From Cherry blossom and temples to fast trains and sumo. Japan’s story is rich with diversity. Keep reading to learn more about Japan facts and secrets.
Wave the flag
Japan’s flag is white with a big red circle in the middle. The flag is known as “the flag of the sun”. It represents the country’s nickname, “the land of the rising sun.”
Listen to the anthem
Pin On The MapJapan consists of a group of islands in the east of Asia. There are around 7000 islands in the country. Japan has four main islands which are Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Honshu is the largest island in the country and it has the capital city, Tokyo. The highest point of Japan is the peak of Mount fuji at 3,776m (12,388 ft) high. Japan’s islands cover an area of 145,898 square miles (377,873 square) kilometers. Japan is almost as big as the biggest US state, California.
Look in the history book
People likely started living in Japan thousands of years ago. The first groups that roamed the land were hunters-gathers. Later on, people started to work in farming, mostly rice. Rice is still one of the most common foods in Japan.
Some experts believe that Emperor Jimmu is the first emperor of Japan. He set up his kingdom in central japan around 660 BC.
Role of Religion
People continued to unite and many of them practiced a religion called “Shinto”. In 552, Buddhism started to spread in Japan. This religion came from China. Shintoism and Buddhism are still the most practiced religions in Japan.
The samurai Era
Japan witnessed many changes throughout its long history. This includes a civil war in the 12th century called The Genpei War. After this war, a group of warriors called “The samurai” formed a military government. The samurai were known for their mastery of sword fighting. The samurai also founded a group of secret spies. They were called “ninjas”. The samurai and Ninjas appeared in many movies all over the world.
Close the doors
In 1639, Japan’s leader, Tokugawa Iemitsu, started a policy called Sakoku. This means “closed country.” The country was isolated for more than 200 years. Japan decided to stop trade and travel with other countries.
In 1868, there was a revolution in Japan. That led to overthrow the military government. Emperor Meiji ruled the country and started working with other nations.
New Century…. Two wars
Japan took part in the two world wars in the 1900s. However, it chose different sides in each war. In World War I, Japan fought with the Allies and won. There was a political change in Japan after the war. So, the nation decided to fight against the allies in World War II. The country invaded many parts of Asia. And on December 7, 1941, Japanese troops attacked Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. Many American soldiers were killed. As a result, the US decided to join the war. In 1945, America used atomic bombs for the first and only time in history. The US hit two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After that, Japan surrendered. Today, there are peace parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to remember those sad events.
After the war, The US occupied Japan. The country became independent in 1952. Since then, Japan has been a peaceful country. The nation is famous for its tech and car companies.
Japan hosted the Winter Olympics In 1964 (in Sapporo) and in 1998 (in Nagano). In 1964, Tokyo became the first Asian city to host the Summer Olympics. Tokyo also became the first Asian city to get the honor of hosting the summer Olympics twice. However, the 2020 summer Olympics were postponed due to covid-19 pandemic and are supposed to start later in 2021.
Take a walkTokyo
Tokyo is the most visited city in Japan, obviously! The Country’s capital is HUGE. You can literally take a full month just to explore it. So, if you don’t have the luxury of time. Here are some places we believe you shouldn’t miss in the vibrant city
If you love history and tradition, you should definitely head towards the historic part of the city to visit its oldest temple. Pose in front of the Kaminarimon gate and the giant red lantern before taking an unforgettable photo that would look great on your fridge door.
The Imperial Palace
You can’t go to Japan without paying a visit to its Emperor. Well, or at least to his home. The imperial palace contains several building, gardens and, of course, the Emperor’s residence. Although you can’t visit the emperor for a cup of tea, you can take a walk among the beautiful green spaces and inhale the royal breeze.
Visiting Tokyo can be a lot of effort. So, you can simply see the whole city from … above. Tokyo tower gives its visitor a great experience of overserving the big city. Tokyo Tower has been the tallest Tower in Japan from 1958 until 2012 when it was surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree.
It may be weird to have a crossing on our list. But Shibuya Crossing isn’t like any other crossings in the world. It’s the busiest crossing in the world with hundreds of people flocking there to take photos at the bustling landmark.
Osaka has a variety of tourist attractions. Perhaps, the most popular one is Dotonbori. This lively district is known for its colorful atmosphere and huge signboards. Tourists love to take the huge Ferris wheel, Ebisu Tower, to enjoy an aerial view of the crowded district.
If you want to understand the Japanese culture in depth, you have to go to the cultural capital. The city has 17 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Kyoto is known for its temples and religious sites. Find out more about the vintage city from here.
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
This huge park covers an area of 1,227 square kilometers (474 sq mi). From, mountain to lakes, the national park includes many touristic attractions. If you head south, you find the famous volcanic island Hachijō-jima. The island is a popular destination for many tourists. The same goes for Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji. The astonishing white-coned mountain is a must-see place on your journey to Japan.
Meet the peopleMore than 125 million people live in Japan. Around 80% of the population lives in Honshu. The Huge Island has more than 104 million people. Tradition is important in Japan. Students have to wear school uniforms since primary school. They also learn to work in teams at a very young age. learners have to clean the classrooms, halls and yards every day.
The country is known for anime cartoons and comic books. Comic books in japan are called Manga. Japan is also the home to the video game company, Nintendo. Nintendo makes famous games such as Animal Crossing, Mario Cart and Pokémon.
Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan. Many Japanese players took part in the Major Baseball league (MLB) in the US. This includes Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Ohtani.
Soccer is also very popular in Japan. The national team won The AFC Asian cup four times. That’s more than any other team in history. Sumo is also watched by millions in Japan. In this sport, wrestlers try to push each other out of a ring.
There are many festivals in Japan. The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, or ‘Sakura’, celebrates the beginning of the spring and the cherry blossom. At this festival, people have picnics in public parks and enjoy the beautiful weather and aroma.
In Kyoto, people enjoy The Gion Matsuri. This festival happens in July. People celebrate it by wearing traditional clothes called kimonos.
Travelling in Japan is special. The country built a system of trains called The Shinkansen, or “The bullet trains.” These fast trains can reach a speed of 320 km/h which make it easy for passengers to reach their destination in little time.
Take a biteThe Japanese LOVE fish. The country is the biggest importer of fish in the world and it consumes around 12% of the caught fish worldwide. So, there’s no question that fish is a vital part in the Japanese cuisine.
Sushi isn’t only known in Japan. The famous raw fish spread to every corner of the world. There are many styles of cooking and presenting Sushi. Perhaps, the most common one is serving it with sushi rice which is called “shari”.
If you are looking for something sweeter and …. Cuter, Taiyaki will be a great choice for you. Taiyaki is a sweet cake in fish shape. There are many fillings for this treat. This includes Red bean paste, custard and chocolate.
Fun factJapan is famous for its islands. But not only people live there. Ōkunoshima is known for its large population of Rabbits! There are laws that ban hunting these animals. Besides, cats and dogs aren’t allowed in Ōkunoshima.
On the other hand, Aoshima is the cats’ paradise in Japan. There are only around 20 people on the island living with more than 120 cats. Meow!