21 Interesting Facts About Japan You Might Not Know

Japan is known as the land of the Rising Sun, but it could also be called the land of singing toilets, or the blue traffic light. There are so many things that make it a whole other world.

Here are 21 Interesting Facts about Japan you might not know

1. People Pushers

Subways and train stations gets really overcrowded during rush hour. That’s why the station staff and part-time workers have to perform the routine procedure of pushing people inside trains to fit in as many passengers as possible before the doors close.

2. Fake Food

Specialist make this kind of food from plastic or wax, and it looks just as delicious as the real one. Many restaurants use fake food to display their popular dishes in the windows and attract hungry clients. Usually, these replicas cost much more than the dishes they imitate.

3. Water Saving Sinks

They’re located right over the toilet tanks. The idea is simple, first you wash your hands over the sink, then the sink water goes straight to the toilet tank, and finally, you flush the toilet when you’ve done your business. So, you save water by using it twice.

4. Taking Naps at work

In Japanese culture, dozing off at the workplace or sleeping on duty is considered a sign of being a hard-working person who’s very committed to their job. That’s why sleeping on duty is so common, and no one thinks it’s a bad thing. Some people even fake it.

5. World’s Shortest Escalator.

You can find it in the basement of More’s Department Store, which is located in the city of Kawasaki. The escalator has only 5 steps and is only 33 inches tall.

6. Avoid Number 4

It’s common for Japanese culture to avoid the number 4 because it’s considered to be very unlucky. That’s why some buildings don’t have a 4th floor, stores don’t sell a set of cutlery for 4, and the number of guests to some event can’t be 4.

7. Advanced Toilets

Toilets in Japan are very high-tech. To use one, a person should know what all those buttons are for. There’s a variety of functions, including heating the seat, spraying warm water to clean the user up and even playing music.

8. Kids Cleaning Classes

Japanese kids learn how to clean in many schools because it’s a part of their education. They mop their classrooms and hallways, do dusting, and even clean the bathrooms. Teachers believe it’s a great way to raise responsible citizens.

9. Square Watermelons

Square watermelon was invented in 70s by a graphic designer to fit compactly in the fridge and be out more easily. Farmers in Japan grow them in special square shape containers to get the shape. These watermelons are very expensive, people don’t buy them as food, but buy them as a decorative item.

10. Umbrella Parking Lot

Before going inside the building, you can “park and lock” your umbrella just like you do with your bike. Now you can be sure no one will take it, and you won’t make a puddle on the floor if your umbrella is wet. Many government buildings, offices and hotels have this sort of umbrella rack.

11. Polite Slurping

While in many countries slurping is considered rude, in Japan it’s a way to show your appreciation of the dish. If you don’t slurp when you eat noodles, then the chef will think that you don’t enjoy the food, or that it’s cold.

12. Village of Dolls

The village of Nagora used to have a population of 300 people, but less than 40 residents live there now. A local artist, Tsukima Ayano, made over 300 life-size dolls, most of which look like former residents and they’re located in various states of action. For example, there’s a whole classroom of them in the village school that was closed a while ago.

13. Blue traffic light

They use a blue color instead of green for traffic lights. The reason for that hides in their language historically, there was only one word for both colors. When traffic lights first appeared in the country, they were as green as anywhere else. But that green color was still called blue. To make things right, the government decided to use the bluest shade of green possible.

14. Different Flavors of Kit-Kat

Chili pepper, wasabi, sweet potato, grilled corn, soyabean, salt watermelon, mango, green tea are some of the Kit-Kat flavors you can try in Japan.

15. Millions of Vending Machines

Japan has more than 5 million of Vending machines, mostly because they save time for people who work late hours, which is a pretty thing in Japan. Besides, Japanese vending machines aren’t just for snacks and soda. You can buy basically anything from live lobsters to underwear in these machines.

16. Train delays makes headlines

Punctuality is a really big thing in Japan and train stations do everything possible to avoid a delay. If a train is 5 minutes late, the railway company might have to issue a delay certificate for railway workers and passengers who missed an important appointment. And if the delay is longer than an hour, then the railway company might give an official apology in newspapers.

17. Canned food restaurant

Eating Canned food may not sound like a delicious treat for you. But there’s a whole chain of restaurants over the country where they serve only canned food. They’re pretty popular, since clients can choose from 300 varieties of food from all across the world.

18. Tokyo’s biggest resident.

In 2015, Godzilla was granted citizenship in Tokyo’s Shinjuka ward. The authorities presented a special certificate stating his new residency, and also made him a job offer, Godzilla became the tourism ambassador. Later, they even installed a Godzilla head 171 feet above ground at Toho, the movie studio that made the original movie back in 1954.

19. Face Napkins

When you eat a burger, it’s never pretty because your mouth gets covered in ketchup or mustard. Owners of one fast food restaurant found a solution to this by serving burgers together with special napkins. They cover the faces of guests who feel a bit embarrassed about looking messy while eating.

20. Purikura Machines

Taking photos in a booth is nothing new, but Japan added its own exciting twists to this experience. Their photo booths, called purikura, allow you to edit photos right on the spot, adding different backgrounds, funny stickers, or writings. Also you can send the pictures to your cell phone.

21. Silent Karaoke

This is a special microphone with a cone that you place over your mouth. It muffles most of the sounds when you sing. It was designed for people who don’t want to wake up their neighbors, and those who feel shy about belting their favorite tunes in public.