If you’re visiting Japan, you should get acquainted with its culture before arriving there. From why they cultivate square watermelons to why they don’t celebrate Christmas – here are some fun facts about Japan that might come in handy!
Japan boasts more than 6,800 islands to explore! That’s an enormous body of water to discover!
1. The Japanese Flag is 2:3 instead of 4:3
Japan boasts a diverse culture that encompasses sushi and noodles to paper folding. Furthermore, Japan boasts stunning artworks like Hokusai’s The Great Wave Off Kanagawa that celebrate its heritage.
Japan’s national flag features a red circle on a white background – an image associated with the sun that dates back centuries and which many see as representing rising sun imagery found throughout Japanese art.
The Japanese flag first made an appearance in 701, and later came to be known as the “flag of the rising sun” due to an imperial letter sent to China’s Emperor. In 1870, its current design was determined and specifications became extremely stringent–the disc must be precisely centered and three-fifths the height of flag should comprise its diameter.
2. Japanese trains are among the world’s most punctual
Japan’s railway system is widely acclaimed for its unflappability. Trains travel at incredible speeds while still arriving on time at each station! Additionally, very few accidents occur despite its sheer volume.
Railway systems in Japan remain one of the primary modes of passenger transportation, particularly commuter trains and Shinkansen between major cities. Even as automobile ownership has grown more prevalent over time, Japan’s railways remain popular means of passenger transport.
If a train is running late, its company usually displays it on monitors around the station and employees apologize over public announcement system before giving out official delay certificates to passengers! This practice is really impressive; not many other countries do this and proves how ahead-of-the-game Japan truly is.
3. Square watermelons are grown by Japanese farmers
Japan has long been at the forefront of selling bizarre-shaped fruits and vegetables – from grapes the size of ping pong balls to strawberries that look like tennis balls – for over 200 years! Their vendors have sold such produce.
Zentsuji in Kawaga Prefecture began cultivating square watermelons over 45 years ago as luxury novelty gifts to be given as presents, usually without an indication that these food-grade watermelons were edible.
Melons were originally intended to be consumed, but their challenging shape made cutting them difficult and spoilage usually occurred within days. Now they are grown solely as decorative items; packed in specially sized boxes for them and delivered directly to supermarkets or department stores for sale with unique stickers attached and instructions from farmers on how to decorate with ribbon.
4. There are more pets than children
Japan is notable for being home to more pets than children – something many might find surprising at first. This trend stems from Japanese culture valuing animal rights and treating all pets with care and consideration.
Japan comprises 67% forest land, so it isn’t unusual to come across warnings about black bears along hiking trails. Furthermore, thousands of tame sika deer wander the streets in Nara and bowing at tourists for crackers sold there.
Japan is well known for having one of the highest life expectancies, which can be attributed to their healthy diets, ikigai (an idea or purpose for living), and high standards of personal hygiene.
5. Adult diapers are sold more than baby diapers
Japan is rapidly aging, which explains why adult diaper sales have now outshone those intended for infants – something which many were taken aback by. This unprecedented event is quite shocking for many people and many remain stunned.
Japan-based manufacturers such as Unicharm and Daio Paper have increased their emphasis on adult diapers to take advantage of an emerging market. Japan’s rapidly aging population provides a target customer base with disposable income and strong desires to remain independent, which are ideal conditions for adult diaper sales growth.
Due to an aging global population, adult incontinence products are projected to experience rapid global expansion. Companies are taking steps to normalize conversations about these products by making them less stigmatizing and placing them alongside deodorants instead of baby diapers in store aisles – these efforts have paid dividends.
6. Japan is the most populous country in the world
Japan is both one of the world’s largest and safest nations. Crime levels remain very low in Tokyo; and, because immigration into Japan is limited, all residents there are Japanese nationals.
Japan, home of over 100 active volcanoes and boasting the world’s highest population density, boasts an average life expectancy of 83.6 years – many attribute this longevity to their diet of fish, vegetables and minimal red meat intake.
Japan is an advanced technological nation with a rich cultural tradition, making it no surprise it is considered one of the leading nations worldwide. There is so much more to discover about this fascinating land! Check out these other interesting facts about Japan which may surprise you! There is even a video available showing you how to tie a perfect bow! Have fun learning!
7. Japan is home to over 100 active volcanoes
Japan lies across several active tectonic plates on the Pacific Ring of Fire and boasts more volcanoes than almost any other nation, which can be found throughout its island nation.
Mount Fuji (Fujisan), Japan’s most iconic mountain, has become an emblematic image for Japanese culture as featured on Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and modern tourism posters. However, its active volcano status with an eruption occurring most recently in 1707 poses potential health threats to nearby residents.
Sakurajima on Kyushu Island is another renowned volcanic site, famed as “The Volcano That Never Sleeps”. Since 1955 it has erupted more than 35 times due to being near a subduction zone where tectonic plates beneath it are shifting. Its volcanic activity is responsible for creating hot springs throughout Japan.
8. Christmas isn’t a big holiday
As Japan was rebuilding post World War 2, Christmas slowly made an appearance without religious connotations. Now enjoyed by many Japanese people, Christmas trees, presents, markets, decorations and decorations are widely enjoyed; even KFC’s special slogan ‘Kentucky for Christmas’ became an institution.
Every year on the first Sunday in April in Okayama there is an extraordinary festival called Hadaka Matsuri where thousands of men strip naked publicly – an unusual but lucrative tradition thought to bring good luck for the upcoming year and more business for restaurants and shops in Okayama than any other event! This festival is considered one of the strangest in Japan.
9. Japan has cuddle cafes
Due to an increasing trend of single person households in Japan, it has become more and more prevalent for individuals to request tables for themselves at restaurants – be it lunch, dinner or breakfast! You won’t find any shortage of solo dining opportunities here among all that delicious sushi and gorgeous cherry blossoms!
Japan has witnessed the introduction of a unique cafe where men pay to cuddle with women – Soineya, known as a co-sleeping specialty shop, offers customers 20 minutes or an hour to cuddle, with 10-hour sleep sessions available for 50,000 yen each. While some might find this disturbing, Soineya caters specifically to this need and allows customers to choose either 20 minutes of snuggling time with women or even an entire night!
Akihabara – Tokyo’s hub of anime and manga fandom – boasts an intriguing Maid Cafe that allows visitors to choose a maid from a menu while they dine.
10. Tattoos are considered ugly
One of the more fascinating facts about Japan is that tattoos are considered ugly; so much so, that there’s even an official law against them!
Country is well-known for its eccentric festivals such as Hadaka Matsuri, a celebration of male reproductive organs. Men strip naked publicly during this event that features penis lollipops and other decorations designed to represent male reproductive health.
Japan is also an incredibly safe country, boasting low crime rates and almost no immigration or diversity. Tokyo stands out as a secure city compared to others around the world; locals do not lock their homes, bicycles or umbrellas when leaving trains or metro stations as this displays the country’s respect and politeness towards others.