26. Hiroyuki Arakawa and Yoriko

In Japan, a diver named Hiroyuki Arakawa and a sheepshead wrasse (Pacific fish) named Yoriko have been friends for over 25 years. – Source

27. There is a “white man” café in Tokyo, where Japanese ladies ring a bell to summon tuxedo-wearing Caucasians who respond with “yes, princess?” and serve them a cake. – Source

28. Surgical masks in Japan are not only used to prevent sickness but are used for fashion, warmth, and sometimes avoiding conversation with strangers. – Source

29. There is a skyscraper (Great Tower Building) that has a highway passing through its 5th, 6th, and 7th floors in Japan. The tower is the result of a strange compromise between the landowner and the Japanese government. The owner wanted to redevelop the building but the government had already planned the expressway. – Source

30. Chunosuke Matsuyama, a Japanese Seamen, sent a message in a bottle in 1784 that his ship had wrecked. It washed up in 1935 in the village where he was born. – Source

31. Karoshi

In Japan, death by overwork is so common that they have a word for it, “Karoshi”. Some examples of karoshi are: working 110 hours a week, working 3000 hours a year with no days off in 15 years, working 4320 hours a year, and working 34-hour shifts five times a month. – Source

32. In 2010, the mummified corpse of Sogen Kato, thought to be Tokyo’s oldest man, was found in his bedroom by government officials. He had actually died in 1978. – Source

33. In 1993, the Japanese religious cult Aum Shinrikyo released aerosolized Anthrax in a city near Tokyo over the course of 2 days. It should have killed thousands, however, they used a strain of Anthrax used for cattle vaccinations and inadvertently could have immunized everyone instead. – Source

34. The oldest running company still in operation today is a hotel in Japan named Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which was created in 705 A.D. – Source

35. Tokyo has a bar that you can have drinks with penguins. – Source

36. The Rainbow Road to Heaven

Hours after Nintendo announced the death of their CEO, Satoru Iwata, a rainbow appeared over their headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. It was dubbed “The Rainbow Road to Heaven”. – Source

37. People have found ancient stone tablets in Japan’s recent tsunami struck areas with inscriptions “Do not build your homes below this point!” – Source

38. Beetle breeding is a $100 million industry in Japan. In 1999, a beetle specimen sold for 10,000,000 yen which was about $100,000 at the time. The industry used to be illegal which caused surges in beetle smuggling. In 2001, two Japanese men were arrested in Nepal for trying to smuggle out 542 beetles. – Source

39. There is a custom in Japan called “Namahage” in which men dressed up as demon-like monsters scare the children who are “guilty of laziness or bad behavior.” While parents smile and laugh their children scream and cry in terror. – Source

40. You can pay a travel agency in Tokyo to take your stuffed animal on a vacation without you. – Source

41. Happy Monday System

In Japan, they have something called the “Happy Monday System” which aims to place as many state holidays as possible on Mondays in order to give those with a five-day work week more three day weekends. – Source

42. Japan has the largest organized crime group in the world called Yamaguchi Gumi that is worth $80 billion. By contrast, Sinaloa, Mexico’s largest drug cartel, was worth $3 billion. – Source

43. Meth was invented in Japan. At first, it was used to curb hunger and energize Japanese citizens. Later it was given to Kamikaze pilots, soldiers, and wartime factory workers. It is now controlled and distributed by the Yakuza. – Source

44. All of Japan’s highways has tolls, and it costs more than $300 to travel across the country. – Source

45. Since the global ban on commercial whaling in 1986, Japan is thought to have killed more than 14,000 whales for alleged scientific-research. Their real motive behind whaling is to obtain whale meat which is a delicacy in Japan. – Source

46. Owl cafes

Owl cafes is a trend that is growing in Japan where you can have coffee with owls. – Source

47. Japan is moving an entire 400-year-old castle (Hirosaki Castle) 230 feet away to fix its foundations. They will move it back in 2021. – Source

48. Early movie theaters in Japan hired benshi, storytellers who sat next to the screen and narrated silent movies. They were descendants of kabuki jōruri, kōdan storytellers, and other forms of oral storytelling. With the advent of sound in films in the early 1930s, the benshi gradually disappeared. – Source

49. The only true Kobe beef comes from a pure lineage of Tajima-gyu cattle, born only in the Hyogo prefecture of Japan (Kobe is a city in this area) and fed off of local vegetation. – Source

50. There is a pepper grown in Japan called the Shishito pepper. Only 1 out of 10 is spicy and there is no way of knowing beforehand. – Source


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