50 Fascinating Facts about Japan

Japan is an island country that is located in East Asia. The country is technically an archipelago, and is comprised of more than 6800 islands. The four largest islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyusha and they make up approximately 97% of Japan’s land area. The country is home to over 126 million people, making it the tenth largest country in the world in terms of population. Its capital city is Tokyo, and is has a growing population of 30 million people. The country does not have an official language, however most people speak Japanese fluently, and children are taught Japanese in school. The country also does not have an official religion. They follow a market economy, and use the yen as their main form of currency. The Japanese flag is comprised of a white background with a large red circle directly in the middle.

Japan Facts

1
Japan’s nominal GDP is estimated to be 5.150 trillion dollars, making it the third largest economy in the world. Its nominal per capita GDP is $40,442 which is the 14th largest in the world.
2
Japan runs under a market economy, with influences from their ancient history. During the Edo period, transport networks, banking contracts and road and water routes were established that are still utilized today.
3
Japan’s government is a unitary parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. They have both an Emperor and a Prime Minister who helps run the country.
4
Japan’s main exports include vehicles and electronic devices. Its main imports include oil, food and wood. They have prominent import/export relationships with both China and the United States.
5
Manufacturing and Communication are Japan’s major industries. Due to their hilly and rugged land, they have a very little agriculture business, and must import a lot of their food. They also have very few natural resources.
6
During holiday seasons, many Japanese people wear traditional Japanese clothes to honor their families and traditions.
7
Japanese students go to school six days a week. They go for full days on Monday through Friday, and have half days on Saturday.
8
Most people in Japan live in apartments in the city. Very few people actually live in single family houses.
9
Japanese people eat the most fish out of any country in the world. Fishermen there are paid very well.
10
Another staple in the Japanese diet is rice. The crop is grown throughout the country and utilized almost every day in Japanese cuisine.
11
Baseball and Sumo Wrestling are the two most popular sports in Japan.
12
Children’s Day is celebrated each year on May 5th. It is a day that families take to celebrate their children, and the joy they felt in bringing the children into the world. The holiday has been celebrated all throughout Japan’s history.
13
Hanami is the Cherry Blossom Festival that is celebrated each Spring when the Cherry Blossom Trees in Japan first bloom. People celebrate by visiting parks to observe the beautiful trees.
14
March 3rd is known as the Doll Festival holiday in Japan. It is a holiday solely for girls, and is celebrated by families and friends praying for the health and safety of all of the girls in Japan.
15
Harajuku fashion is a style of street clothes that originated in Japan. It involves wearing colorful, doll-like clothing and mixing fashion trends from all over Japan. The clothing style was idolized by American singer Gwen Stefani with her song ‘Harajuku Girls”.
16
Besides fish and rice, another popular food is raw horse meat.
17
Christmas is celebrated throughout Japan by couples and lovers. Japanese couples celebrate the holiday as if it were Valentine’s Day. The entire day is often focused on love and affection.
18
Japan is home to more than 200 volcanoes, and the entire country is comprised of hills and mountains.
19
Traditional Japanese floor toilets can still be found in many parts of the country.
20
Slurping your food is a good thing in Japan. The louder your slurp, the more you like the food. Slurping is considered a compliment to the chef.
21
Many Japanese companies have exercise programs for their workers. Each morning the workers will follow an exercise regime before they can start work.
22
Anti-smoking laws are nonexistent in Japan. There are virtually no non-smoking areas in the country.
23
Until 2015, dancing late at night was illegal in Japan.
24
Over 4,000 smaller islands surround the four main islands of Japan.
25
Japan is the home of Seikan Tunnel, the world's longest railroad tunnel that spans over 33 miles.
26
Only about 18% of Japan's land is suitable for habitation.
27
The primary religion in Japan is Shintoism. Many residents practice both Shintoism and Buddism.
28
Over 98% of the people in Japan are of Japanese descent.
29
Japan is hit by about 1,500 earthquakes each year.
30
Japan is home to many cat cafes, where visitors can enjoy a delicious drink while hanging out with felines.
31
Experts estimate that Japan's population will continue to decline through at least 2060.
32
Around 24 billion sets of chopsticks are used each year in Japan.
33
There are over 50,000 people living in Japan that are over 100 years old.
34
Japan grows square watermelons that are easier to stack and store than traditional round watermelons.
35
While black cats are frequently thought to bring bad luck in other areas of world, black cats are signs of good luck in Japan.
36
There is an island in Japan that is completely full of rabbits. It is, appropriately, called Rabbit Island.
37
Japan has the highest rate of anorexia in the world.
38
There are over 70 flavors of Fanta soda available in this country.
39
Kyoto has over 1,600 temples.
40
Japan was the home to the world's oldest company. It began in 578 AD and was operating until 2006.
41
The fortune cookie's origins are traced back to Kyoto in the 19th Century.
42
Tokyo is one of the world's most expensive cities to live in.
43
Japan's nickname is Land of the Rising Sun.
44
The only foreign language that is taught in Japanese schools is English.
45
Japan has over 100 voice-acting schools that people attend for voice lessons for cartoons and anime.
46
Tokyo, Japan has a Snoopy museum that pays homeage to the beloved "Peanuts" dog.
47
18 Nobel Prize winners have come from Japan.
48
The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100%.
49
The unemployment rate in this country is less than 4%.
50
The world's largest fish market, Tsukiji Market, is located here.

Japan is a thriving and unique country. Its culture is vastly different from the Western world, and is interesting to learn about. The country is comprised of over 6800 islands, and has a large and growing population. Their economy is flourishing in today’s international business world, and they have proven themselves to be a major frontrunner in the international economy. The country has married its ancient traditions with the modern world beautifully and today, has one of the most unique cultures in the world.

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