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21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

The Olympics have started! Despite a lack of fans (crowd noise will be piped into the stadiums instead) the event is still as important as ever and makes for great summer viewing. So at Dad.Info we have rounded up 21 interesting facts about Japan to both liberally pepper your conversation and amaze your kids with over the holidays (also, it’s good to learn new things, right?).

-Japan is an archipelago with four main islands Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, as well as 6,800 islands!

-Want to tell your kids what their names are in Japanese? This site is your friend.

-Got any rabbit lovers in your house? Tell them all about Okunoshima, otherwise known as Rabbit Island. Many of the bunnies are descended from rabbits intentionally let loose when the island was developed as a park after World War II. During the war, rabbits were also used in the chemical munitions plant to test the effectiveness of the weapons, but maybe don’t share that part with the kids![4]

-The total population of Japan is a massive 126,730,000.

-70,000 of those people are over 100 years old. Sushi and saki, anyone?!

-Check the zip on your coat. If the brand name is YKK then it is made by the Japanese zipper behemoth, which makes roughly half of all the zips on earth- more than 7 billion zips each year!

-Japan is not a country of child lovers. The country’s fertility rate, which is the expected number of births per woman, fell to 1.34.

-Yuichiro Miura is the oldest person in the whole world to summit Everest aged 80! Makes me feel like I really should get up off of this sofa…

-The traditional Japanese garment, the kimono, is worn by both men and women and can cost more the $10,000 each.

-The majority of Japanese people are either Buddhists or Shintoists.

-Japan lies on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, a chain of volcanoes which are responsible for the most dramatic volcanic eruptions and tsunamis in the recent years. In Japan, there are more than 108 active volcanos. Japan records the most earthquakes in the world every year.

-It has the oldest monarchy in the world. Emperor Naruhito is the 126th monarch.

-The Japanese school holidays are much shorter than in most countries around the world, and even during holidays and on weekends, many Japanese students go to school for club activities or extra lessons. Maybe pull that fact out to mention when the kids are moaning about school on a Monday morning!

-It has the largest economy in the world, behind the USA and China.

-Snow monkeys can be found lounging in hot springs in the cold southwestern area of Japan.

monkey on body of water at daytime

-Tokyo is the most densely populated city in the world.

-69% of Japan is covered in forest.

-It has an underwater postbox. Yes, really. You can find it in Susami, 30 feet underwater. Since 1999 it has collected more than 32,000 pieces of mail.

-Japan is at the forefront of robot development. Toyota have not only developed a number of robots to collect shot puts and javelins at the games, but also robots that can live in the home to assist the elderly and disabled.

-There are 21 vending machines for every human in Japan, selling everything from toys to eggs to actual cars. The car vending machine is 15 storeys high.

-In Japan and feeling starved for affection? Visit a cuddle café, where for a small fee you can cuddle someone and even stare into their eyes for a while if you feed the need.

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