Japan is one of the most interesting countries in the world, with its rich history, culture, and spectacular scenery that make it a must-visit destination on everyone’s bucket list. Whether you want to learn more about Japanese living or visit the magnificent landscapes and tourist attractions in Japan, here are ten facts that might amaze you about this wonderful place!
1) Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
In 2021, Japan ranked 2nd in the list of the world's highest life expectancies. The average life expectancy for males and females is 83 and 88 years old, respectively.
Studies show that Japanese people tend to live longer due to their healthy diet, which includes plenty of fish and vegetables and smaller portions of meat.
2) It's okay to eat alone.
Japan is known as the solo dining capital of the world. It has been a norm for the Japanese to dine alone for decades as a result of the increase of single-person households. Forward-thinking restaurants provide private booths and seating for single visitors.
3) It's the home of the snow monkeys!
The Japanese Macaque, also known as the snow monkey, lives in colder climates. In Nagano Prefecture, these monkeys live in the mountains and bathe in the natural hot springs.They provide popular tourist attractions from the nearby resorts of Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, Madarao and Nozawa Onsen.
4) Mountains made up 80% percent of Japan’s land mass!
Japan is famous for its bustling cities, with Tokyo the largest city in the world and scenes of crowded crosswalks in Shinjuku make for great photos. But Japan is mostly made up of mountains, which is why the cities are so crowded and tend to be on the coast.
The stunning mountainous areas include many resorts but the most famous would be Mount Fuji. While it may be chilly, these mountain ranges help Japan be on of the most popular destinations in the world when it comes to skiing and snowboarding in the incredible powder snow.
5) Vending Machines are everywhere.
With one of the highest populations on earth, there are over 5 million vending machines in Japan and they are not just your ordinary drink dispensers. Japanese vending machines sell many incredible and unlikely things such as batteries, ramen, umbrellas, flowers and beer. You name it and they have it there!
6) Slurping loudly is fine!
Japan is famous for its delicious ramen, soba and udon - and when you slurp your noodles loudly it shows the chef that you’re enjoying your meal and you’re adding flavour to your noodles. What are you waiting for? Slurp away and enjoy every Japanese meal.
7) Traditional Japanese rooms are tiled with Tatami or rice straw.
Traditional Japanese rooms or Tatami rooms are representations of the rich Japanese culture, with mats made from rice straw. The mat’s length is always twice the width.
These rooms were originally used as sleeping areas for nobility and martial arts. Nowadays, such rooms are used in restaurants or tea rooms. The distinct smell of tatami reminds us all of Japan!
8) Have a Merry Kentucky for Christmas!
Celebrating Christmas in Japan means eating KFC’s fried chicken. Thanks to some clever marketing in the middle of the 20th century, KFC became synonymous with Christmas in Japan. It is now a tradition that Japanese purchase party packs and buckets of fried chicken during the holidays to celebrate with their families and friends. Order early to avoid disappointment!
9) Basashi is a popular horse meat dish in Japan.
Japan is more than sushi, ramen, katsu and other Japanese dishes. You might not have heard of the famous raw horse meat slices called “basashi” which is usually served with ginger and onions. Famous in the Kumamoto region of Japan, it is a must-try on your next visit.
10) Numerous festivals in Japan show true local colour.
There are hundreds of local festivals, also known as matsuri, throughout Japan as every shrine celebrates throughout the year. These festivals often have processions from the local shrine or feature a Shinto deity, carried by locals all over the town. The procession is usually followed by plenty of eating, drinking and dancing! Witness the rich Japanese tradition and culture in these festivals throughout the country.