10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (2024)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (1)


There’s lots we love about Japanese culture, and whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’re already familiar with life in Japan, there’s always plenty to discover about this fascinating country. Plan your next adventure armed with a few fun facts to get you started…

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (2)

1. It’s good manners to slurp your noodles

Japan values good manners highly, but when it comes to chowing down on bowlfuls of noodles, there’s only one way to eat: noisily.Slurping is a sign of enjoymentand alsocools downthe noodles as you eat. Get your chopsticks in one hand and lean over your bowl. Bibs are sometimes provided for foreigners, but by the time you leave, you should be able to polish off a bowl in a white top and walk out spotless.

Discover the foodie delights of Tokyo

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (3)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (4)

2. The traditional Christmas Eve meal is KFC

Plenty of Japanese people celebrate Christmas, but the festive fare isn’t what you might expect. In Japan, it’s traditional to head to your local KFC on Christmas Eve. An estimated 3.6 million Japanese feast on the KFC Christmas Dinner and hours of queuing and ordering weeks in advance is expected. Some say turkey and chicken wasn’t widely available for the Christmas-curious Japanese, so Colonel Sanders stepped in to answer the demand…

3. Japan is not all about the cities

Japan’s big-name stars are its densely populated cities, and it’s not a country you’d think of as a scarcely populated, mountain wilderness. However, around70% of Japan is made up of forest and mountainsthat aren’t suitable for farming or living in. There are over 100 active volcanoes, and its tallest mountain is the famed Mount Fuji, with its elevation of 3,776 meters.

Visit Mount Fuji

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (5)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (6)

4. There’s a Rabbit Island in Japan

Japan is made up of nearly 7,000 islands. The little island ofOkunoshima in the Inland Sea is best-known for its curious, big-eared population. The island was used to test chemical weapons during World War II, and it’s said the test subjects roamed free after the war. Either way, the numbers flourished in a predator-free environment (dogs and cats are banned from entering), and today Okunoshima is a popular spot for cuddle-bunny tourists.

Explore Japan's highlights

5. The number four is extremely unlucky

The number four (‘shi’) is widely avoided in Japan since it sounds too similar to the Japanese word for death. Keep an eye out in Japan and you’ll notice buildings don’t have a fourth floor, items are sold in sets of three or five and special care is taken to avoid encountering the number in daily life.

Learn about Japan's history

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (7)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (8)

6. There’s a bizarre naked festival

Japan is well-known for its non-stop festivals, butHadaka Matsurimust be one of the most bizarre. Thousands of Japanese men strip naked in public to secure a fortune-filled year, with the biggest matsuri taking place inOkayama, where an estimated9,000 menget down to theirfundoshi.

Festivals in Japan

7. Japanese trains are some of the most punctual in the world

The average delay of Japanese trains is18 seconds. What makes them so punctual? Drivers are trained in ultra-realistic simulators and drive one train line only – many don’t even need a speedometer to know how fast they’re going. Competition is also fierce between rail companies, so lagging behind won’t do – they work hard to keep hold of Japan’s huge numbers of train commuters, whatever it takes (even if it means building fancy department stores in the stations…).

Take the train to Kyoto

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (9)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (10)

8. The Japanese love wacky flavours

Eel flavoured ice creamandGreen Tea Kit Katsare just two of the weird and wonderful flavours you can come across in Japan. Kit Kats are the most popular confectionary (‘Kit Kat’ sounds similar to ‘kitto katsu’, a Japanese saying meaning ‘good luck.’) You can try edamame, wasabi and ginger ale flavoured Kit Kats, too.

Taste the unique delicacies of Osaka

9. Everyone has their own seal

In Japan, people don’t have signatures – they have their own seal. Known asHanko, the seal is typically your name translated intoKanji characters, and are made from silk or plant-based paste. Adults will often have threeHankos;one for signing off letters and personal matters, a bank seal and an identity seal. They’re not necessary for tourists, but foreigners living in Japan can have one handmade in small, local shops.

Cultural guide to Japan

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (11)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (12)

10. Anti-Ninja floors are a thing

During the feudal period, wealthy Japanese lords built homes with deliberately squeaky floors (known as Nightingale Floors) as a defence measure against Ninjas. The highly trained, legendary mercenaries of feudal Japan were so steeped in myth and folklore, they were said to be capable of walking on water, turning invisible and controlling natural elements. That’s got to be motivation to put down some new flooring.

Explore our Japan itineraries
Get in touch

Inspired to plan your own Japan adventure? We can help! Our dedicated Japan experts know all the best spots and can create a personalised holiday full of meaningful experiences, just for you.

01273 322 398

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (13)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (14)

10 Fun Facts About Japan - Japan (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Trent Wehner

Last Updated:

Views: 5714

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Trent Wehner

Birthday: 1993-03-14

Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

Phone: +18698800304764

Job: Senior Farming Developer

Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.