17 Mind-Blowingly Fun Facts About Japan You Won’t Believe

Rice Terraces in Japan
© SeanPavonePhoto/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Kirstin Harrington

Published: September 29, 2023

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Whether you’re planning a trip, learning about the culture, or just love fun facts, Japan has plenty of interesting things that will blow your mind! From unique foods to stunning landscapes, here are a plethora of facts about Japan!

Facts About Food in Japan

Making Japanese iced matcha latte, green tea with milk, soy milk, traditional matcha tools, with bamboo straw in glass on white background.

Matcha flavor is incredibly common throughout Japan.


1. Distinct Flavors

Just two of the unusual and fascinating flavors you may find in Japan are ice cream that tastes like fish and matcha Kit Kats. The best-selling candy in the country is Kit Kat. You can additionally find Kit Kats with edamame, wasabi, and ginger ale flavors here! 

2. Christmas Dinner

crispy kentucky fried chicken in a wooden tablecrispy fried chicken on wood plate

Millions of people enjoy KFC on Christmas.


Many people throughout Japan celebrate Christmas, but the holiday meal isn’t what you may expect in comparison to what Americans eat. On Christmas Eve, it’s customary to visit your neighborhood KFC. Hours of waiting in line and weeks’ worth of pre-ordering are part of the KFC Christmas Dinner, which approximately 3.6 million Japanese people will eat.

It’s said that this tradition started because it was hard for residents to find tasty chicken and turkey around this time of year. Thanks to Colonel Sanders, residents in Japan can now enjoy a delicious dinner during the holidays! 

3. Slurping Is Polite

Although Japan places a strong importance on politeness, there is just one way to consume bowls of noodles: loudly. As you eat, slurping conveys delight. In a more practical sense, the noodles cool down faster when you slurp. 

To eat a dish of noodles in Japan, you should lean over the bowl and use one hand to hold chopsticks. Some restaurants in tourist locations will have bibs available, though if you’re eating properly, you shouldn’t need one. 

4. Eating Healthy Is Important 

A delicious cuban ropa vieja stew on a bed of rice with lime garnish.

Rice is part of most meals in Japan.


One of the most nutritious diets in the world is the Japanese diet. Traditional foods including fish, rice, and veggies make up the diet. In Japan, people consume fewer oils and fats and more foods high in nutrients and antioxidants.  

Japan’s cuisine is one of the reasons behind its high life expectancy.

Facts About the Geography of Japan

Tokyo city in Japan

Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan, and it towers near Tokyo.

©StockByM/iStock via Getty Images

5. There Are a Lot of Mountains! 

Japan’s major cities are its top attractions; it is not a nation you would associate with a sparsely populated, mountainous wilderness. However, a large portion of Japan, roughly 70%, consists of mountains and forests that are unsuitable for cultivation or habitation. 

There are more than 100 active volcanoes, including the renowned Mount Fuji, which rises 3,776 feet above sea level and is the country’s tallest mountain.

6. Thousands of Islands

Japan has close to 7,000 islands. The inhabitants of the small island of Okunoshima in the Inland Sea are most well-known for their intrigue. Here, chemical weapons were tested throughout World War II, and it’s been said that the test subjects, which were rabbits, were left to roam freely after the end of the war.  

In any case, the population increased since the area was devoid of predators, and now visitors who want to snuggle bunnies frequent Okunoshima.

7. Jaw-Dropping Gardens

Japan is famous for its pristine gardens, which are carefully designed, kept, and regarded as a fine art. The term “borrowed scenery” refers to a crucial aspect of garden planning; it describes how the garden’s environment incorporates features from elsewhere, such as peaks, to serve as a framework. 

8. Coastlines For Miles

Scenery of Kamogaiso beach and Sakamori cave mouth in Uradome coat, Iwami, Tottori prefecture, Japan

Japan has dozens of seaside beaches.


Japan has 18,486 miles of coastline. It has towering cliffs, paths for hiking, peaceful seaside communities, and a few of the largest fishing ports on the planet. This country has the sixth-longest coastline in the world! 

