Japan as a country lives in the future. Japan is a beautiful island country in East Asia with a population of over 126 million people. Before knowing some surprising and mind-blowing fun facts about Japan, let’s first know a little about Japan and the Japanese people.
Japan is an island country located in the northwest Pacific Ocean, bounded by the Sea of Japan on the west and stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south.
Japanese technological advancement often provides a peek into the future, from superfast bullet trains to high-end robots to dazzling vending machines. There is no other nation as advanced as Japan.
Japanese culture is an intriguing mix of old and new. Japan is both proudly traditional and futuristic, with deeply ingrained rituals and a constantly evolving lifestyle.
This is a country that embraces its rich cultural heritage, from food and etiquette to art and education to sports.
Here is the long list of the most interesting and surprising fun facts about Japan that will surely blow your mind!
The Top 18 Fun Facts About Japan
1. Japan Is The Eleventh Most Populous Country In The World
Japan is the world’s eleventh most populated country in the world with a population of around 126 million people. It is also one of the most densely populated and developed countries globally.
Three-fourths of the country’s topography is mountainous, with its 125.5 million people centered on a narrow coastal region.
2. Tokyo, The World’s Most Populated Metropolitan City.
Tokyo is the nation’s capital and the largest city in Japan, followed by other significant cities, Yokohama, Nagoya, Sapporo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.
The Greater Tokyo Area is the world’s most populous metropolitan area, with almost 37.4 million citizens. It is one of the most shocking and incredible fun facts about Japan.
3. Japan Is Known As The Land Of The Rising Sun
Wondering! why it is called the land of the rising sun? So, here is the reason why it is called so!
In Japanese, the country is pronounced as Nihon or Nippon, which means “where the sun rises.” During the 13th century, Marco Polo, an Italian trader, and traveler, introduced Japan to Western countries.
He never went to Japan, instead went to the southern part of China, where the people told him about Japan. It is surprising but one of the interesting, fun facts about Japan to know.
According to the Chinese people, Japan is located in the direction of the rising sun. As a result, it was given the name Ji-Pang or Zu-Pang, which translates to ‘the origin of the sun,’ earning it the title Land of the Rising Sun.
4. Japan Ranks Second In The List Of The Highest Life Expectancy In The World.
Japan has the world’s second-highest life expectancy after Hong Kong, with the average Japanese person living to the age of 85 years. In Japan, a female has an average life expectancy of 88.1 years, while males have an average life expectancy of 81.9 years.
There has been a very continuous disparity in life expectancy between males and women. Women are currently anticipated to live 6.2 years longer than males.
You will be surprised to know that before 1990, the country did not even rank among the top 100 countries in terms of life expectancy, making it one of the amazing facts about Japan to know.
5. In Japan, People Having Tattoos Are Not Allowed In Public Places
Shocking to hear! But it’s true. You will be amazed to know that people with tattoos are banned from entering public places like hot springs, beaches, public pools, bathing houses, swimming pools, and gyms in Japan.
In Japan, it is believed that the people with inked bodies are mostly related to gangsters. So, they are banned from visiting any public places.
So, if you are planning to visit Japan, and have tattoos, try to cover or hide the tattoos while visiting the places mentioned above. It is one of the shocking and fun facts about Japan.
6. In Japan, Adult Diapers Outsell Baby Diapers.
Funny to hear! But it’s true. In Japan, adult diapers outsell baby diapers. Well, there can be many reasons behind it.
But one of the most trending reasons can be associated with dropping birth rates and more than a quarter of the population over 65, so, as a result, there can be more demand for adult diapers than baby diapers.
According to NPR reports, in 2019, Japan’s birth rate hit its lowest point, adding proof to the country’s aging population.
You will be shocked that adult diapers sell 2.5 times as many as baby diapers in Japan, resulting in larger profit margins and a profitable business. Hospitals and nursing homes also purchase adult diapers.
7. Japanese Diet Is One Of The Healthiest And Most Nutritious Diet In The World.
If you are a health-conscious person, you must consider following the traditional Japanese diet as it is regarded as one of the world’s healthiest diets.
The Japanese are proud of having one of the lowest obesity rates in the world, as well as low rates of hormone-dependent cancers.
