These Interesting Facts About Japan Will Surely Astound You

Interesting Facts About Japan
Japan is known as the 'Land of the Rising Sun'. In Japanese, Japan is referred to as 'Nippon' or 'Nihon', literally translated means 'sun origin'.
Vacayholics Staff
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2018
Japan is known for its culture and traditions. There are many interesting facts about this country that will be discussed in this article. Let us begin our journey about the Land of the Samurai's with some facts about its geographical location.
Geographical Facts
Map of Japan
Situated in Asia, Japan is the immediate neighbor to China, Russia, North Korea and South Korea. Although, Japan is referred to an island nation, it is an archipelago made up of 6852 islands. The four main, largest and prominent islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. These four islands make up about 97% of the total land mass of the country.

Japan is the 60th largest country in the world, slightly bigger than Germany and about 9 times the size of the Netherlands. The total area is 377,835 km2, of which the total landmass is 374,744 km2. As of 2010, the population is said to be over 127 million. The climate in Japan is diverse, with tropical in the South of the country and cool temperate in the North. There are three seasons in Japan, namely summer, monsoon and winter. One can expect similar climate in most of the neighboring South Asian countries.

Being extremely earthquake prone Japan has an average of 1500 earthquakes every year. The number of volcanoes is approximately 200. The land is often also called the land of tsunamis. The biggest and the most devastating the tsunami hit the nation on Friday, 11 March 2011. The magnitude of this earthquake was 9Mw on the Richter scale. The earthquake lasted for 6 minutes. This earthquake is among the five most powerful earthquake to have shaken the earth.
Office building in Umeda,Honshu, Japan
Office building in Umeda, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Honshu, Japan
Honshu is the largest island, measuring an area of 87,805 square miles. Almost 80 percent of the country's population lives here. The capital of the country is also located on this island. Japan's tallest mountain Mount Fuji (3,776m) is situated here. Although the volcano here has been dormant since 1708, geologists classify it as an active volcano. Tokyo stands on the Kanto plain. The Kanto plain is Japan's largest lowland, spreading across from the Japanese Alps to the Pacific.
Cityscape of Sapparo, Hokkaido, Japan
Cityscape of Sapporo at Odori Park, Hokkaido, Japan
Situated in northernmost part of the archipelago, Hokkaido is the second largest of the four islands, covering an area of 30,144 square miles. Consisting mainly of mountains and forests, this island houses just 5% of the total population. The economy here depends almost entirely on fishing, forestry and dairy-farming. Sapporo is the largest city and administrative center of Hokkaido.
Fukuoka Skyline
Fukuoka Skyline
Kyushu is situated in the southernmost part of the archipelago and is the third largest of the four islands. It covering an area of 13,760 square miles. About 11% of the population lives here. This island has a mountainous terrain. The most active volcano of the country, Mount. Aso is located on this island. The entire island is dotted by a number of hot water springs. The economy of this island is governed by agricultural products, silk, porcelain and heavy industry.
Matsuyama Night View
Matsuyama Night View
Shikoku is the smallest of the four islands and the least populated. This island is situated to the south of Honshu and to the east of Kyushu. It is the 50th largest island by area of all the islands in the world. The economy of this island revolves around copper ore processing, agriculture (in the alluvial plains) and fruit cultivation. Yoshino river is the main river of this island and is famous for white-water rafting.
Historical Facts
Another fascinating fact is that it is the oldest surviving monarchy, rather the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world. The monarch belongs to the Yamato dynasty and 125 monarchs have ruled Japan since February 11, 660 B.C., including the incumbent Emperor Akihito. He will be succeeded by Crown Prince Naruhito, the eldest son of the Emperor.
The Flag of Japan
The Flag of Japan
Japan's national flag is called the Hinomaru . The flag has a red circle against a white background. This red circle symbolizes the rising sun. The Japanese deity Amaterasu Omikami is a sun goddess. "Nippon", Japan's name in Japanese, means "origin of the sun".
Kimigayo which means "The Emperor's Reign", is the national anthem. The lyrics are from a 5-line, 31-syllable poem written in the tenth century. The music was composed in 1880 by an Imperial Court musician Hiromori Hayashi and later harmonized according to the Gregorian mode.
Political Facts
Although it has longest surviving monarchy, it is a constitutional monarchy. The Emperor is the ceremonial head of the state and is described in the constitution as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people".

