Japan is an incredibly interesting country with a rich history and culture. It is famous for its busy cities, economic prowess, breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine and technological innovations. For centuries Japan was a closed country, which may explain our fascination with this intriguing country and learning more about it. Here are some interesting facts about Japan that you might not have known.
7 of the Most Interesting Facts About Japan
1. Tokyo the most populous urban area in the world
The Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area comprises the Kantō region of Japan (including Tokyo Metropolis and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma) as well as the prefecture of Yamanashi. It is home to around 38 million people. This makes it the most populous metropolitan area in the world.
2. Japan has the highest density of vending machines worldwide
There are approximately 5.5 million machines in Japan, around 1 for every 50 people. This means Japan has the highest density of vending machines worldwide. They sell almost everything, from beer to batteries, books to pet beetles (honestly). The vending machines in Japan are on another level.
3. Hanami (flower viewing) is an old tradition
Cherry blossoms are the unofficial flower of Japan. The cherry blossom (桜, sakura) has been celebrated for centuries and is an important part of Japanese culture. People celebrate cherry blossom season with hanami parties under the trees. This is when friends and family gather together to view the cherry blossoms and celebrate the coming of spring. The flowers also symbolise hope and new beginnings.
4. Japan has a lot of active volcanos
There are 108 active volcanos in Japan, which makes up nearly 1/10 of all the world’s active volcanoes. Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan and is also one of the largest in the world. Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and it too is a volcano. It last erupted in 1707.
5. Japan is home to the deepest mailbox in the world
The fishing town of Susami in Wakayama Prefecture made it into the Guinness World Records in 2002. Located 30 feet (10 meters) underwater is a red postbox which is the deepest postbox in the world. It has been under the water since 1999 has collected more than 38,000 pieces of mail. Should you wish to post something from this unique mailing location, you need to buy waterproof postcards and oil-based pens. You then strap on your SCUBA gear and dive down to the post box. Each day the local dive shop owner goes down to collect the mail and delivers it to the post office. This is one of our favourite facts about Japan!
6. Shoes should not be worn inside homes
In Japanese culture, it is considered rude to wear shoes inside a house. It is all to do with cleanliness. The outside is considered dirty, and the inside should be kept clean. So, when you enter someone’s home you are expected to remove your shoes. Japanese homes have little porches, which act as a space between the outer and inner worlds. This is where you should take off and leave your shoes, ideally neatly aligned and facing the entrance. You will usually be given some slippers to wear inside the house.
7. Japan is home to the northernmost-living monkey
The Japanese macaque or snow monkey is the most northerly living non-human primate. They live on three of Japan’s main islands: Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. As their name suggests, they live in snowy regions where they sleep up in deciduous trees so that the snow doesn’t fall on them. The monkies in the Nagano mountains keep warm by bathing in the natural, volcanic hot springs. They spend on average 30 minutes a day having a good soak.