Usually, people in Japan eat three meals and two snacks a day. Their diet includes rice, a good amount of fish, vegetables, and seafood, and they avoid red meat.
In Japan, people tend to eat less fatty foods instead of that eat food higher in vitamins and minerals. Japanese healthy diet is one of the factors contributing to the country’s higher life expectancy rate.
8. Japan Is An Ultimate Home To Vending Machines
In Japan, you will see that vending machines are widespread. You will find these machines on every street or corner of the country.
Japan boasts the world’s highest number of vending machines, with little more than 5 million devices spread across the country.
You can buy everything from these vending machines, from food to soda to beer to shakes and underwear to cars and so many more, making it unbelievable fun facts about Japan.
According to the Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association, there is one vending machine for every 23 persons. Annual revenues are over $60 billion.
Japan vending machine ratio is one of the fun facts about Japan that is weird to hear but worth a try!
9. Japanese Trains Are The Definition of Punctuality And Super Cleanliness
Japan trains are always on time and are considered one of the most punctual trains in the world. Their timeliness and punctuality are very admirable.
The train networks of the country’s three main urban areas – Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka – are possibly the most efficient in the world, despite being very busy during peak traffic.
The Tokaido Shinkansen, Japan’s most famous high-speed line, has been running for nearly 50 years without a single accident or collision. Its average departure delay along its 320-mile route in 2007 was about 18 seconds.
The country’s railway system is punctual and the epitome of cleanliness. Their train’s punctuality and cleanliness are commendable.
10. Japan Is Home To 45 Of The World’s 51 Busiest Train Stations
Shocking to hear! Yeah, but it’s real. Japan is home to 45 of the world’s 51 busiest train stations in the world.
Shinjuku station in Tokyo is the world’s busiest station carrying around 3.5 million daily commuters.
The top five busiest train stations in the world are also in Japan, namely Shinjuku Station, Shibuya Station, Ikebukuro Station, Umeda Station, and Yokohama Station.
11. Japan Is Made Up Of Four Main Islands
Japan is made up of 6,852 islands that stretch along Asia’s Pacific coast. From the Sea of Okhotsk to the East China Sea, Japan’s territory covers over 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles).
It consists of four big islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, as well as smaller islands. The Japanese territory covers a total land area of around 378,000 square kilometers.
Honshu is the world’s seventh-largest island, with about 228,000 square kilometers.
Japan has the world’s sixth-longest coastline covering around 29,751 kilometers (18,486 mi). Japan has the world’s sixth-largest Exclusive Economic Zone, totaling 4,470,000 kilometers square (1,730,000 sq mi).
12. Japan Has The World’s Third-Largest Economy
Japan is a highly developed country making it the world’s third-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP in the world. Japan is a highly innovative, high-tech, and technology-driven country.
Japan’s economy is a well-developed free-market economy making it the world’s fourth-largest purchasing power parity (PPP) and the second-largest developed economy in the world.
Japan is also the fourth-largest consumer market, the second-largest producer of automobiles in the world, and the third-largest in the world in terms of total wealth.
13. Around 67% of Land In Japan Is Covered With Forests
You might think Japan must be a place with high-rise buildings, several developed megacities, and many more. But you will be astonished to know that in reality, Japan’s 67% of the land is covered by forests.
Japan is a place of mountains and woods. Forests comprise around 25 million hectares or about 67 percent of the total land. The Japanese Alps extend right through the middle of Honshu, Japan’s largest island.
Around 66.4 percent of the Japanese archipelago is forested, 12.8 percent is agricultural, and 4.8 percent is residential. The rocky and mountainous topography of Japan makes it unfit for human settlement.
As a result, the habitable zones, which are primarily along the shoreline, have extremely high population densities making it the 40th most highly populated country in the world.
14. Japan Is Particularly Vulnerable To Earthquakes, Tsunamis, And Volcanic Eruptions
Due to Japan’s climate and topography is incredibly prone to natural catastrophes, and it has been hit by several earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters.
Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. Most of these earthquakes are mild and go unnoticed, although massive and destructive earthquakes can occasionally happen.
