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As Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 draws closer, TV stations around the world are airing more and more Japan/Tokyo-themed programs. Hopefully these TV programs are a good source of facts about Japan, but just in case I’m throwing a fun fact party in this post:-)

Let’s see how many of the fan facts about Japan you are familiar with. Here we go, folks, our super randomly chosen Japanese fun facts!

40 Fun Facts about Japan:

  1. According to WHO, 3.6 percent of Japanese adults have a body mass index (BMI) over 30, which is the international standard for obesity, while 32.0 percent of Americans do. Japan ranked in 166 out of 189 countries for obesity rate.
  2. Up to 2015, dancing at nightclubs past 1am was banned.
  3. The world’s oldest hotel is Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, in Yamanashi, Japan.
  4. The oldest continuously operating family business in the world was a temple construction company Kongo Gumi, which had been doing so for 14 centuries until it became a subsidiary of Takamatsu Construction in 2005.
  5. Japan is made up of 6,852 islands.
  6. Japanese railway service is the most punctual in the world, with an average delay time of 18 seconds.
  7. In 2005, the number of pets outnumbered childbirth. In 2009, the number of pets was 23,300,000 compared to that of below 15 years old at 17,000,000.
  8. Japan is a home of 5.52 million vending machines.
  9. Japanese kids clean their classrooms.
  10. Individuals with a tattoo are banned from public baths.
  11. Up to the 1970s, there was no salmon sushi. Norwegians introduced salmon to the sushi makers in Japan in the 1980s.
  12. The number of people aged over 100 was 54,397 in 2013 and it’s on the rise.
  13. On the Valentine’s Day, women give gifts to men, while on the White Day (March 13th), men return gifts to women.
  14. In Japan, taxi has an automatic door, which became a norm during the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.
  15. There are 290,000 family names in Japan and 6.3 million first names. The most common name is Keiko Sato (22,000 registered).
  16. Two major brands, “National” and “Panasonic”, were run by the same company, Matsushita.
  17. Shinjuku Takashimaya is actually located in Shinjuku Ward, not Shinjuku Ward.
  18. Japanese postmen were the first official personnels who had to carry arm, so as to prevent mugging for cash registered mail on the street.
  19. The part of Mt. Fuji above 3,360m is a private property of Fuji Yamamoto Miyashita Asama Taisha, a shinto shrine.
  20. There are 90 days for which Mt. Fuji is not snow capped.
  21. The founder of Nisshin invented instant noodles.
  22. The majority of Japanese companies are still using fax machines. In 2015, 42% of households and 92% of companies used fax machines.
  23. The majority of Japanese people and companies rely on inkan/ hanko or seals to validate day-to-day documents and contracts.
  24. Japanese peel off skin of grapes.
  25. Driven by a buddhist idea, eating meat was banned between 1687 and 1872 in Japan. Death penalty was applied to those who broke the law.
  26. Japan hosts 7% of world’s active volcanoes.
  27. Sleeping with your head pointing north is considered as bad luck in Japan.
  28. Shinjuku has world’s busiest station with the record of 3.42 million passengers on a day.
  29. Tokyo Tower was supposed to be named Showa Tower.
  30. Sumo wrestlers never wash their mawashi, the belt (loincloth) that they wear during the match until they retire.
  31. Tomika’s miniature cars do not have side mirrors for safety reasons.
  32. Tokyo is not officially Japan’s capital city.
  33. Tokyo Tower was built in 1958 with scraped steels of American tanks that were used during Korean War.
  34. Japanese language is not officially Japan’s national language. The only country that officially declares Japanese as a national language is Palau Republic.
  35. Decreed in Japanese family law, either wife or husband has to change their family name to their partner’s. But when a Japanese marries a foreigner, he or she gets to keep their name and their partner, too.
  36. Japanese monarchy is the oldest continuous hereditary monarchy in the world.
  37. Approximately 310,000 festivals are held each year in Japan.
  38. The most expensive land in Japan is Tokyo’s Ginza 2-6-7, Chuo Ward at 38,900,000yen per square meter.
  39. The average height for Japanese men is 167.3cm and for women 154.2cm.
  40. In 2013, Yoko Ono was made an Honorary Citizen of Reykjavík, Iceland.