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15 Interesting Facts About Japan You May Not Know

Japan is a captivating land where vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes converge, crowned by majestic Mount Fuji, an active volcano. It is a mixture of different customs, arts, and practices. Some are unique, some are interesting, and some are paradigms. 

Festivals are an integral part of Japanese culture, showcasing colorful celebrations throughout the year. Japan is also renowned for its delicious noodles, with Osaka being a culinary hotspot where you can indulge in a variety of mouthwatering dishes. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

After exploring the bustling cities, you can rejuvenate your body and soul in the relaxing hot springs known as onsen. And don’t forget the art of slurping, a customary way to enjoy noodles in Japan. Get ready to surprise yourself with some more interesting facts about Japan.

1. Some Japanese Trains Have Foot Baths

Japan has a fantastic transport system. Most people use trains to go to offices, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and even for long journeys across the country. An amazing fact about the Japanese train is that some offer a luxury spa service for people. Tsudoi Sightseeing Train offers this service as a part of limited edition promotion. Passengers can have pedicures while on the journey. Foot massage, foot scrubbing, and cleansing using hot water are included in this service. It is a good use of time and travelers love it!

2. Japan Uses Heated Sidewalks in Some Areas

snowy pavement
Photo credit: CK Ma // Shutterstock.com

Some areas of Japan are cold and face unexpected or continuous snowfall, especially in winter. This heavy snowfall can halt the daily routine of such a busy country. To avoid this, Japan is using advanced technology in its pathways. The heating system is installed sideways, activated automatically, without any manual effort or heavy machinery, when there is snowfall, and it melts the snow collected on the roads and allows its citizens and foreigners to walk easily.

3. Japanese Trains Are Punctual; To the Second

Osaka, Japan - Jan 30, 2018: Shinkansen bullet trains lined up at Torikai rail yard
Photo credit: EvergreenPlanet // Shutterstock.com

Time is money. This proverb is strictly followed by Japan. Considering every second of time and making it useful is the first sign of success. So what is Japan doing? The timetable of trains in Japan considers time so precisely that they even consider seconds. No other country shows this kind of punctuality. So, the citizens have to be punctual if they want to catch the train, which allows them to manage their time. The average delay of a train at the railway station is around 20 seconds.

4. The Most Popular Game in Japan Is Baseball

Swallows game
Swallows baseball game in Tokyo.

Albeit Sumo Wrestling is the national game of Japan, their nation’s fan base is actually more inclined towards baseball. In fact, baseball is an American sport and is not a local game in Japan. It was promoted in Japan after World War II. It is played on every level, from primary schools to colleges, from street players to professionals, with notable enthusiasm. In the evening, streets and grounds are filled with kids playing baseball. Nippon professional baseball team is the highest-level baseball team in Japan. It actually consists of 12 teams with 2 leagues, 6 in each.

5. Most Japanese Schools Don’t Have Custodians

Elementary school girl cleaning the entrance
Photo credit: T.TATSU // Shutterstock.com

Japan is doing its best to make its people active, sharp, and adaptable. One practice to follow the statement is that the schools of Japan do not offer helping or cleaning staff. This brings the concept of responsibility to kids at the same age of learning. It teaches them to keep themselves clean and tidy and do their work independently. Foremost, this approach gives the sense of equality in the generation that no one is to clean your mess, you do it yourself.

6. Automatic Doors of Taxi

Taxi driver and female passenger in Japan
Photo credit: koumaru // Shutterstock.com

If someone is going to visit Japan for the first time, they will be astonished when they use a taxi for transportation. This is because many of the taxis in Japan are unlike other cabs or taxis in other countries. Being a developed country, it offers a developed taxi. The doors of these cars open and close automatically. There is no manual need to do it. This gives the sense of being in a technology world that is all machinated. Moreover, this technology ensures the security of both the driver and the passenger.

7. High-Technology Toilets in Japan

Japan has a lot of wonderful things; its technology toilets are one of them. There are a lot of features in Japanese toilets that are enough to drop anyone’s jaw, and it is hard to believe that a bathroom can be made this high-tech. Automated lights, automated dual flushing systems, odor detectors, some play sounds, and screens are common. In addition to this, a temperature-maintaining feature has also been installed, through which the toilet seat provides warmth in winter and vice versa. Now these toilets can avoid unwanted noises from outside, which means Japanese toilets offer complete peace for the user.

8. Restaurants in Japan Display Dummy Food

Otaru, Japan - July13, 2015: Plastic food replica of sushi in a restaurant of Otaru
Photo credit: Fabio Nodari // Shutterstock.com

Choosing your food from the boring menu, conventional pictures, or displayed boards is no longer followed in Japan. There are dummy dishes displayed on the counters of many restaurants that look exactly like the real ones. From chicken to candy, every displayed dish is a dummy. Even small street hotels have these fake foods. These are usually made up of plastic. In this way, customers feel comfortable choosing what they want to eat. This visual food selection facility is perfect for foreigners or visitors new to the country who don’t know the language and the food here.

