10 Fascinating Facts about Japan
Georgina Willcox | 13 October 2022
The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan offers a unique blend of ancient traditions, contemporary culture, modern technology and diverse cuisine. We offer a fantastic guided holiday to Japan. To get a taster of what to expect on this Asian adventure, discover our top ten facts of this remarkable country.
1. Japan has 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
On the UNESCO World Heritage List, Japan has 19 cultural sites and four natural sites. Possibly the most iconic UNESCO World Heritage site in Japan is the Itsukushima Shrine in the city of Hatsukaichi; famous for its floating torii gate, which is a traditional Japanese gate usually found at the entrance of a Shinto shrine. In Kyoto, you can also visit the 17th Century Nijō Castle, the former residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu; a former military leader of Japan.
2. Mount Fuji is an active volcano, along with over 100 others in Japan!
A natural symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji is the country’s highest volcano standing at 3,776 metres. To get amazing views of Mount Fuji, we recommend taking the Komagatake Ropeway Cable Car.
3. There’s an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife
From the Japanese macaque, or snow monkeys, relaxing in the hot springs of Jigokudani Monkey Park to the Sika Deer which roam freely in Nara Park. It’s one of Japan’s oldest parks and you are able to feed the protected Sika Deer with “deer-crackers!”
4. It has one of the longest wooden buildings in the world
Sanjusangen-do is a temple built in 1266, famous for its 120 metre long hondo (main hall) which houses a collection of over 1,000 sculptures.
5. Geisha is one of the oldest occupations in Japan
Geisha, which translates to “person of the arts”, are Japanese women who entertain people by performing ancient dancing and singing whilst wearing a kimono, oboko wedge sandals and Oshiroi make up. Seeing a Geisha performance would be highly recommended during your trip to Japan.
6. The public transport is extremely efficient
The Japanese transport network is very reliable, it’s very punctual and very comfortable. Take a ride on the “Shinkansen” or the famous Bullet Train, which goes up to a speed of 320km/h! It’s a fantastic and very efficient way to travel throughout Japan.
7. It has the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world
Japan's capital Tokyo is a glittering city that never sleeps. It’s believed that 2,500 people navigate the iconic Shibuya Crossing at a time! There are endless opportunities for things to see and do in Tokyo; explore the Harajuku district, take a cruise around Tokyo Bay, or feel regal at the Imperial Palace Plaza.
8. Admire artwork in Hakone Open-Air Museum
You will find an extensive collection of sculptures from renowned artists, such as Piscasso, Henry Moore and Yasuo Mizui. Hakone, located around 100km from Tokyo, is situated within Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is famous for its hot springs and spectacular views of Mount Fuji. Visitors can also enjoy a tranquil boat tour around Lake Ashi.
9. Japanese Tea Ceremony is over 800 years old
The Japanese tea ceremony or “Way of Tea” is a fascinating ritual of preparing and serving Matcha, Japanese green tea. Tea ceremonies often take place in cha-shitsu, designed specifically for the gatherings. Hosting the Tea ceremony is an art form and it can take years to master.
10. Kyoto has a lot of temples
There are 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto Shrines, so it’s no surprise that Kyoto is widely considered to be the religious and spiritual epicentre of Japan.
If you enjoyed reading about our facts about Japan and want to to discover more about the ‘Land of the Rising Sun', then check out our Highlights of Japan tour.
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