12 Facts About Japan
1. It has the highest life expectancy in the world
86 years for women and 79 for men. The highest life expectancy within Japan is found on the island of Okinawa.
2. It’s the country with the most elderly people and one of the lowest birth rates
21% of Japan’s population is over 65 years old. It is expected that by 2050, Japan will have 95 million inhabitants while it now has 130 million. In our experience, the elderly are incredibly friendly.
3. Shinjuku Station in Tokyo is the busiest station in the world
According to Wikipedia, 3.64 million people pass through this station daily. The station has 200 exits.
4. It’s not so expensive
You can eat for 7-8€ and water is free. You can find accommodation for 25-30€ per person and the Tokyo Metro costs 1.70€ each trip. The high speed Shinkansen train tickets are expensive.
5. 86% of Japanese people practice Buddhism or Shintoism
Shintoism is an original religion from Japan in which nature spirits are worshipped. Some Japanese people practice both religions at the same time.
6. In Tokyo there is a statue of a dog
Hachiko was the dog of a Japanese teacher. He waited for his owner every afternoon in front of the train station. One day the owner died but the dog kept going for 10 years to wait for him. There are two movies, Japanese and American, that tell the story.
7. 80% of the Japanese territory is mountainous and it has 6,852 islands
The highest mountain is Mount Fuji (3,776 meters). Most of the islands are small except for the 4 large ones: Hokkaidō, Honshū (where Tokyo is located), Shikoku and Kyūshū.
8. You cannot enter an Onsen if you have tattoos
We didn’t check but they say that if you wear tattoos they do not let you enter an Onsen to avoid the entrance of Yakuza (Japanese mafia) members who are traditionally tattooed.
9. In Tokyo you can’t smoke on the streets but you can smoke in bars
You can only smoke in the smoking areas that can be found everywhere: on the streets, in bars, train stations, etc.
10. The Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the train that runs from Tokyo to Osaka is the train line with the most passengers in the world
This high-speed train carries some 151 million passengers per year and, since its inauguration in 1964, has already carried more passengers than any other train line in the world. Every hour 13 trains depart with more than 1300 seats available.
11. A Japanese experimental train holds the speed record at 581 km/hour
The Jr-Maglev is an experimental magnetic levitation train that in 2003 reached this incredible speed.
12. During World War II Japan built the largest warship in history
The Yamato was a ship of 263 meters long and 72 800 tons. It was sunk by American submarines in 1945 near the island of Okinawa without having fired its big cannons.