Our earth rotates 1.8 microseconds faster after the massive earthquake of 2011 in Japan. This proves one thing that this tiny nation is so unique in every way that it can change the world as we know it. If you visit Japan for the first time and spend time there you would actually feel that you are visiting a parallel universe which you never knew existed. Here are 13 facts about Japan that westerners think is weird
13 Astounding Facts That Westerners Think Is Weird About Japan
1. The Japanese propose as if they’re hiring a chef
Basically, Japanese people are very shy and modest by nature and are not so bold to openly propose in front of many people or even in direct romantic words. They prefer doing it subtly and indirectly like a man can ask” will you cook soup for me every day” or “wash my clothes for me”? Sounds weird and in no way romantic but that’s the way they do things. In fact, this way of proposals is getting outdated now and really shy ones are the ones who still continue the tradition. But Japanese women on the other hand would want her foreign lover to express himself directly and also seek her parent’s approval too.
2. Some Japanese spend years in cyber cafes without leaving them
Not every single Japanese have money to rent out an apartment in expensive cities of Japan. Some spend years living in a cybercafé without even proper space for lying down.
Apart from the obvious internet access the cafes also offer showers and free non-alcoholic beverages. The average price for staying in a cybercafé is lower than (12-22$ a day) a capsule hotel (18-36$ a day) which makes sense for a person with low salary.
3. A cat or a dog can become a station master
Among facts about Japan, at Kishi Railway station in Wakayama prefecture, the high post of a station master is held by a cat. The initial purring master of the railway line was TAMA; this cat actually greeted every passenger in return of food rather than money. After her demise thousands of Japanese people from all over the country came to pay their respects as she was enshrined at the nearest Shinto shrine as spirit Goddess. In 2015 her position was taken by her successor NITAMA.
Not to leave our canine friends behind at the Ajigasawa railway station, a dog is the station master. His name is Wasao also known as Busa Kawaii which means ugly but cute. He has even starred in a movie. These animals have increased the tourists significantly.
4. There’s fish in the flood channels
The water in Japanese flood channels are so clean that there are fishes breeding in them. The underground water which is used for these channels can be used as ice cubes for cooking. This system is called Kabata. In Shiga prefecture the channels are built in different heights, the lower ones are meant to wash dishes which will be eaten up by the fishes.
5. School students wear mini-skirts and knee-high socks even in winter
As one of the facts about Japan, even in freezing winters, school girl uniforms consists of miniskirts and white, black or dark blue knee-high socks. Some girls wear loose socks too make their ankles look chubby and roll their skirts themselves to make them shorter. Since many schools have single changing rooms for boys and girls, they wear their sports uniforms in advance underneath their regular uniforms.
6. There are cafes where you can talk to owls
Did you know there are goats, bunny or even owl cafes too? The owl café in Tokyo is called the Fukuro No Mise. These cafés do not serve any food just beverages and talking to the birds would cost you 17$. Also, there are rules that have to be followed while communicating with the birds like you can just touch their beaks or heads only.
7. Thousands of naked and semi-naked men take part in the Hadaka Matsuri festival
Hadaka Matsuri festival is an annual man only festival in which naked men participate in thousands. After swimming in ice cold water men try to catch charms made of willow branches as a Shinto priest throws them. This ritual has deep religious roots and it is believed that men’s nudity will absorb all evil forces and misfortune. These rituals are for luck but rarely anyone emerges unscathed from the crowds, broken bones and bruises are common.
8. Even robots died at Fukushima
Among facts about Japan, in 2011 Fukushima nuclear reactors had horrible accidents that the levels of radioactive contamination were so high that 5 robots were sent inside the plants to remove the molten fuel rods and they never came back!
9. In Japan black cats bring luck
Unlike the rest of the world Japanese people love black cats as they bring luck, single women with black cats as pets are considered luckiest as she would have many potential fiancés in future.
10. Beer bottles have inscriptions made in Braille
Japanese government takes special care of their visually impaired citizens by laying tactile lines on roads for navigation throughout the cities or offices and ticket counters. Even beer cans have Braille scripts in Japanese.
11. One Japanese company existed for 14 centuries
The oldest company in the world is called the Kongo Gumi which is a construction company established in 578 AD and specialised in building famous Buddhist temples and The Osaka Castle. The company survived several wars including WWII when it started constructing coffins. After that they started making earthquake resistant buildings.
12. Nightclubs in Japan have only been allowed to stay open past midnight since 2015
It was one of the facts about Japan that in 1948 it was against the law to dance after midnight in Japan. In post war Japan, night clubs were for adult entertainment. The law has been revised in 2015 which allows night clubs with proper lightings to remain open all night.
13. People bite things on one Japanese TV Show
People take a bite at inanimate objects in TV shows, which are created realistically to ascertain whether they are made of chocolate or not, it could be a furniture, shoe or bugs.