#JC40 | 40 Japan Facts

In celebration of our 40th birthday this Sunday 10 July, we decided to share 40 interesting facts about Japan.

On Sunday 10 July only – all items in store and online will be 10% off. Thereafter, a selection of 40 products hand-picked by our founder Tak Tokumine will be up to 40% off for two weeks. So celebrate our special 40th birthday with us this weekend.

40 facts about Japan

  1. Nintendo, a Japanese company, was founded in 1889 as a playing card company. They went on to create their first video game in 1978.
  2. Nintendo means, “leave luck to heaven” in Japanese.
  3. The world’s oldest company operated in Japan from 578 A.D. until it closed operations in 2006.
  4. You’ll rarely ever be late in Japan as Japanese trains are some of the most punctual in the world with the average delay at just 18 seconds.
  5. Square watermelons were invented in Japan by graphic designer Tomoyuki Ono in 1978.
  6. According to factslides.com there are more pets than children in Japan.
  7. Japan has 5.52 million vending machines.
  8. Although there are many vending machines in Japan, it is difficult to find one that dispenses crisps or chocolate bars.
  9. Teachers and children frequently come together to clean their cafeterias and classrooms as cleanliness is an integral aspect of Japanese culture.
  10. Around 24 billion pairs of chopsticks are used in Japan each year.

    Cube shaped watermelon stands out among regular ones. Difference and individuality concept.Similar images:
    Cube shaped watermelon stands out among regular ones.
  11. Travel has never been so cool: in Japan, there is a train that ‘floats’ above the tracks due to magnetism. It can reach up to 500 km/h.
  12. Did you know that the biggest community of Japanese people outside of Japan is in Brazil?
  13. Salmon sushi was introduced to the Japanese during the 1980’s by the Norwegians.
  14. Could make for a confusing walkabout: most streets in Japan have no name.
  15. Japan has well over 78 fanta flavours.
  16. In the Japanese language, it is estimated that there are at least 20 ways to say ‘sorry.’
  17. The word “geisha” means “person of the arts,” the first geisha were actually men.
  18. Despite its frequent usage in the English language, “karaoke” is a Japanese word which means “empty orchestra” when directly translated.
  19. Japan has cafes where people can have their cups of coffee and play with cats, dogs, bats, porcupines, hedgehogs, bats and owls to name a few.
  20. There are at least 259 Starbucks outlets in Tokyo.

    Smoked salmon sushi with rice from Japan Centre
    Smoked salmon sushi with rice
  21. Tokyo is home to one of the most expensive restaurants in the world, Aragawa. They serve Kobe beef that can cost at least ¥35,000 (£213) per person.
  22. Tokyo’s trains currently go through 503 stations across 23 wards. The oldest rail terminus is Shinagawa which has been standing since 1872.
  23. Mount Fuji is only visible for an average of 79 days per year.
  24. The Japanese name for Japan is “Nihon” or “Nippon” which means “sun origin”.
  25. Japan is home to many different forms of martial arts including karate, judo, sumo, ninjutsu, kendo, jujutsu, and aikido.
  26. Sumo is celebrated as the national sport of Japan, however, the most popular spectator sport is baseball.
  27. If you are ever craving a beer, there are vending machines that dispense beers.
  28. Japanese anime accounts for over 60% off all the world’s animation based content.
  29. It is common, especially in the hot and humid months, for Japanese people to carry around small towels to wipe away their sweat.
  30. Bus drivers turn off the engine at red lights as a precautionary measure to help reduce pollution.

    People walking in Shibuya shopping district.
    Shibuya shopping district in Tokyo.
  31. Train stations are usually so crowded that railway staff are employed to shove people inside the train before the doors close.
  32. The national death toll is reported annually in newspapers.
  33. Japan is the number one importer of reggae music.
  34. Tokyo’s Tsukiji market is the world’s largest fish market.
  35. Most beer cans have braille next to the flip top.
  36. Ramen noodles are a popular food all over Japan, extensive training is often undertaken to ensure a delicious broth is made.  
  37. Japan is a nation of coffee drinkers and imports over 85% of Jamaica’s total coffee production.
  38. Japan has an unemployment rate of less than 4%.
  39. Zen Buddhism is the most common form of Buddhism in Japan.
  40. Japan has produced 18 Nobel prize winners.
Shoryu Ramen
Shoryu Ramen

Bonus Fact:

Yoko Ono went to school with the current Emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito!

Which facts did you find interesting? Share your favourites with us in the comments below.