I am well aware of the fact that most of the articles written here are mainly for practical use. But hey, let’s take a break from this and for once, let’s venture into some fun facts about Japan that you may or may not know of! I have listed seven fun facts that will definitely make you go “Wow!”
Fun Fact #1
Japan is a country renowned for its extremely polite mannerisms. However, one custom challenges the Western understanding of being refined. When eating noodles, slurping is essential. Loud slurping may be rude in most other countries especially in the West, but in Japan it is considered rude not to slurp.
Fun Fact #2
The Ghost Island
Found around 15km from Nagasaki, Hashima was used as a coal mining facility between 1887 and 1974, with its population reaching a peak of 5,259 people in 1959, or 216,264 per square mile. After petroleum replaced coal throughout Japan in the 1960s, Hashima was abandoned, and is now known as “Ghost Island”. A small portion of the island was reopened to tourists in 2009, and sightseeing boat trips often stop here. It appeared as the evil lair of Raoul Silva in 2012 Bond film Skyfall.
Fun Fact #3
KFC on Christmas Eve
Although it is not a national holiday, and only one per cent of the population are practicing Christians, Christmas is celebrated by a large number of people in Japan. Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets became popular among foreigners in Japan as they often couldn’t find a whole chicken or turkey elsewhere during the festive season. The fast-food chain seized upon this trend with a highly successful marketing campaign in the 1970s and now a trip to KFC is a Christmas tradition in Japan. The chain even suggests customers in the country place orders up to two months in advance to meet demand.
Fun Fact #4
For decades now, Japanese vending machines have served up an array of interesting, mundane, and useful things: Things like manga, or bread in a can, or illicit substances, or video game piracy cartridges. In Japan, vending machines started to appear in 1950s with drink machines, and then really began to take off in the following decades. Today, Japan has the highest per capita rate of vending machines in the world, with the vast majority still being drink machines. You can expect to find them at remarkable and unexpected spots, such as being next to ancient temples and even at the summit of Mount Fuji.
Fun Fact #5
Okunoshima is a small island located in Japan’s Inland Sea that has become something of a tourist attraction due to its floppy eared population. Sources claim they were brought here during the Second World War, when the island (and the rabbits) was used to test the effects of poison gas. They have since flourished in the predator-free environment, and there are hundreds roaming free.
Fun Fact #6
The capsule hotel originated in Osaka, Japan. It features a set of extremely small capsules designed for basic overnight accommodation for those on a budget. Capsules are stacked side by side with one unit on top of another to maximise space. The best way to think about a capsule hotel is distilling down the bare necessities of a hotel room, and then stacking a bunch of that in a big room. Each capsule is roughly as wide and as long as a single bed, and about that tall. If you’re claustrophobic, you’re not going to enjoy them. It varies a bit what you find inside, but generally there are shelves and outlets for your electronics, often a small locker for the same (if you want to lock them up during the day), and sometimes there’s a radio or TV.