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What do you think about when mentioning Japan? Does its food, people or scenery impress you? If you find it too hard to answer then keep reading because this blog is for you. Now we will take a look at top 10 things of what Japan is known for.


1. Japanese people

The first thing Japan is known for is Japanese people. Japan has a population of 126 million, much of which are in the larger cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto,… Politeness, kindness or thoughtfulness are some of typical characteristics of the Japanese that other countries admire and respect. “Japanese people are so nice and polite” is the sentence that you often hear or read from any travel blog.

Japanese people are so hospitable and warm-hearted, they are willing to go out of their way to ensure every tourist has their best experience while staying in Japan. This could mean a taxi driver give you his umbrella in the rain, a stranger offering you a help when you get lost on street, a boy giving an old women a hand and walk her across the street or many other touching moments along your way. They would never fail to move you with their kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration. The Japanese have a sharp eye for detail, care for other individual’s needs before themselves.

If you lose your wallet on a crowded train, the likelihood of it not being stolen but instead returned to the nearest police office is ridiculously high. Or as a tourist, you cannot read the signs which are mostly written in Japanese. Don’t worry, just ask someone on the street, they are more than happy to help. This kindness penetrates into every aspect of Japanese life, which makes visitor leaving Japan with an overwhelming sense that respect and polite, both given and received, plays a huge part of Japanese experience.

Too many Japanese signs? Don’t worry, Japanese people are always willing to offer help.

2. Japanese cuisines

Now let’s move to the second thing Japan is known for, which is Japanese cuisines. Which food pops up in your mind when mentioning about Japan? Sushi? Ramen? Takoyaki? I know it’s hard to choose just one food symbol for such an advanced food nation. If you are a real Foodie, Japan is a heaven. Apart from being delicious, it is on the whole of extremely healthy and diverse. Whether you are into cheap neighborhood food stalls or look for once in a lifetime meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant, the quality of food will always meets your high expectation.

Whether you are into Japanese street food….

…or a luxurious meal in a Michelin starred restaurant, Japanese food will never disappoint you.

To make you easier to understand, we would like to give you some statistics: Japan is the country with the highest number of Michelin three-star restaurants (28). And Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin stars in the world (314 stars), which is more than twice as many Michelin stars as the second best city Paris (114 stars). But food in Japan is not only high-end restaurants but also reasonable, high-quality small food stalls. With just under 5$, you can totally enjoy traditional ramen or an incredible Japanese barbeque for around 10$ – 15$.

Japan ranks first in the list of country with the most Michelin 3-star restaurants.

Another thing that makes Japanese food receive such a great admiration lies in the chef’s passion about their craft and the freshness of ingredients. The variety of food in Japan is enormous, so we hope that you can try as many dish as possible. Just go down some dark and narrow alleyways, who knows you will stumble upon a hidden food gem. In conclusion, although Japanese cuisine is famous all over the world, but believe me the sushi you try in Los Angeles or Paris is nothing the same as that in Tokyo.


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3. Japan: Where tradition meets the future.

What is other thing you know about Japan? Japan is known as one of very few country in the world where the past and the future coexist harmoniously. Being one of the largest economic nations in the world doesn’t prevent Japan from maintaining its rich, enviable culture heritage and traditional norms. Is it strange while you are exploring the ultra-modern metropolis Tokyo, you suddenly slip into the past with a walk in the backstreet of the ancient town? It is easily to catch sight of well-preserved old-fashioned district in the middle of Tokyo.

Tokyo, a mix of ancient and futuristic culture.

