After all the facts about Japan we have already posted on our website, you may be wondering what else about this country could surprise you. Surprise! We are just warming up with our previous articles. There are numerous other interesting Japan facts that will make you as amazed as the ones that you have already read. So, without further ado, let us start with our list of facts about the Land of the Rising Sun…
Interesting Japan Facts: 1-5
1. 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’.
2. 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.
3. McDonalds has 3,000 restaurants in Japan. That’s the maximum number of restaurants that McDonald has in a single country outside USA.
4. 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.
5. Japanese are highest fish consumers on Earth. Each year, they consume a whopping 17 million tons of fish.
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Interesting Japan Facts: 6-10
6. 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.
7. Japanese are such big fans of comics that each year they buy around 2 billion graphic novels and comic books (usually known as manga).
8. Just like manga, they are also heavy consumers of instant Ramen noodles. Nearly 5 billion servings are consumed by Japanese people each year.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Interesting Japan Facts: 11-15
11. Just sliced raw fish is also served in Japan. It is served with rice and has a different name – Sashimi.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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?
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Interesting Japan Facts: 16-20
16. Aokigahara is nicknamed as world’s second most favorite destination for committing suicide. Top stop is taken by Golden Gate Bridge in USA.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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’.
20. 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.
- Maude, Belinda. “Weird Things about Japan.” Telegraph UK. 2014
- Shelley, Rex, Teo Chuu Tong, and Jacqueline Ong. Japan (Cultures of the World, Third). Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2012.
- “World’s Shortest Escalator Is Adorable, Useless Phenomenon.” Huffington Post. Updated January 3, 2013. Accessed February 25, 2015
- Heinrichs, Ann. Japan (Enchantment of the World). New York, NY: Children’s Press, 2006.
- Bosley, Paul, et al. Fodor’s Japan. New York, NY: Random House, Inc, 2012.
- Barber, Nicola. Tokyo (Great Cities of the World). Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library, 2004.
- Perkins, Dorothy. Five Hundred Fun Facts about Japan. Darby, PA: Diane Publishing Company, 1994.