9. Land of Earthquakes

Four separate tectonic plates surround or are directly above Japan. One of the nations most vulnerable to earthquakes is Japan. Although the majority of these earthquakes are small and barely noticeable, occasionally very powerful and catastrophic quakes do happen.

Facts About Animals in Japan 

10. Deer Can Takeover!

Sika deer also live throughout Russia.

©iStock.com/Elena Tcykina

The streets of Nara, Japan, are home to more than 1,000 harmless sika deer. The deer, which were once regarded as supernatural beings, are now protected as a national asset. You can witness them kneeling to visitors in exchange for biscuits that are available for sale nearby.

11. Two National Animals!

Japan’s national bird is the lovely green pheasant. Exclusively discovered throughout the Japanese archipelago, green pheasants can be found in both rural and urban areas, including farms and woodlands. 

With brilliant red faces and bottle-green chest feathers, the males of this kind of animal are especially stunning. Japanese green pheasants are frequently mentioned in mythology, where it is said that they are Amaterasu, messengers of the sun goddess! 

Oldest Fish - Koi Fish

Koi can live up to 35 years.


The other animal that symbolizes this lovely nation is the koi fish. Koi are gorgeous, catching the eye of many animal lovers. They come in more than 100 exquisite types and are actually colored domesticated variations of the wild Amur carp.

Koi represents prosperity, determination, wealth, and luck.

Random Fun Facts About Japan

12. It’s Safe For Tourists

One of the lowest rates of firearm-related fatalities worldwide is in Japan. Overall, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Some even say you can leave your purse or wallet out in public for hours and find it still there when you return. For LGBTQIA+ tourists, Japan is typically a very safe country. 

apan is often a place where female travelers can feel secure and at ease when exploring on their own. In Japan, people harassing you on the street is rather rare. In order to prevent sexual assault on packed trains, the country has introduced certain railway lines that provide carriages exclusively for women. 

13. Built-In Bidets

In Japan, the majority of toilets have an integrated bidet mechanism for cleaning your behind. These are already commonplace in homes and fancier bathrooms and are referred to as washlets. 

Nevertheless, the conventional Japanese “floor toilet” may still be present in certain commuter rail stations as well as other bathroom facilities. Speaking of bathrooms, it is customary in this country to use specific bathroom slippers when you’re a guest in someone’s home. Simply slip on the comfy shoes before entering the bathroom.

14. Vending Machines Galore

Happy Asian woman choosing and buying drinks on snack and beverage vending machine while shopping at shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Attractive girl enjoy and fun outdoor travel city street on autumn vacation.

There are over five million vending machines in Japan.


One of the coolest things about Japan is the vending machines! There are over 23 vending machines for every person in the country! When people in the West picture a vending machine, they may think of junk food, coffee, water, and other convenient items. 

In Japan, you can get quite literally anything from one. There are cars, vegetables, clothing, eggs, toys, electronics, and entire meals served from vending machines. 

15. High Life Expectancy 

Because of their cuisine and way of life, Japanese people enjoy the highest life expectancy on the planet. People in this country are very focused on exercising and staying in excellent health throughout their lives. 

Men typically live to be 81 years old, whereas women live to be 87 years old on average. People living longer are wreaking havoc on Japan’s economy with one exception. Life expectancy is so high, the country sells more adult diapers than child ones! 

16. You Can Nap at Work

Lazy ginger cat sleeping on the table in the sunlight for a little nap

Cat naps are encouraged throughout the country!

©Jérémy Stenuit/iStock via Getty Images

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Many companies allow their employees to take naps while they’re working. In fact, taking naps while working is advised because it increases efficiency.

It’s also regarded as an indication that you are committed to your profession and work hard at your job. 

17. The Number 4 Is Unlucky

man four

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a lot of “4’s” around Japan!


The number four in Japanese sounds very similar to the word for death. Because of this, it is customary in Japanese culture to completely avoid using it. This unsettling fact about Japan explains why there is rarely a fourth level in buildings. 

Flatware is commonly given in groups of threes, and there are never just four people sitting at a table or in a tea ceremony. One of those seemingly unrelated Japanese facts is also important to keep in mind in order to avoid accidentally offending someone by providing four of anything. 

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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