There is universal suffrage and every person above the age of 20 years is eligible to vote. The actual power rests in the Parliament, called Diet. Like in the United States, the Japanese Parliament is a bicameral Parliament, made up of House of Representatives and House of Councilors. Unlike in a number of other democracies, the Prime Minister is elected by the members of the Parliament, who is then formally appointed by the Emperor. It is the Prime Minister, who has the power to appoint and dismiss the Ministers.
Culture Facts
The following list will cover a few quick facts about Japan's culture.
Food Facts
>>> It is not uncommon to see rice been served for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Japan. In other words, rice is the staple food of the Japanese.
>>> The traditional breakfast is steamed rice topped with natto, which is made from fermented soy beans.
>>> Miso soup is an all time favorite and like rice could be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Its main ingredients are a soybean paste dissolved in a seaweed stock.
A Japanese Breakfast
A Typical Japanese Breakfast
>>> The Japanese eat with chopsticks known as hashi.
>>> Fruits are forbiddingly expensive in Japan. One may end up paying up to $2 for a single apple or peach.
>>> The Japanese love their pizzas topped with mayonnaise, sesame seeds and corn.
Japanese Chopsticks
Chopsticks are used to eat most of the Japanese dishes.
>>> Tea is served practically with all meals.
>>> Sushi is a Japanese delicacy of rice and fish dipped in vinegar, wrapped in seaweed, which has become popular worldwide.
>>> Japanese use a lot of fish, beef, pork, chicken and variety of seafood in their cooking. Most of their dishes are mildly spiced, flavored with a variety of soy sauces.
Sushi Rolls with Salmon
Contrary to popular belief, Sushi means vinegared rice.
>>>> While eating in Japan the chopsticks are never to be put upright into the bowl, as this is the way to offer food to the dead.
>>> Slurping while eating is a common practice. Here, you are expected to slurp while having liquids such as soups. If you do not, it is considered that you do not like the food and the host may feel offended.
>>>> The tatami (mat) is used for sitting on while eating.
Art Facts
>>> Origami is an ancient Japanese art of paper-folding.
>>>> Haiku is Japanese poetry consisting of only 3 lines.
Origami
"Ori" means folded and "kami" means paper.
>>> Noh, an ancient and very popular type of Japanese theater can last for up to eight hours.
>>>> One of its kind in the world is the fact, that four different writing styles are used, namely Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji and Romaji
Noh Performer
Noh Theater is structured around song and dance and all the performers are male.
Interesting Facts
>>> Sumo wrestling is the national sport of this country.
>>>> Japanese always remove their footwear before entering a home. Often houses have an elevation made, which signify that shoes have to be removed.
>>> Slippers are worn in the house, but shoes are never worn in the house. However, slippers are also never worn while sitting on the tatami to have meals.
Japanese Sandals
While you wear slippers to walk on wooden floors, you take them off before you step onto Tatami mat.
>>> Many women wear platform shoes that are 4 to 6 inches high
>>> A vending machine for a variety of daily requirements is installed at practically every corner in Japanese cities.
>>>> Life expectancy in Japan is one of the highest in the world. Very few countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, San Marino, Andorra, and Macau have a slightly higher life expectancy than Japan. On an average the Japanese lives 4 years longer than an American.
Charm Vending Machines at Nagasaki
Wide variety of fortune cookies to religious charms vending machines located at Nagasaki, Japan
>>>>While smoking is allowed practically anywhere in Japan, you are not allowed to smoke in local trains. Long distance trains have got designated smoking zones.
>>> Kendo, meaning "the way of the sword', is Japan's oldest form of martial arts.
>>>> The Japanese will shop daily for their meat, fish and vegetable requirements, as they like all their food fresh and without preservatives. This is one of the prime reasons that small and medium-sized refrigerators are sold the most in Japan.
A person practicing Kendo
Kendo combines martial arts practices and values with strenuous sport-like physical activity.
>>> Vandalism rates in Japan are among the least in the world.
>>> Japanese do not submerge themselves into the bathtub and then lather. They soap outside the tub and rinse it off. Only then do they submerge themselves neck-deep into the hot water to refresh and relax.
>>> Japanese drive on the left, and have their steering wheels on the right, exactly opposite of what it is in America.
>>>> In villages there is no need to send invitations for a wedding or a funeral. They are considered community events and the entire village will help in preparing the food, and taking care of all the required arrangements.
>>>> An interesting fact is that religion does not have a big role to play in the lives of the Japanese. Shinto and Buddhism are the two most practiced religion. About 1% of the population practices Christianity. Finally, the Japanese are extremely courteous people. If you require something, they will go out of their way and try to help you. Therefore, most people like visiting the country and enjoying the hospitality of the land of Sumos and Origami.
Ritsurin Garden Peaceful Japanese Garden
Mt Norikura Japan
Mandala At Buddhist Ishite Ji Temple
Kiyomizu Temple In Kyoto Japan
Kamikochi In Nagano Japan
Camping Place In Hokkaido
Kyushu Geibun Kan
Kokeshi Doll
Japan Couple
Old Vine Bridge
Doll Of Japan Style On Isolated
Japanese Paper Dolls