Japan is one of the most developed countries in Asia. Its capital, Tokyo is renowned worldwide for its mind boggling neon skyscraper, population and pop culture. The country houses the third largest economy in the world based on the nominal GDP. It is the fifth largest importer and exporter. In terms of the military budget, it is ranked eighth due to their modern and sophisticated weapons. Apart from these, there are other myriad special features in the country as indicated in the top 10 unique things about Japan.
10. Writing Systems
Japan has four distinct writing techniques including Kanji which are adopted Chinese characters that are incorporated in their modern day writing. Another mechanism is romaji which are Romanized spelling that are used when translating Japanese. Hiragana is a system that works in tandem with kanji to perfectly execute the ancient grammar and Japanese words. Last but not least katakana, which basically borrows foreign words, names and merges them with scientific name for proper understanding.
Sumo is a national sport in Japan and it dates back to the 8th century. It was initially used as a prayer tool to ensure abundant rice harvest. It later morphed into a competitive sport where two bold men jostle for victory in a circular ring. One of them is declared the winner if he successfully eliminates the other out of the ring or whenever any part of the body with the exemption of the feet’s bottom touches the ground. The latter is a coveted Japanese tradition and is characterized by ancient clothing and values.
Sushi is a one of the Japanese delicacies that are renowned globally. The mouth watering dish has been in existence since the 8th century. It all began as a way of preserving fish in fermented rice before being adopted as a delicacy that most of us adore in the modern world. The latter requires special ingredients to prepare such as red tuna, medium-fatty tuna and salmon. Sukiyabashi Hiro Restaurant, Tokyo is the place to be if you are in dire need of enjoying perfect sushi.
7. Blowfish Delicacy
Blowfish or Fugu is a type of seafood that is served in Japan. The fish has gained notoriety due to its poisonous nature which can claim one’s life if not well prepared. Its poison normally induces nausea, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath and finally death by asphyxiation. As a chef, you must undergo rigorous training which takes up to ten years in order to be certified as fit to prepare the dish.
6. Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication is a common practice in Japan and is usually used to convey both negative and positive messages. Physical reactions convey the true meaning of sundry words since certain words possesses more than one meaning. As a result most Japanese speak without facial expression to avoid sending the wrong message.
5. Raw Horse Meat
Horse meat is very common in Japan. The thinly sliced raw meat is served together with ginger and soy source. Also known as basashi, the pieces are dipped into the soy source to enhance taste. Basashi flavored ice cream is also available to suit the enthusiasts even though it is limited. Don’t be surprised if you see people enjoy raw horse meat in Tokyo, it is their culture.
4. Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market is not only the largest fish market in Japan but also globally. It is strategically located in Tokyo and is characterized by seafood and wholesale fish. The market is divided into two parts; the inner and outer segments. The inner market mainly deals with wholesale auctioning of seafood while the outer market has both the wholesale, supplies, seafood, sushi, retail shops and many more.
3. The Mountains
About 70% of Japan is covered by mountains. The most renowned Mt. Fuji is the tallest in the country and is classified as an active volcano. It is strategically situated in the south west of Tokyo. It was officially declared a world heritage site by UNESCO on 22nd June 2013 and currently offers beautiful scenery. It is one of the three holy mountains in Japan together with Mount Haku and Mount Tate.
2. Literacy Rate
Japan has the highest literacy level in the world. Almost 100% of the population can read and write. This is solely contributed by the comprehensive education system which equips every student irrespective of their background with proper skills. The rate of unemployment is less than 4% despite the massive population.
1. Vending Machines
Vending machines are also common in Japan. They are known to offer sundry services such as supplying beer, raw eggs and fried chicken. Apart from the vending machines, cafes also occur in major cities and give visitors the opportunity to play with their favorite pets including puppies and kittens.