10 Interesting Facts About Japan

10 Interesting Facts About Japan

Japan is such a fascinating country with a rich history of unique culture, that really can’t be compared to any other country in the world.

Like many of you, we were disappointed that this year’s Tokyo Olympics weren’t able to go ahead, so in this blog, we decided to immerse ourselves in the culture by instead putting together ten interesting facts about Japan.

#1: One of the Lowest Crime Rates Anywhere in the World

Japan is statistically one of the safest countries in the world, so crime is undoubtedly not something that you should need to worry too much about when you visit, as you might with other countries.

On the metro and trains throughout Japan, it’s not uncommon to see locals taking a nap with their phone clearly visible to other travellers or leaving their backpacks completely unzipped.

#2: Japan Consists of 6,852 Islands

You might know that Japan is an island nation, but did you that the country is actually made up of over 6,800 islands?

Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are the four biggest, making up about 97% of the total land area.

The paradise islands of Okinawa are also incredibly popular with tourists and locals alike, boasting beautiful beaches and a tropical climate.

#3: Baseball is Japan’s Most Popular Sport

Baseball is the most loved and popular sport in Japan. Known as Yakyuu in the Japanese language, baseball was first introduced in the country by American teacher Horace Wilson.

In 1873, under the watchful eye of Wilson himself, the first game of baseball in Japanese history was played at Tokyo University, and ever since then, baseball has become the country’s most beloved sport.

There are two professional leagues in Japan: the Pacific League and the Central League, and the game is also played to a high standard at high schools and universities across the country.

#4: Slurping is Considered Polite

In the Western world, slurping your food is considered rude and uncivilised. However, if you enter any noodle bar in Japan, it’s regarded as a courtesy to slurp down your meal.

This Japanese custom shows the cook that you’ve appreciated the food they produced for you, and it also enhances the flavour of the meal as you eat it.

#5: Visible Tattoos Can Be A Problem When Bathing in Onsen

Tattoo culture is something that hasn’t been widely accepted in Japan, not only due to aesthetic sensibilities but also because of their association with criminal activities and gangs.

As such if you were to enter an Onsen with tattoos on display, it would be considered a terrible taboo, and in many places in years gone by you would turned away. Fortunately, many places these days are not so strict due to influx of foreign tourism, and many will provide a skin coloured bandages allowing you to cover up tattoos.

#6: Japan Experiences More Than 1,500 Earthquakes Every Year

This number can obviously vary year on year, but in general, it’s thought that Japan will experience more than 1,500 earthquakes in a typical twelve-month period.

Fortunately, the majority of them are only smaller tremors, but statistically, there will be a few bigger ones that reach to more than eight on the Richter scale.

The frequency of these earthquakes is due to the fact that Japan is situated along the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire; the most active earthquake belt on the globe.

#7: Bow Instead of Shaking Hands

For international guests and business people, it’s probably the case that the handshake will still take place given that the Japanese are very hospitable and like to make their guests feel welcome.

At the same time, if you’d like to show your counterparts some understanding and cultural awareness, you should bow rather than shaking hands.

According to the tradition, the lower you bow, the more respect you’re showing to your counterpart. Bowing is something that you might find yourself doing a lot in Japan, so it’s best to understand when and how to use formal, very formal and informal bows.

#8: The Sacred Mount Fuji is the Tallest Mountain in Japan

Mount Fuji, or Fujisan or Fujiyama, climbs to 12,380 feet and is considered by many Japanese to be spiritual and sacred.

Mount Fuji is the most popular tourist destination in Japan, for both Japanese and foreign tourists. More than 200,000 people climb to the summit each year – mostly between July and August. Huts along the mountain route offer climbers’ refreshments, medical supplies, and places to rest.

Many climbers will start their ascent at night, to enjoy the beauty of the rising sun at the very summit.

Mount Fuji has been a sacred site for the indigenous spiritual faith of Japan, Shinto, since the 7th century, and in fact, many Shinto shrines can be found at the base of the mountain.

#9: Japan Are Technically Still at War with Russia

One of the more obscure facts about Japan is the fact that, on paper, they are still at war with Russia over territory seized by Joseph Stalin in 1945.

It’s seventy years since Japan unconditionally surrendered to the Allies in August of 1945; however, a peace treaty was never signed with Russia, and to this day the two countries are technically still at war with each other.

#10: 25% Of the Japanese Population Are Pensioners

Due to the difficulties in finding well-paid jobs, and paying for schools and medicine, many young Japanese people can’t afford to have children, which is leading to an extremely low birth-rate.

This has been the case for many years, which now means that more than 25% of the population are 65 or over.

The Japanese Government, in order to turn the tide on this issue, are trying to make immigration policies less strict which will allow immigrants to live and work in the country, who want to have children.


If you have any questions about anything we’ve covered in this piece, or you’d like to find out more about any of our services, then why not contact us today?