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32 Awesome Things That Will Baffle First-Time Visitors In Japan





When former US President Barack Obama welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a White House visit, he expressed appreciation for some of the country’s cultural contributions and said “Thank you for all the things we love from Japan. Like karate and karaoke. Manga and anime. And,” the president added “emojis.”

The speech naturally won a lot of laughter from the audiences.

There are, of course, many other interesting stuff that are unique to the Land of the Rising Sun. For this blog, we’ll share with you 30 things that will likely grab your attention once you are in the country.

#1. Vending Machines


Photo credit: TODAY

There are vending machines for basically everything in Japan. From soda, candy, ice cream, noodles, fruits, fresh eggs, rice, flowers, umbrellas, toy cars, neck ties, and – believe it or not – even used underwear!

#2. House Name Plates


Photo credit: TsunaguJapan

Most of us have numbers posted outside our homes. Japanese families, on the other hand, have nameplates.

#3. Free Tissues


Photo credit: TheSelfishYears

Pocket tissues are usually given for free on the streets as a marketing strategy of companies.

#4. Damp Towels


Photo credit: TomochanStore

As a gesture of hospitality, you’ll usually get a damp towel for wiping so you can eat with clean hands.

#5. Otooshi


Photo credit: PeruThisWeek

Think of it as a free appetizer of sorts. A waiter will serve an otooshi for you as you wait for your meal, whether you asked for one or not.

#6. Kotatsu


Photo credit: Travelista1

Everybody loves this wonderful home heater.

#7. Kairo


Photo credit: JapaneseCulture

This pocket heater can be extremely useful during winter.

#8. Face Masks


Photo credit: QZ

Japanese residents are fond of wearing face masks, especially during winter.

#9. Bizarre Car Parking


Photo credit: TokyoTimes

With too many vehicles, Japan makes the most of parking spaces by this parking method.

#10. Capsule Hotels


Photo credit: UrbanTimes

Tourists love capsule hotels since they are affordable and secure. Plus they evoke a sci-fi vibe!

#11. Love Hotels


Photo credit: Reddit

Ideal for couples, love hotels are available in various themes.

#12. Randoseru Backpacks


Photo credit: JPN-Style

Widely used by Japanese kids, these sturdy bags can last up to 6 years.

#13. Yurukyara


Photo credit: Taiken

Basically, yurukyaras are mascots – and they’re pretty ubiquitous in Japan.

#14. Purikura


Photo credit: LynbrookJNHS

Often used by teenage girls, these photo machines allow you to take photos and print photo stickers.

#15. Dekotora


Photo credit: TheTruthAboutCars

Or decorated trucks. You’ll see them on the roads as you drive or commute in the country.

#16. Upside Down Restaurants


Photo credit: Spicytec

Because uniquely constructed restaurants are fun!

#17. Washlet Toilets


Photo credit: Tofugu

Your butt will be completely clean as this electric toilet washes it for you.

#18. Limited edition Kit-Kats


Photo credit: TopTenz

Japanese Kit-Kat versions offer a lot of unusual flavors you will never find elsewhere.

#19. Shinkansen


Photo credit: TsunaguJapan

Used for sightseeing, the shinkansen also come with footbaths.

#20. Baby mops


Photo credit: MindWerx

Got a crawling baby in the home? Let him clean the floor at the same time.

#21. Unmanned vegetable stalls


Photo credit: JotaroFootsteps

Take what you want and just leave your payment. Yeah, that’s how it works in Japan.

#22. Rice Paddy Art


Photo credit: Telegraph

These huge picturesque fields are absolutely a must-see when you are in Japan.

#23. Square Watermelons


Photo credit: WSJ

No, that’s not a mutant watermelon. It’s just produced that way for easier stacking.

#24.Automatic Taxi Doors


Photo credit: MyAnimeList

Most, if not all, taxis in Japan have this feature.

#25. Elevator Girls in Department Stores


Photo credit: Anna-CoolJapan

Think of them as your tour guides for shopping so feel free to ask them for building information.

#26. Manga


Photo credit: JapanPowered

Reading is not a lost art in Japan. Everyone, young and old, loves Manga.

#27. Otakus


Photo credit: GeekOut!

Hardcore manga and anime fans who dress up as their favorite characters are common in Japan.

#28. Nose Hair Cutter


Photo credit: AliExpress

Nose. Hair. Cutters. Nuff said!

#29. Toilet Slippers


Photo credit: NationalGeographic

As the name implies, these footwear are exclusively for bathroom use.

#30. Independent Kids


Photo credit: Guardian

Japanese kids usually travel to school alone. Many of them even take buses and subways.

#31. Super Umbrella


Photo credit: ModernMagazin

No need to worry about a wet uniform even if its raining hard.

#32. Dispen Pak


Photo credit: MoonBerry

A convenient way to enjoy your favorite condiments.

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