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20 Exceedingly Cool Facts About Japan Most People Go Their Whole Life Without Knowing

It's a wonderful world where you can order ramen from a vending machine and pay a professional cuddler for snuggles.

1. Japan is made up of over 6,000 islands that stretch over 1,500 miles.

Google Maps / Via google.com!4m5!3m4!1s0x34674e0fd77f192f:0xf54275d47c665244!8m2!3d36.204824!4d138.252924

Chances are you think of Japan as the single island of Honshu, home to the major cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. But in reality, Japan is a chain of islands that includes well over 6,000 islands. And thanks to the placement of the islands from north to south, you'll find a huge variety of climates from Hokkaido's deep snow (and amazing skiing) in the north to Okinawa's beaches and crystal blue water in the south.

2. The capital of Tokyo is the most populated city in the world, but it's surprisingly quiet.

3. It's one of safest countries in the world.

4. Japan has one of the highest life expectancies in the world — with an average lifespan of 84.5 years.

Screenshot of current life expectancies
CIA.gov / Via cia.gov

According to data from CIA.gov, Japan ranks #4 in the world for life expectancy (just below Monaco, Singapore, and Macau). To put that into perspective, the US ranks #46 with an average life expectancy of 80.43.

5. Relatedly, Japan is home to the oldest living person, who recently celebrated her 118th birthday.

6. Japan sells more adult diapers than children's diapers.

Screenshot of headline about adult diapers
Tokyo Times / Via tokyotimes.com

In a report from 2019, NPR announced that the number of births in Japan fell to record lows, a testament to the country's aging population. If you need more proof, look at the fact that Japan sells 2.5 times more adult diapers than baby diapers. 

7. The Japanese stick to a clean diet with lots of rice and fish.

8. Nonetheless, eating Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas is a Japanese tradition.

9. Eating raw meat — including horse meat — is common.

10. It is considered good etiquette to slurp noodles loudly.

11. You can buy pretty much anything from vending machines... from underwear and ramen to french fries.

12. And you'll find elaborate plastic food replicas outside many restaurants.

13. Square melons are a thing (and go for about $90 each).

14. Napping on the job is actually encouraged and highlights a good work ethic.

15. Shoe etiquette is extremely important.

16. Japan is a very clean country, thanks in part to the fact that public schools teach the art of cleaning.

17. The toilets are out of this world, complete with seat warmers, built-in bidets, and music.

18. There's an annual penis festival where giant penis replicas parade down the street.

19. You can pay someone to cuddle you.

20. In some cases, people with tattoos aren't allowed at public pools, hot springs, beaches, and gyms.