Having striking contrast with the current capital Tokyo, Kyoto which used to be the old capital of Japan is more relaxed and peaceful. One thing you should expect to find in Kyoto is Geisha. In the past, Geishas are companion ladies and their services are typically reserved for the Japanese Elite. Now Geisha is well respected as “women of artist”. Geisha can perform a wide variety forms of art like serving tea ceremony, playing traditional instruments or dancing. Remember you have to pay to see Geisha perform but if you accidentally pump into a Geisha in Kyoto, you can ask to take a picture with her. It is not something rude, believe me, the politeness of Japanese will not allow her to refuse you. Let’s take a look at our blog: “Top AMAZING Things To Do In Kyoto At Night” to grasp an overall view about this old capital.

You can easily catch sight of Geisha in Kyoto streets.

Another legendary symbol of Japanese history is samurai. The age of Samurai was from 1185 to 1868, but nowadays Japan people still respect the samurai culture and lifestyle. You can easily find samurai castles and historical samurai residences anywhere in Japan. There are even special museums dedicated to honor samurai traditions or samurai themed amusement parks.

Only in Japan does the aged-old tradition remain alive with modernity. Many will say that the romance of ancient Japan attracts them here but many others, contemporary Japan is no less appealing. Having undergone a huge transformation since the Edo Period, Japan has become one of the most powerful country in the world. Modern art, architecture, design, films, music or anime culture is the main factors that make Japan special to the world. When visiting Japan, you will have a chance to explore both Japan’s rich and unique traditional as well as modern culture throughout the country.

Japan, where tradition meets future.

4. Anime and manga

As we mention before, anime and manga (or pop culture) has made one of the greatest contribution to the contemporary culture of Japan. Anime is so popular that people all over the world feel the need to visit its origin and experience it themselves. “Anime”, actually came from the English word “animation”. So anime can be understood as Japanese cartoons and cosmic book is called manga. Now anime and manga has created a whole new industry which worth of over 15 billion US dollars.

Do you see your childhood in this picture?

Being a Japanese no matter how old you are or what is your social background, I’m sure that no one hasn’t watched any form of anime at some point of their life. If you think cartoon is just for children then you must haven’t been to Japan. Not only can anime be watched by all ages, it also varies in genres for example: science fiction, horror, romantic, comedy,…Maybe its diversity is the main reason why anime and manga can gain such popularity all over the world.

Many people say that they can’t distinguish anime character because they look so alike. To some extents, they are telling the truth. Japan is known for its own unique art style which has spread to many other countries. Most of anime characters have big eyes, impressive hair, small nose and colorful outfit. For people who intent to pay a trip to Japan, anime can be the gateway to Japanese culture. Many scenes in the movies is from real life and the Japanese culture, tradition or famous festivals are thoroughly illustrated through anime. It is so popular that anime has also promoted many other industries as well as the Japanese tourism. If you are a big fan of anime, Akihabara is a must-visit place for you. You can refer our blog: “Top 10 FANTASTIC Things To Do In Akihabara To Have Fun” for your trip.

5. The lowest crime rate country.

Japan is also well known for the lowest crime rate in the world. A little research is enough for you to recognize that Japan is one of the safest country in the world. Ok let’s talk about petty thief first. So just imagine you are going to have dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo. Here, you see people coming to their table first, leaving their valuable things like purse, phones at the table and head to the counter to place an order. You stand there in surprise, wonder why people can leave their valuable things there without worrying being stolen.

Some of the tourists may think that Japanese people is a little bit naïve, they seem to be easy taken off by some small tricks. But you really can’t blame them for that because would you worry about something that doesn’t exist? And petty crime in Japan is one of them. Now we will give you clear evident for our conclusion, we have two comparison charts of crime rate of Japan, United States and Australia.

Some of you might think that Japan may have the lowest of petty thief but what if the number of serious crimes like murder is higher. To drive my point home, we can agree that the most dangerous crime is homicide, due to a report in 2017, Japan ranks 219th place out of 230 territory and countries. That means the homicide rate in Japan is higher than only 11 countries in the whole world, not mention the fact that Japan is quite a sizeable country. Here are the homicide rate per 100 000 inhabitants of some developed countries in the world so you and make a quick comparison.

