Japan is a beautiful island in East Asia filled with culture and tradition. The country has 126.5 million people who are spread across different cities and rural suburbs. Japan is always making headlines with advancements in technology, and it has unique travel experiences that everyone needs to see. From weird oddities like cuddle cafes to unique cultural norms, Japan is a place like no other. Continue reading to find out some weird facts about Japan and get ready to want to book your next trip.
1. There Is A Thing Called "Crying Sumo" Contests
There is a festival called the Nazikumo Festival held annually at the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo. The purpose of the festival is to see which sumo wrestler can make a baby cry first. While this may seem cruel, the Japanese believe that the tears ensure good health for their children.
2. Godzilla Is An Official Citizen Of Japan
Godzilla is an official citizen of Japan. The giant monster can be seen terrorizing Japan in multiple Godzilla movies, but they recognize him as a member of society. His citizenship certificate says he was born April 9, 1954, and his reason for special residency is, "to promote the entertainment of and watch over Kabuki-Cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe."
3. Death From Overworking Is Common
Earlier we mentioned that it is a sign of dedication to nap at work because it means you are working to exhaustion, but that sometimes leads to death. Many people in Asia are overworked, which contributes to health problems, including heart attacks and strokes caused by starvation and stress. One woman worked for 159 hours of overtime and then died of a heart attack.
4. There Is A Building With A Highway Passing Through It
The Gate Tower Building in Osaka, Japan, has a highway running through three of the floors. The building is 16 stories, and cars can drive right through. There were a lot of compromises that went into this design because people wanted to build an off-ramp and a building in the same place. In the end, they created an interesting piece of architecture.
5. Cafes With Anti-Loneliness Companions
Sometimes, people like to sit at a cafe alone, and other times, people wish they had someone or something to keep them company. There us a cafe called Moomin House Cafe in Tokyo that sends one of these furry stuffed animals to join you when you order alone. They are called anti-loneliness companions.
6. A Hotel Staffed By Robots
The Henn-na Hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, is the world's first hotel to be staffed by robots. You can check in with multiple different robots including a dinosaur. It is a significant tourist attraction that people come to see from around the world. Japan is very fond of using robots, and over the years, they have placed robots in many establishments.
7. The Vending Machines Have Everything
The vending machines in Japan are wild. The country also has the highest density of vending machines in the world. You can get pretty much anything you need in these machines. You can get anything from rice and sake to batteries and t-shirts. There are few things you can't purchase from a vending machine in Japan.
8. Square Watermelons For Easier Stacking
In Japan, people grow cube-shaped watermelons. They are usually given as gifts or purely ornamental. The square watermelons are very expensive and can cost up to $100. They first started appearing in the 1980s when a farmer/artist used a plastic mold to change their shape. People believed that they were easier to stack in the grocery store, but not many people buy them regularly.
9. Chewing Loud Is Polite
In many countries, chewing loudly or with your mouth open is considered rude, but in Japan, it is rude if you are not slurping and chewing loudly. It is a common practice in Japan to slurp noodles and soup. When you have a bowl of broth, it is customary to bring the bowl to your mouth to drink instead of using a spoon.
10. There Is A Small Island Only Inhabited By Bunnies
Okunoshima is an island off of Japan that is only inhabited by rabbits. It is still a mystery how these rabbits got on this island. They roam free, are well-fed, and free from predators. This destination often comes up in viral travel videos, and each year thousands of tourists come to see the phenomenon.
11. Blue Color Traffic Lights
In most countries, the traffic light colors are red, yellow, and green, but in Japan, the colors are red, yellow, and blue. This happened to cover up a mistake in the language. In Japanese, the word blue is "ao," and it is also used for green. When traffic lights were introduced in the 1930s, in official documents, the color of the light was referred to as "ao," which was confusing. Instead of changing the description, the government decided to make the bluest shade of green for the light.
12. There Are 70 Flavors Of Fanta
Japan has an interesting variety of flavored foods and drinks, including the 70 different flavors of Fanta soda. They expand the flavors of drinks themselves because they want more than the original flavors. You can taste flavors like melon cream, peach, and salty watermelon. You will never be bored with the soda choices in Japan.
13. There Are 80,000 Ramen Shops
In Tokyo alone, there are 4,000 different ramen shops to try. You could spend your entire life trying every single ramen shop in Japan. If you are unaware of what ramen is, it is a traditional Japanese dish with long wheat noodles in a meat or fish-based broth.
14. There Are More Pets Than Children
In Japan, there are around 23 million registered dogs and cats, and the number of children below 15 is only 16.5 million. Despite having small living spaces, people in Japan love to have multiple cats or dogs, and who wouldn't want a family of pets?
15. Clubbing Was Illegal Until 2015
Until 2015, dancing at night clubs was illegal in Japan. The ban forbid public dancing unless the venue had a license. People would break the rules often, and police turned a blind eye, but now people can dance freely. The decision was made because they were hosting the 2020 Olympics, and they wanted visitors to have as much fun as possible.