each year.

89. Sushi – one of the most famous offerings of Japan is pretty old. This dish has been around since second century CE. Sushi actually started in China and later reached Japan.

90. Sushi in Japan doesn’t really mean raw fish. That’s a wrong notion. Sushi actually means salt, sugar and vinegar seasoned rice. Adding raw fish to Sushi became a practice somewhere in early 17th century.

Incredible Japan Facts: 91-120

91. Just sliced raw fish is also served in Japan. It is served with rice and has a different name – Sashimi.

92. Talking of raw meat, Japanese people actually eat raw horse meat. It is thinly sliced and served raw. It is actually a delicacy and goes by the name Basashi.

93. Those who have heard of the name Kobe Beef should know that it actually comes from Japan. The cows from which the beef is taken are actually very well-maintained. They get daily massage and during the summer months, the cows are given beer mash and saké diet.

94. Interestingly, Kobe Beef doesn’t come from everywhere in Japan. It only comes from Tajima region of Japan where there are only 262 farms. Kobe is capital of Tajima. Each farm raises no more than 5 cows at a time. Explains why Kobe Beef is too expenses and best in quality. In USA, people call Kobe Beef as Wagyu Beef.

95. Aokigahara – it is the name of an infamous spooky forest in Japan. Located at Mt. Fuji’s base, this forest is known by the name ‘Suicide Forest’. You understand why we called it Spooky, don’t you?

96. Aokigahara is nicknamed as world’s second most favorite destination for committing suicide. Top stop is taken by Golden Gate Bridge in USA.

97. In Kawasaki, Japan, there is More’s department store. At the basement of this store is world’s shortest escalator. Just 32.8 inches high, the escalator has 5 steps.

98. In Japan, crooked teeth or Yaeba is supposed to make people attractive. It is so popular that many young Japanese girls actually have their teeth unstraightened on purpose by visiting a dentist.

99. Talking of teeth, how about the notion – ‘white teeth are ugly?’ Yes, that notion was there in Japan till late 1800s and women used to purposefully dye their teeth black. That practice of blackening teeth on purpose was known as ‘Ohaguro’.

100. World’s shortest poetry form is known as Haiku Poetry. Invented in the Land of the Rising Sun, each Haiku poetry consists of only 3 lines.

101. Love rabbits and wondering where to find hundreds of them? Plan a trip to Japan and visit one particular island name Okunoshima. Wondering why there are so many rabbits? They were brought there during the World War II for poison gas effects testing.

102. Sumo wrestling is Japan is as old as 1,500 years. These wrestlers usually have a weight of 300 pounds or above.

103. Young sumo wrestlers train in stables or rooms that are known as heya. Heyas are owned by former champions of the sport of Sumo.

104. Now this one is disgusting. The young and aspiring sumo wrestlers really get a tough time in there because they are required to clean difficult-to-reach parts of the veteran wrestlers. Actually, the rookies clean every part of the bodies of veterans including those private parts.

105. Japan has a large number of Love Hotels. You get it right? Yes, they are short-stay hotels and are meant exclusively for love making. The amorous couples usually make their way into these hotels because they don’t find an appropriate place to get a little physical. These Love Hotels display a love symbol for being identified.

106. Japan was the birth place for insanely popular Hello Kitty. In 1974, Hello Kitty was launched as plastic coin purse and then it grew so much that today, there are more than 20,000 products branded with Hello Kitty. Japanese however prefer the name Kitty Chan.

107. In Japan, you don’t slurp noodles while eating will simply mean that you will make the chef feel bad. The chef will think that the noodle served is not only not delicious but also not hot. Yes, slurping means it is delicious and also the act helps to cool down the noodles as they enter the mouth.

108. Snow monkeys or Japanese macaques are fabled. No, it is not that they don’t exist but it is believed that they don’t see, hear or speak evil. They live farther north compared to any known monkey in world. These fabled monkeys are found in northern Honshu.

109. When it comes to manufacturing automobiles, Japan leads the world. Toyota – a Japanese automobile maker is third largest producer in world.

110. Toyota was founded by a person called Kiichiro Toyoda. He decided to replace ‘da’ with ‘ta’ simply because it sounded clearer. Also, in order to write Toyota, one needs to use 8 strokes in Katakana script. 8 is considered lucky number by Japanese people.

111. Japan has a really crazy festival known as Hadaka Matsuri. It means Naked Festival. Well, the popular belief is that naked men have higher ability of absorbing evil spirits. So, thousands of Japanese men hit the roads and strip themselves almost naked (just keeping their manhood hidden). They then compete for good luck charms.

112. At 12,388 feet, Mt. Fuji stands as tallest Japanese mountain. Also known as Fujiyama, Mt. Fuji is sacred for Japanese people and at least a million Japanese scale the mountain between July and August – the official season for climbing.

113. Japan practiced inbreeding of dogs. Such widespread was the practice that Japan ended up being at world’s top when it comes to canine genetic defects rates!

114. Horace Wilson – an American teacher who visited Japan, introduced the game of baseball. It then became Japan’s most popular sport and it goes by the name yakyū. Want to know how popular the game is? Just tune into national TV channel of Japan and you can see live telecast of high school baseball games.

115. The Tale of Genji is acknowledged as world’s first ever novel. Murasaki Shikibu was the noble woman who wrote it all the way back in early 11th century. However, it is still waiting to be termed as ‘classic’.

116. In Japan, don’t be surprised to see that high rise buildings don’t have a fourth floor or don’t be surprised if you don’t see sake and tea sets sold with 5 cups. The reason is that four in Japanese is Shi, which sounds more like death and hence, they avoid the number. Also, in tea ceremonies, it is expected that guests will arrive in odd numbers (3 or 5).

117. The blowfish, which is known to have a lethal poison is known as Fugu in Japan. It is necessary that the chef who prepares it must be professional with a proper license and training. Yes, this is law.

118. Japan has outlawed the emperor and also the entire imperial family from eating Fugu. Commoners who eat Fugu usually prefer the months of January to March because it is believed that Fugu is least poisonous during those months.

119. Bugaku and gagaku – dance form and orchestra respectively, of the imperial court of Japan are considered as world’s oldest and continuous dance and music tradition.

120. The current imperial family of the nation has an unbroken lineage history of 2,000 years. Yes, not other imperial family has taken that position for so long. Jimmu Tennō, who was the first emperor from this family ruled when Christ was born!

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