Bustling centers, fascinating culture, delicious cuisine, and appealing landscapes – there are so many reasons to visit Japan since it would be a trip of a lifetime! Read on to learn more interesting facts about Japan that would entice your kids.
History of Japan
Approximately 30,000 years ago, Japan saw its first inhabitants, who came to the land on foot since the main islands were connected by bridges of dry land to Korea and Siberia. The first society in Japan arose around 12,000 years ago, and the people during that period belonged to the Jomon culture. In the same timeline, the Ainu people arrived on the mainland of Japan from Siberia on boats. These two cultures survived in the mainland and the nearby islands through fishing, hunting, and gathering food.
The era of farming and toolmaking started once the Yayoi people from China and Korea came to Honshu Island during 300 B.C. They were very skilled in farming, toolmaking, and weaving and became the first cultural group to begin rice cultivation in the flooded paddy fields of Japan. The first emperor to come into power in Japan was Jimmu Tenno during 660 BC, and for the following centuries, Japan was ruled by many emperors. After the 12th century A.D, shoguns or military rulers used force to take control of the region.
In 1543, Japan saw its first arrival of Europeans who brought a wide range of ideas, technologies, and cultural practices, including Christianity. However, during 1635, the country went into a state of isolation when the ruling shogun closed all borders and traveled abroad, which lasted for around 200 years. In 1868, emperors came back into power which brought a lot of modernization and changes.
Geography and Landscape of Japan
Japan is an archipelago in the eastern part of Asia. The country consists of four mainlands, namely Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. There are around 4000 smaller islands in these regions. Japan’s mainland neighbors are China and Korea from the south and Russia from the north.
Mountains cover around four-fifths of the country, and the highest and most famous mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji, an active volcano that also stands as a sacred symbol. The Japanese Alps start from the top to the center of the largest mainland in Japan, Honshu. Japan can be dangerous because it is at risk of severe earthquakes. One of the most interesting facts about Japan’s geography is that more than 1000 earthquakes hit the country every year. Also, the country has around 200 volcanoes, of which 60 are still active.
Food Facts of Japan
Japanese food is another treasure of the country, attracting millions of tourists globally every year. Here are some interesting food facts:
- Melons in Japan can cost as much as $200 because of the large role it plays in the gift-giving culture of the country.
- Japan imports over 80 percent of the annual coffee production of Jamaica.
- When having a meal in Japan, it is wrong to stick chopsticks into food. Instead, it is left horizontally on the bowl.
- A very popular dish in Japan is a Horse meat dish.
- Japanese cooks love matching their dishes with the dishware.
People and Cultural Facts of Japan
Culture and tradition play an important role in the Japanese society. Some essential culture-related facts of Japan are:
- Most Japanese are often either Buddhists or Shinto.
- Japanese is home to many Shinto Shrines, and these are present in the most beautiful and surprising places like inside trees, under mountains, along small lanes.
- People living in Japan were vegetarians for nearly 1400 years.
- Wearing shoes or outdoor footwear is not normal. Often, separate toilet slippers are used inside the space.
- Gambling is illegal in Japan, but people get around this law by playing another local game called Pachinko.
Facts About Eating in Japan
As famous as Japan is regarding its cuisine, there is some etiquette you need to follow when eating. These include:
- One should never raise their food above the level of their mouth since the mouth should be the highest level.
- When having noodles in a restaurant in Japan, be sure to slurp it to the end.
- When having soup, be sure to finish the ingredients first with chopsticks and then drink the water from the bowl.
- Never catch food when it falls since it is considered bad manners to catch food with your hands.
- If you are invited for a meal at a Japanese home, be sure to bring a gift for the host.
Urban and Modern Japanese Facts
Japan is the perfect mix of tradition and culture, along with the ultra-modern. Renowned for its urban infrastructure and modern technology, some interesting facts include:
- Many Japanese values, customs, and personality traits come from the fact that the people in the country live in close company.
- In cities, you will find recorded messages everywhere – on buses, crosswalks, and subways – telling people what they have to do.
- Japanese cities are very clean.
- Neighborhoods and towns in Japan are compact and small but very beautiful.
- Japanese places are sometimes hard to figure out since they are organized by zones and areas instead of streets.
Other Fun Facts and Information About Japan
Some other random and miscellaneous facts about Japan that you and your kid should know are:
- The most populated megacity in the world is the Greater Tokyo area.
- The country has the world’s second-highest life expectancy.
- More than half of Japan’s area is covered with trees and forests.
- The world’s deepest underwater postbox is in Japan.
- The Japanese diet is considered to be one of the healthiest diets in the world.
Japan is a fun destination, but what makes it unique is its rich history, culture, and several interesting stories that every traveler would love to hear. These cool facts about Japan will definitely make your children’s vacation to the place more fun and interesting!