The Land of the Rising Sun is like a whole other world full of unbelievable phenomena and weird traditions.
We has collected a few fascinating stories shedding some light on the daily lives of ordinary Japanese people.
17. Job description: pushing people in the subway
Japanese subways have so many passengers during rush hours that there are special workers — oshiya — who push people into trains. The first oshiya were students who worked part-time.
16. $24,000 for a couple of melons
Even Japanese square watermelons are not as expensive as Yubari King melons. At an auction in 2008, two melons were sold for $24,000. The reason for such a high price is the rarity of the fruit: these melons are grown in small amounts on the island of Hokkaido, and their harvest is immediately bought up by dealers.
15. Kit Kats with the flavors of sake, wasabi, sweet potatoes, or chili pepper
The name of Kit Kat candies in Japanese sounds similar to kitto katsu, or “you will surely win.” That’s why they are often given to students as a good luck gift before exams. As with many other foods, Japanese Kit Kats have the most bizarre flavors, from chili pepper and wasabi to green tea and pear.
14. A café that sells tenderness
For an extra charge, men are allowed to lie with the waitresses, hug them, establish long eye contact, or stroke their hair — but no further! In Japan, a great deal of attention is paid to the visual side of things. For example, cafés where waitresses are dressed as pretty housemaids are currently very popular.
13. The widest assortment of trains
Trains that run on Japanese soil are richly varied: vintage, double decked, super fast, trains with no engine driver, and even trains resembling cartoon characters such as Thomas the Tank Engine. Subway trains have special women-only cars safe from men’s advances.
12. Vending machines that can sell anything
Vending machines are so popular in this country that you can buy the most unbelievable things from them — like common onions or a handwritten love letter.
11. A spa where you can splash in wine, sake, or coffee
An extraordinary place where you can not only swim in huge pools of wine, coffee, sake, or even bouillon but also drink them on the spot.
10. Pet robots for children
Getting a pet in Japan is a costly affair equivalent to buying a new car. Because of that, children are increasingly offered toy robots imitating house pets.
9. Sakura: beautifully edible
Sakura is Japan’s national flower and also a delicacy used to garnish desserts. Dishes featuring cherry petals are particularly popular in spring when the entire country is covered with a soft pink carpet of blooming cherry trees.
8. Say no to manners in public transport
Seats in public transport are not offered to women, children, or the elderly. First come, first seated.
7. The fashion police is unheard of
Japanese street fashion is about bright colors, borderline things, and crazy designs. It is sometimes called a separate branch of contemporary art, where anyone can express themselves through combining seemingly incompatible colors and accessories.
6. Restaurants order plastic food
This is a distinct profession: specialists make artificial food indistinguishable from real food. It is made from powder or wax to be displayed on restaurant counters as samples for customers.
5. Nothing makes your smile more charming than double teeth
The “Hollywood smile“ in Japan is considered too open and provocative. Instead, the reverse is in favor: not just crooked teeth but building up and correction resulting in ”double teeth.”
4. Landing a plane would be easier than coping with a toilet
The panel next to the toilet looks like the control panel in a spaceship. It has dozens of buttons serving to turn on the bidet or the shower, warm up the seat, and even regulate the music.
3. The weirdest museum with a sizeable collection
The entrance to the Toilet Museum is proudly decorated with a gold human-sized heap of poop and several sculptures in strained poses. The exhibits inside include a children’s slide shaped like a toilet bowl, a collection of artificial animal and human excrement samples, interactive exhibits, and funny hats. This is the world’s first feces-themed museum.
2. Ice cream with the flavor of noodles, meat, or beer
Tastes differ, but gourmets should definitely try Japanese ice cream in all of its diversity. It’s not even the fact that you can find ice cream with the flavor of noodles, beer, or horse meat that is surprising but that it’s sold at every corner and is in great demand.
1. An island ruled by rabbits