9. Biggest City in the World: Tokyo is Safe and Sound

Tokyo / Japan - 11/09/2016: Shinjuku Neighborhood Illuminated by Neon Signs at Night
Photo credit: Mr. James Kelley / Shutterstock.com

Tokyo is considered one of the busiest and biggest cities in the world. However, despite its size, it is also one of the safest cities in the world. Kids can go to school alone, youngsters can roam around the city, and women can work without fear or hesitation. There is virtually no fear of theft, robbery, or crime. This shows the deep moral and ethical customs attitude of its citizens.

10. Japan has Unique Capsule Hotels

Capsule Hotel Beds in Kyoto, Japan
Photo credit: Mr. James Kelley // Shutterstock.com

Capsule hotels are a unique type of accommodation commonly found in Japan. They provide travelers with a compact and cost-effective place to stay, especially in busy cities where space is limited and hotel prices can be high.

Capsule hotels are designed with small, individual sleeping pods or “capsules” stacked together in a multi-level arrangement. Each capsule usually contains a bed, lighting, and basic amenities like a small TV, power outlets, and sometimes a privacy curtain.

11. Bullet Trains Have Bullet Speed Cleaners

Efficiency is an element that can be seen in every field in Japan, including public transportation. As Japan has bullet trains as a mode of transportation, there must be superheroes that can work like a machine to maintain these bullet trains. And Japan has trained such a staff. In less than 7 minutes, the cleaners have to clean the entire train, even during rush-hour, which includes dusting, cleaning seats, changing disposable facilities, and washing washrooms. In this regard, the smartness and efficiency of the staff is a perfect example of efficiency.

12. Themed Restaurants are Popular in Japan

Robot Restaurant in Tokyo
Editorial credit: Alex Waltner Photography / Shutterstock.com

Japan is known for its wide range of themed restaurants that offer unique dining experiences. Here are some popular themed restaurants in Japan:

  1. Robot Restaurant (Tokyo): This is one of the most famous themed restaurants in Tokyo. It features a high-energy show with giant robots, dazzling lights, and performers. The restaurant offers a unique combination of entertainment and dining.
  2. Alice in Wonderland (Tokyo): Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, this restaurant creates a whimsical atmosphere with its decor and food presentation. Guests can enjoy a “tea party” experience while surrounded by characters from the Alice in Wonderland story.
  3. Ninja Akasaka (Tokyo): As the name suggests, this restaurant is designed like a ninja village. Guests are greeted and served by staff dressed as ninjas, and the restaurant has secret passageways and hidden chambers. It offers traditional Japanese cuisine with a theatrical touch.
  4. The Lockup (Various locations): This horror-themed restaurant has several branches across Japan. It is designed like a prison and features jail cells, spooky decorations, and regular “scare” events. The menu offers a variety of themed dishes and drinks.

13. Sleeping on the Job Is Permitted

Young Japanese Manager is Tired at his Work Place with Desktop Computer and Falls Asleep. Diverse Multi-ethnic Business People Work on Computers in Modern Open Office.
Photo credit: Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock.com

A unique practice of Japanese people that needs to be mentioned is “inemuri.” It is about taking short rest during work; one can sleep during work as a short nap. In other countries, this act is considered a sign of laziness, but it is considered power retention to complete responsibilities more effectively in Japan. The culture of Japan considers this compulsory for one who wants to give his best in his work. It is allowed in schools, offices, and public places. 

14. Long Life Expectancy in Japan

Old lady (japanese descendant) seated comfortably at home holding a cup of tea with a happy expression of who is having a good conversation or telling stories.
Photo credit: Vinicius Bacarin // Shutterstock.com

Every nation has an average life expectancy, which indicates that the vast majority of individuals in this country survive to that age. It is amazing to know that mainland Japan has the highest life expectancy of approximately 88 years for females and 82 years for males. Japanese live and enjoy their life for a long time. The reason behind this may include healthy diet practices, a clean environment, and an active lifestyle.

15. Vending Machines in Japan

Ichiran Ramen
A ramen vending machine.

Vending machines are very common in Japan. It is said that there is one vending machine for every 24 people in Japan. It facilitates the citizen to buy things in a few steps. These vending machines offer a lot of variety to people, including snacks, cold drinks, soups, energy drinks, juices, tea, coffee, and even sanitary pads. 

Final Thoughts

In this article, I offered a captivating exploration of Japan’s vibrant culture and remarkable customs. From the bustling cities to the serene landscapes, Japan’s unique blend of tradition and modernity captivates visitors and residents alike. Moreover, Japan’s rich heritage is showcased through its diverse festivals, delicious cuisine, and the serene beauty of Buddhist temples. As one delves deeper into Japanese society, intriguing elements such as wildlife, deer, tattoos, and the coexistence of tradition and technology continue to unravel. Japan truly encompasses a world of wonders waiting to be discovered.

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