The crime rate in Japan is the lowest compared to other developed countries.

6. Japan – a friendly-environmental country.

If you like cleanliness and organization, let’s pack your back and go to Japan. Japan is also known for the perfection in every small detail. When you first come to Japan, you can be surprised that although there are few trash bins are placed along the streets, litter is so rare. Despite a dense population in some large cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto,… the clean and tidy state of the city is miraculous. Many of you want to find out who stand behind the neat of Japan, you should wake up early one morning and go for a walk around your neighborhood. You will see many locals are tidying up the streets around their homes and places of business.

Japanese people aware of the fact that their country lacks natural resources seriously, so they always make the most ues of natural resources and minimize waste. Most of Japanese household comply strictly with the rule of sorting out trash. If they do it in a wrong way, local authorities will mark a red flag on your trash bin so all your neighbors will know you hate this planet. Not only adult but also children are taught to recycle their milk cartons after lunch and sorting rubbish into the right recycle bins. Many Japanese household save used bath water for other activities like laundry or washing up because they don’t want to waste water. Treating nature with respect and reverence is one of the most basic manner that a kid is taught at school.

Japanese children are taught to clean school themselves.

7. Once of a kind experience

Without a doubt, Japan is one of the most innovative and creative societies in the world. Japan is known worldwide for its weirdness. Japan used to an island nation with a history of isolation. No wonder why many aspects of Japanese culture were developed completely unaffected from outside influences, which have to make a visitor raise an eyebrow. Now here is the list of several things that you don’t know they even exist in Japan, but these are the things that make Japan become well-known:

  • Crazy vending machines:

Due to some estimation, Japan has up to 5 million vending machines which means each one serves 23 people. You can buy everything from these vending machine, not only snacks and drink as usual but also bananas, umbrellas, hot lunch, soup cans, balls, mysterious box or even used panties? Yes you read that right!

A vending machine which sells crap…

  • Square watermelon:

Explore some big supermarket in large city, you can easily catch sight of square watermelons. Originated from wish to fit more space in transportation, this fruit is used for decorating or as a gift and they are extremely expensive.

Square watermelon is super expensive.

  • Japanese toilets:

Spending time in toilet is a fact of life, so Japanese people think why don’t make it convenient. You don’t need to be surprised when seeing a toilet play music, give off perfume or automatically warm up its seat. Just enjoy your time there because I don’t think you can find it anywhere else.

  • Ramen noodle bath:

Imagine your family bathing in a pat of pork soup and ramen noodles in exchange for beautiful skin?

Have you ever imagined soaking yourself in a ramen soup bath?

  • Numerous Kit-Kat flavors:

Japanese Kit-Kat has up to 300 flavors including soy sauce wasabi, lemon, grilled pork,….

Japan has up to 300 Kit Kat flavors

  • Kawaii culture:

Kawaii means cute or lovely in English, this term is used to describe the love of all cute, colorful things. No place in the planet adore the cuteness like this country does.

People in Japan adore such cute things.

8. Cherry blossom. (Sakura)

When asking 10 people to tell you something they know about Japan, I’m sure 9 out of them will talk about cherry blossoms or sakura. Not only is Japan cherry blossom so famous worldwide that it has become the iconic scene of Japan over the years, but it also plays an important part in Japanese culture. During the cherry blossom season in Japan, it’s a common view which family member gather together, sit under the trees and enjoy the picnic together. It is considered as family reunion, when the cherry blossom blooms, it’s sign that you should be together with people you love.

Having picnic with the family is the most favourite activity during cherry blossom season.

Cherry blossom in Japan is such a magnificent sight that you can’t see elsewhere in the world. Especially in the dark, the color of the flower contrast perfectly with the dark night, creating magical illumination. Many tourist time their visit in order to have a chance experience this incredible view. The main month of cherry blossom in Japan is usually April, but it also depends on where you at in Japan. So you should check the blossom forecast in advance to make sure you come in the right time.

