Interesting Facts about Japan
On this page we introduce some fun and interesting facts about Japan.
Interesting Facts about Japan – Culture & Daily Life
Over 2/3 of the Japanese population owns a cell phone.
Vending machines are very popular in Japan, and there are machines that dispense everything from soft drinks, coffee, and tea, to beer, pornography, woman’s underwear, and even beverages for dogs!
Japan’s land mass is roughly the size of the U.S. state of California, and although the country’s geography is 70% mountainous, it has population of about 127 million, or about half that of the U.S.
Japan has special hotels, called “love hotels,” where couples can either spend a couple hours or an entire night together for intimate time.
Most Japanese homes, and many public buildings, have heated toilet seats that are equipped with “wash” and “dry” functions.
In Japan, baths are more popular than showers. Japanese bathe by first washing and rinsing thoroughly outside of the bath, and then soaking their clean bodies inside the bath. A single fill of bath water is commonly shared among the entire family.
Central heating is uncommon in Japanese homes. Instead, Japanese rely on space heaters, thick quilts, heated carpets, and a special heated table called a kotatsu, which is a low table with a quilted blanket around the edges and a heater under the table.
Women’s toilets in public restrooms in Japan are commonly equipped with a button that makes a flushing sound, which users can push when taking care of their business in order to drown out embarrassing bodily noises.
Valentine’s Day in Japan is reserved for women to give chocolates to men. There is a separate day, White Day, on which men reciprocate with gifts of sweets for their female companions.
In Japan you will commonly find people passing out free packs of tissue paper outside of train stations and other crowded areas. These tissue packs are actually a form of advertising.
It is not uncommon to see grown men in business suits reading erotic manga comics in full view on crowded trains.
Interesting Facts about Japan – Food
In Japan, it is considered taboo to stick chopsticks vertically into a bowl of white rice, since this is a ritual that is performed when offering food to the dead.
Popular pizza toppings and condiments in Japan include tuna, corn, mayonnaise, squid, and Tabasco sauce!
Natto is a popular food item in Japan. Natto is made of sticky, gooey, pungent (some would say foul-smelling) fermented soybeans.
In Japan, it is considered bad manners to eat while walking down the street.
The Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo Japan is the world’s largest wholesale fish market. Tsukiji handles over 2,000 metric tons of seafood per day, and is a popular tourist attraction among foreign visitors.
Japan consumes around 30% of the world’s tuna catch.
Fun Facts about the Japanese Language
The Japanese written language is comprised of two Japanese scripts (called hiragana and katakana), Chinese characters (called kanji), and the English alphabet (called romaji).
The Japanese written language generally regarded as the world’s most complex and difficult to learn.
While Westerners commonly learn their entire alphabet in kindergarten or first grade, Japanese students continue learning new kanji characters as part of their compulsory education all the way through the end of high school.
The Japanese language contains many hundreds of borrowed words from English (called gairaigo), and in this regard the spoken language is not as unrelated to English or difficult to learn as many people believe.
There are many regional Japanese dialects, and some are so localized that Japanese persons not from those areas may have a difficult time understanding them.
Although English is taught in Japan from the beginning of middle school to the end of high school, most Japanese are unable to speak or comprehend English proficiently.
Keep checking back as we continue to add more and more interesting facts about Japan!