Japan is an incredible and diverse country with many incredible features to discover, from bustling cities to scenic landscapes – there is much for visitors to discover here!
Here are 10 lesser-known facts about Japan you might not be aware of! From unusual traditions to fascinating cultural aspects, this country has plenty to offer its visitors and residents alike.
1. Japan has the world’s largest population.
Japan is one of the world’s most populous nations, home to over 800 cities with each possessing their own special charm. Ranging from high tech gadgets to ancient traditions, this land of contrasts is sure to amaze.
Japan boasts the second-longest life expectancy and thousands of centenarians! This can be attributed to Shintoism, an ingrained spiritual practice which has taught generations of Japanese how to respect and appreciate nature – no wonder so much of their nation consists of forests! Additionally, signs along forest trails often warn visitors against black bears.
Japanese culture places great value in nature and this can be seen through their food: their diet features seafood, rice and vegetables as staples; fruit, spices and tea are also widely available to them – not to mention sake, their celebrated beverage of choice!
Japan offers so much to see and do! The country boasts an incredible variety of landscapes from its rugged coasts to snow-covered mountains in Hokkaido, from volcanoes that regularly erupt – Kagoshima is particularly notorious for this, having experienced frequent ash falls from Sakurajima Volcano; to combat this problem the locals even developed special trash bags and designated days for collecting it!
Unbeknownst to many people, Japan has some quirky linguistic habits. For instance, green traffic lights are known as blue in Japan due to the Japanese word for green being “[ ] , which sounds similar to “blue”.
2. Japan has the world’s largest temples.
Japanese culture is home to thousands of intricately designed temples and shrines. Even small villages boast at least one. Temples often stand in the center of village squares and serve weddings, funerals and ancestor prayers; others take up entire forests clearing process in their construction; one such large and imposing temple was Todai-ji from 8th Century which boasted two 9-story pagodas that supported its 50 x 86 meter great hall with 84 massive cypress pillars requiring 2200 acres in its construction alone!
Many Japanese temples contain Buddha statues. Of particular note is Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano. Built sometime between 450 and 600 CE, it enshrines one from China brought back with him from Japan itself and also features the oldest wooden ringing bell in Japan and two gates that can be opened on special occasions to provide access to special services offered there.
There’s an obvious distinction between Buddhist and Shinto temples, typically delineated by their shape: temples feature pagoda structures while shrines typically feature gates (tori). There may also be exceptions; depending on your source of information, temples might be associated with afterlife events while shrines tend to focus more on daily living than Buddhist ones.
One of the more striking facts about Japan is the large percentage of people who do not procreate. This could be attributed to societal pressure to have children, long work hours or the high cost of childcare; whatever it may be, Japanese people simply are not procreating as much anymore, leading to an aging population which won’t produce enough children for support purposes in future.
3. Japan has the world’s largest shrines.
Shrines play an extremely vital role in Japanese culture. Used primarily as places for prayer, they can even be found right in the middle of bustling cities – they contain statues and artifacts to add another level of cultural importance, making these shrines one of Japan’s top tourist spots.
Though it might seem unusual for a country to have shrines dedicated to insects, Japan actually boasts two! One of them can be found in Yokohama and honors praying mantises while Aomori Prefecture boasts its own in honor of praying ants!
Japanese people boast one of the longest life expectancies worldwide and boast a higher than average percentage of centenarians – most notably women! It may come as a shock that Japan ranks second when it comes to life expectancies.
Japan boasts some exquisite natural landscapes. For instance, 67% of the land area is covered by forest cover; rivers, lakes and mountains abound throughout Japan’s borders; plus it has an active seismic field that creates numerous underwater chasms and reef formations.
Japan is home to some rather strange customs and traditions. One oddity involves their quirky way of writing addresses using both hiragana and kanji characters – the former as part of an address, the latter in place because four sounds similar to death!
Japan boasts an intriguing food tradition. One such tradition is Kit Kat, an iconic snack shaped like a cat. In fact, its name derives from hiragana for “cat”. Originally created as an advertisement tool for KFC Japan.
4. Japan has the world’s largest aquarium.
Japan is an alluring mix of culture and technology, offering something for everyone to explore from bustling cities such as Tokyo to mountain ranges and forests – you won’t be disappointed when planning your visit here! Here are some interesting facts about this East Asian nation to help build anticipation for your upcoming journey!
One of the fascinating Japan facts is its world’s largest aquarium in Okinawa. Showcasing some of the most varied aquatic life, this amazing attraction boasts numerous themed areas which showcase various aspects of oceanic life; visitors can step beneath ice floes or stroke sharks while visiting this great attraction!
Japan is not only an economic power and global leader; they’ve also forgone their right to declare war. Although they still possess a powerful self-defense force, Japan has recently taken steps away from more militaristic policies in favor of international trade and diplomacy.
Japan is widely known for its temples. Even small villages will feature at least one. Japan boasts some of the most intricate and stunning structures anywhere; yet these magnificent structures came at great cost to its people: between 735 AD and 737 AD a smallpox epidemic had killed off nearly one third of their population leaving too few to tend to crops and care for crops; leading to starvation.
Japan boasts another fascinating fact. Susami in Ibaraki Province boasts the world’s deepest underwater postbox – located 30 feet underground and collecting mail since 1999.
5. Japan has the world’s largest fish market.
Japan may be known for its sushi, but did you know it is also home to one of the largest fisheries worldwide? Japan harvests approximately 17 million tons of fish each year–that’s an incredible haul of salmon, tuna and butterfish!
Tsukiji Market in Tokyo is the world’s largest fish market. Opening at 3:00 am most mornings and offering an enormous selection of tuna, squid, crab and other species for sale all day long to restaurants and supermarkets across Japan, this market features one of the world’s greatest concentrations of seafood vendors.
Japanese people have an inborn reverence for nature, in part due to the spiritual roots of Shinto religion. Shinto followers believe that all aspects of nature from rivers to mountains are home to spirit beings; this belief may explain why so many Japanese enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and other forms of recreation, and why Japan boasts so many gorgeous national parks.
One of the most remarkable facts about Japan is that it boasts the world’s highest life expectancy rate. Over 2.6 million elderly Japanese and 85,000 centenarians, most of whom are women, exist there today.
Japan is an island nation, yet boasts an economy that rivals that of any large economy, making it considered a “mega-economy”. Japan is governed under constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature known as the National Diet, although they renounced their right to declare war but maintain an impressive Self Defense Force. Japan leads in automobile, robotics, and electronics production, is involved with several international organizations and fora, is an influential importer and exporter of goods; furthermore they rank first globally when it comes to medical technology, robotics and electronics – leading world leader status for these technologies compared to their island neighbors compared with their island neighbors.