Cherry blossom magically illuminates at night.

9. Onsens (hot springs)

Is Japan known for Onsens or hot springs? The answer is yes. Throughout this article, you may accumulate the fact that Japanese people love bathing. This shows clearly in their daily habits like each people spend a particular amount of time a day soaking in the bath tub. During holiday, many Japanese families choose to stay in a traditional inn called ryokan and soak themselves in the hot water from onsens or hot springs. There are various onsens can be found in Japan because basically, this country is a volcanic island. The onsen cultured has been ingrained in Japanese society since the 18th century.

This stunning onsens will surely be the first choice of many families on holiday.

When relax in an onsen, not only do you feel relaxing and comfortable but also healing. Due to some research, onsens are actually really good for your health because of its geothermally heating. As a visitor, you really should experience Japanese hot springs but before going ahead and book your onsen hotel, make sure spend a few minutes checking up on the hotel’s rule. While many visitors from other countries prefer not to show off their naked bodies in a shared bath room, for the Japanese it can be considered normal. They say that when you take off your clothes, like the shield you wear every day, you can be yourself and get to know other people on a deeper level.

Indoor onsen inside a traditional inn.

So if you are not comfortable with being naked and sharing one bath tub, you may have to do some more checking to assure you have your own onsen and enjoy the best of your time.

10. Breathtaking natural wonder.

It’s not exaggerating to say that natural views is first thing that Japan is most known for. Japan is such an attractive destination that the country has up to 30 million visitors each year. Some large cities like Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto are major draw and often on the top of many people’s bucket list. But Japan not only gains its popularity from its modernity, a powerful economy but it is also famous for many marvelous natural wonders. This gift of nature is just as outstanding as anything men ever created, even more valuable than some skyscrapers and neon signs. Now we can give you a list of most famous places to visit when come to Japan.

  • Takachiho Gorge:

This place is truly a real version of Japanese art. The combination of one-hundred-metre-high-wall of basalt rock and the blue green water of Gokase river is so magnificent that you think you have lost in a fairy land.

Cinematic scene of Takachiho Gorge

  • Tottori sand dunes:

This place reminds about a Middle East country with long sand dune in conjunction with the ocean.

A mini Sahara in Japan.

  • Jigokudani or Hell Valley:

Despite having the same name with the famous monkey island, this place have a striking contrast. Jigokudani is a smoldering volcanic crater, which looks like a little piece of hell on Earth.

Hell valley doesn’t seem to be scary as you may expect.

  • Kabira Bay:

This bay is as beautiful and stunning as any other bay in a tropical country. The picture of a mini heaven where crystal clear water laps against pure white sand will make you amaze.

Kabira Bay

  • Mount Aso:

Mount Aso should be on top of your list if you want to try your hand at volcano tourism.

Aso, the beautiful Japanese volcano.

  • Nachi waterfall:

It is the highest single drop fall in Japan and an artistical representative for centuries. The fall is also a place of worship. As you can see, there is a shrine, called Kumano Nachi Taisha, in the site since the very first Japanese inhabited.

Nachi fall is the best scenic waterfalls in Japan.

  • Yakushima island:

If you want to get closer with nature, spend some time on Yakushima island. This land is not only a heaven to animals but it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many tourists have considered this as one of the must-visit sight while travelling Japan.

A forest walkway that goes under a large cedar tree in Yakushima Forest.

  • Mount Fuji:

One of the most iconic sight of Japan, snow-capped mount Fuji, an unmistakable landmark. From Tokyo, which is more than 60 miles from the mountain, you still see it clearly from the city.

Mount Fuji, the iconic symbol of Japan.

Japan is known for a lot of remarkable things and worth your visit. So if you are planning your trip to Japan, this guide needs to be in your pocket. With this, you can make sure you don’t miss any incredible things while in Japan.




About Yuu Sato

Yuu Sato has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.

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