With bustling and futuristic cities like Tokyo to beautiful scenic views of mountains and forests, Japan is a stunning country. This Eastern Asian nation is fascinating to visit! With a wonderful blend of culture and technology, it is no wonder that Japan is high on many peoples list of places to visit. If you are planning to learn Japanese in Japan or just want to discover more about the country for a trip abroad, these Japan facts we have researched and compiled are perfect to start your journey with.
The Japan based construction company, Kongō Gumi Co, holds the title as the longest continuously operating company in the world! With its origins tracing back to 578CE, Kongō Gumi specialises in the construction of Buddhist Temples.
However, in 2006 due to financial issues, the business was purchased by the Takamatsu Construction Group. Since then it has remained operational as a subsidiary of the Takamatsu Group but still remains a specialist in temple construction.
While in the UK vending machines are a common site at train stations and shopping centres, in Japan they occurrence in public spaces is on another level. There are over 5 million vending machines across Japan, this equates to 1 vending machine for every 24 people!
Japanese vending machines don’t just offer snacks and drinks either. Everything from fresh fruit, hamburgers and even clothing can be purchased from vending machines in Japan!
While in most western countries, slurping your food in a public restaurant is considered to be rude, in Japan it is almost encouraged! While eating noodles in a restaurant in Japan don’t be surprised to also see people lifting their bowls to within inches of their face. The primary reason for this unusual trait is to do with enhancing the flavour of the noodles.
While slurping, the diner takes in air along with the noodles which helps unlock the flavours of the sauce. Similar in some ways to how a sommelier would taste wine. The speed of the eating also helps keep the noodles at their optimum consistency before they begin to dry out by sitting in the bowl.
Japan is notorious for its earthquakes. Being positioned on the Itoigawa-Shizuoka and Median Tectonic Lines, Japan is a hotbed for seismic activity. So much so that the country experiences on average 1,500 earthquakes a year! While most of these quakes are mild, some are lethal! In 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the country causing nearly 20,000 deaths, damage to property, coastlines and the country’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
While Christmas traditions vary around the world, Japan’s Christmas Day tradition is one of the most unique. While other countries may celebrate with a meal with family or drinks with friends in the evening, in Japan they celebrate with KFC! Since 1974 families have been purchasing KFC to celebrate the Christian holiday.
It is not unusual to see long queues outside KFC outlets across the festive period with many restaurants selling out very quickly! The origins of the tradition are hazy, but many suggest it is thanks to the first Japanese KFC store manager, Takeshi Okawara. Depending on the story you choose to believe, either Okawara did some clever marketing and advertised KFC as a traditional American Christmas meal, or that he decided to create Christmas themed meals after attending a children’s party dressed as Santa. Whatever the true story may be, KFC being a Christmas meal is one of the truly most interesting Japan facts.
Just off the south coast of Japan is a small island called Ōkunoshima. Used during World War 2 to develop poison gas and other chemical warfare materials, the island now has a much nicer connotation. In 1971, after the island had been turned into a park, a primary school released a handful of rabbits onto the island.
Fast-forward 50 years and there are now an estimated 900 rabbits on this island with a circumference of only 2 and a half miles! Visiting the island can be done by catching a ferry from the mainland and is very popular with tourists. Be careful though, the rabbits know that visitors bring food!
In Japan the number 4 is considered highly unlucky. This is down to the fact that the word for the number 4 sounds very similar to the word ‘shi’, which means death.
For this reason a number of buildings don’t have a fourth floor. This is particularly true in regard to hospitals and office buildings. In maternity units you will not find a room numbered 43. The reason for this is that 43 can literally mean ‘stillbirth’.
Catching the train in Japan is unlike any other country. With speeds of up to 200mph and luxurious compartments, travelling via rail is a very different experience than other countries. And you never need to worry about your journey being delayed in Japan as the average delay for trains across the country is only 18 seconds!
Rather than just being one large landmass, Japan is made up of over 6,800 different islands. This makes Japan the fourth largest island country in the world! Despite this mass of range of islands only 260 are actually inhabited.
Japan has one of the oldest populations in the world! Over 28% of the country are over 65 years old, with the majority of this percentage being women. There are also over 85,000 people aged over 100!
The oldest man, officially verified, was a Japanese man called Jiroemon Kimura who, at the time of his passing in 2013, was 116 years old!
The combination of modern urban cities and traditional cultural sites makes Japan a desired destination for many people. With the Japanese language playing a more and more integral part in entertainment there has never been a better time to learn Japanese in Japan! At Cactus, we offer a range of language holidays and courses to suit everyone. With a variety of languages and destinations to choose from, you can be sure to find your perfect course with us.
Are you looking to find out more about language holidays abroad? Cactus Language Holidays Brochure gives you all the information you need for your next unforgettable experience! Learning a language have never been easier and is a great way to start uncover a different culture.
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