Japan is one of the many countries that most travelers want to see. The beauty of Sakura, the countless heart-pounding roller coasters, the most creative cosplayers, the origin of all anime, the technology, the food, the culture, and the preserved hundreds of years old structures are just a few of the numerous reasons to see the land of the rising sun.
Getting to the country though is not at all that easy. Japan is a quite expensive country to visit. The visa fee, the plane tickets, hotel accommodations, transfers, food and tours can cost a hefty amount of money. Whether you already collected a travel budget or is still starting to save up your pocket money, here’s a look at just 20 things you will surely appreciate about the land of the great Samurais.
Among the major cities in the world, Tokyo is pronounced as the safest.
Although we hear rumors about a lot of Japanese committing suicide by Mount Fuji, an international ranking developed by the Economic Intelligence Unit, Tokyo City which is Japan’s capital is the safest there is in the world. The rankings were released according to a number of different indexes which includes healthcare, infrastructure and personal wellbeing.
Japan always record the oldest people to live in the world. In fact, 26.7% of the country’s population are senior citizens.
Japan’s elderly population is much higher than that of the United States and any other country. Their healthy diet is to be given credit for their long lives, but if you’d see older men in gyms, they’d say a bottle of beer a day keeps the grey hair and the wrinkles away. So if you aim to reach a hundred years or more, you might want to move to this country.
There are bullet trains everywhere.
Japan is easily recognized with its bullet train. The country’s shinkansen (bullet train) are non-comparable. They can make days of travels into hours with the trains able to reach a speed of up to 200 mph.
Couples can celebrate their love literally anywhere in Japan with “love hotels” opened in every corner.
Japan is known for their unique accommodation types. They have capsules, they have cubes, but what lovers can surely use is a room at a love hotel. Rooms can be rented for shorter periods of time, just enough for a quickie. And you don’t have to travel too far with your mate as love hotels are everywhere, usually near the highways.
A group exercise is what opens the school and work days.
A group exercise in Japan is not only to improve the physical health and promote longer life of workers and students, but also to promote unity among participants. It is one of the admirable cultural practices of the country that helps everyone get their heart rate up throughout the day, making them alive and active in the morning, and hopefully finishes up productive in the afternoon.
People are allowed or even encouraged to take a nap at work.
It is a dream come true for any hardworking employee to be allowed to take a nap in the workplace. Inemuri or napping at work actually signifies that an employee is working hard enough. Consider it as a power nap. They usually have it during their coffee or lunch break times. Some workers even fake having a nap just to make it seem like they are hardworking enough.
Japan boasts companies which are nearly 1000 years old.
It is no wonder why Japan is one of the most developed countries in the world. Their advanced IQ and strategies on building businesses traces way back to the earliest centuries. Their industries like construction, sake manufacturing, confectionery, and a lot more have long histories and the startup companies are surprisingly still around until today! The Hōshi Ryokan pictured above is a traditional inn which started business 718 AD. It is still open to serve people and remains family-owned to this day.
An adopted western business started a cultural tradition in Japan. Every Christmas in the country is a Kentucky Fried Chicken Day!
Konnichiwa to the world’s most popular fried chicken! Originally from the United States, the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) infiltrated Japan and the finger-licking good meals became a traditional food on Christmas.
You will never have to be thirsty or hungry on the streets with vending machines on almost every corner.
Vending machines are surely used anywhere in the world. But Japan takes them to another level with almost everything sold in machines. While we only take sodas, juice, chocolates and selected snacks from normal vending machines, market and shopping items are not difficult to find in Japan with vending machines also selling live lobsters and underwear.
You’ll learn to appreciate manhole covers when you go to Japan and see the art stamped on them.
Manhole covers are probably one of the things that we don’t pay attention to. But when you go to Japan, you can’t help but take a second look at their manhole covers with detailed and pleasing artworks on them.
Vegetable carving is considered an art.
It is very common to see fruits and vegetables carved with designs placed as garnishing and decorative pieces on banquets today. But nobody does it better than the Japanese who put careful attention to details they call mukimono.
The country with most varieties of Kit Kats is Japan as they practice a ritual of eating a bar before taking a big exam.
Kit Kat or “Kitto Katsu” in Japan is a popular treat in Japan. It is even given out to exam takers for good luck. And examinees will surely pull more energy to go through a difficult test with several flavors other than the original made available. Enjoy it in green tea, strawberry and cherry blossom flavors!
A communal and nationwide birthday celebration is held for children ages three, five and seven.
Every 15th of November, Japan holds a nationwide birthday for children turning three, five and seven which they call Shiti-Go-San. These odd numbers are considered lucky in the Japanese culture and the event is used to honor some of the major turning points of childhood.
Enjoying noodles in Japan needs some slurping.
There are ramen houses everywhere in Japan. While slurping noodles is an impolite practice in other countries, in Japan, you will need some quick slurping as ramen is best enjoyed and is tastiest when the broth and noodles are still hot.
One of the world’s oldest dramaturgical art forms, Noh Drama, is still performed in Japan to this day.
For those who still don’t know, Noh is a form of classical theater performance that uses masks and pageantry. It has been around since the 14th century and the plot normally revolves around fantasy or folk tales.
Karaoke bars very popular in Japan.
One of the favorite past times of Japanese is singing on karaoke bars. A company get together will never be complete without hours of drinking and partying in karaokes.
Eat all the fish you want in Tokyo which is the home to the world’s largest fish market.
Sashimi and sushi made of expensive kinds of fish like Marlin and Tuna will never go absent from a Japanese meal. And theirs are really fresh with tons and tons of fishes and other seafoods delivered to seafood markets in the country. Tokyo has the biggest though with Tsukiji Market considered as the world’s largest fish market.
Bowing to one another in Japan is equivalent to us shaking hands.
Do not misinterpret the Japanese you meet for the first time if they don’t extend their hand to you for a shake-hand. In Japan, they bow down as a sign of respect and a greeting. But there are rules in doing so. Whoever bows more deeply is considered to be showing more respect. Hence, a student and employer and youngster should stoop down lower than his teacher or employer or elder.
Crooked teeth in Japan is attractive.
The rest of the world might be conscious enough to have their teeth straightened by their dentists or orthodontist. But in Japan, a crooked teeth is actually attractive so dentists might only get tasks from those who wish to have their teeth crooked.
Japan is an archipelago with more than 6,800 islands.
This is a feature of the country that others can’t probably mimic but will surely admire. While Japan appears to be one giant island, the country is actually composed of several major islands with many more tiny islands around them. And as we know, these islands have a lot of shores to boast including Yonaha Maehama, Kondoi and Shirahama Beaches.