Tokyo is located in an active area where earthquakes are very common, with around 1500 occurring each year. There are 111 active volcanoes in Japan. Destructive earthquakes, which frequently result in tsunamis, strike many times per century.
Japan is positioned in the Pacific seismic belt, or we can say the Pacific ring of fire, making it susceptible to earthquakes, and its intricate coastline makes it vulnerable to tsunamis.
15. Around 28.2% Of The Total Japanese Population Is Aged 65 And Above.
Japan is home to the world’s oldest population, those ages 65 and above, covering 28.2% of the total Japanese population.
Over 70,000 persons in Japan have reached the age of 100. There can be many reasons for the elderly population existing in Japan.
One of the main reasons for the elderly population can be the low infertility rate and high life expectancy.
16. Mount Fuji Is Not Just A Mountain, But A Sacred Place In Japan
Mount Fuji is not just the tallest mountain but a sacred place for the Shinto religion in Japan since the seventh century.
Mt. Fuji (aka Fujisan) is Japan’s highest peak and has long served as the country’s symbol, with its typically symmetrical snow-capped cone.
In the Shinto religion, the volcano is revered as a sacred kami or spirit, particularly that of Princess Konohanasakuya-hime, and hiking its slopes is considered a pilgrimage for those of that faith. The blooming of Cherry blossoms is considered her symbol.
There are several notable religious shrines, caverns, springs, and a waterfall on the mountain. Mt. Fuji is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
17. In Japan, Suicide Rate Is Very High
Japan is one of the countries having the highest suicide rates. This is, without a doubt, Japan’s most regrettable fact.
You will be surprised to hear that after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the suicide forest in Japan is the second most popular spot to commit suicide.
The forest, which lies at the foot of Mt Fuji, is supposed to be where most visitors enter and never leave. It is one of the weird and scary fun facts about Japan.
Suicide rates are high due to a lack of access to therapists, sleep, and growing work demands. Japan has declared that it is developing more substantial initiatives, particularly in Japanese schools, to assist in reducing suicide rates.
18. The Most Appetizing Plastic In The World- Japan’s Fake Food
If you visit Japan, you would probably notice plastic food models in restaurant windows, displaying their delicious counterparts lying within them.
These fake food models are known as ‘Sampuru’ or ‘Sample,’ which have been part of the Japanese culture for more than a century.
There you will find a street known as Kappabashi Street or Kitchen Street, located in the middle of Asakusa and Ueno, where most restaurants get their fake food and kitchenware.
So, food replicas are a unique concept Japanese restaurants use to showcase their dishes to the customer and foreigners. It is exciting to know and makes it one of the unbelievable fun facts about Japan.
Some General Fun Facts About Japan
1. Number 4 is considered very unlucky in Japan as it is pronounced as Shi, which is a word for death.
2. Nachi no Taki is Japan’s tallest waterfall, standing at 133 meters tall and 30 meters wide. It is also one of the country’s top ten most magnificent waterfalls.
3. Ice cream in Japan won’t melt for hours because the polyphenol liquid in the ice cream has features that make it difficult for oil and water to separate; thus, ice containing it will be able to keep the original shape of the cream for a more extended period than usual and will be hard to melt. It is one of the most amazing fun facts about Japan.
4. Eating raw meat is very common in Japan; they even have meat dishes made of the horse called Basashi. It’s a famous Japanese regional dish made with raw horse meat slices, ginger, and onions.
5. Square melons are grown by Japanese farmers so that they can be easily packed and stored.
6. Raw fish, such as in sushi and sashimi, are popular among Japanese people. These are quite popular in Japanese restaurants both in Japan and overseas. So, you can say people in Japan love to eat raw fish as it is an island country surrounded by freshwater and saltwater oceans. It is one of the amazing fun facts about Japan and the Japanese people.
7. While in many countries, slurping is considered very bad or rude, in Japan, slurping is used to show your appreciation of the dish. So, Slurping is good here, making it one of the interesting, fun facts about Japan.
8. In Japanese Culture, dozing off at the workplace is considered a sign of being a hard-working person who is very dedicated to their job. So, in Japan, napping during working hours is so common that no one thinks it is not good. But sometimes people fake it! Which is one of the amusing fun facts about Japan.
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