Japan has always come across as the mysterious oriental country of weird things where the unusual is followed as normal. Even Jonathan Swift could not resist writing something on the uncanny nature of this country as he makes Gulliver, the protagonist travel around the world in Gulliver’s Travels. In his fictional account, Japan comes across as the closed society that did not generally want to traffic with the outside world. It was at the far edge of the East and as mysterious as these truly fictional places. The situations might have changed now as the country has become liberal and tolerant towards other cultures. However, as the first time traveller to this country you cannot help wonder.
Check out these weird things in Japan that will make you go WHAAAT?!
1. Capsule Hotels
Have you ever slept in a room whose dimensions match that of your body? In Japan, the luxurious facilities are seen as a waste of money and people love to stay in capsule hotels, where the rooms are big enough to fit just a bed and perhaps a small mounted television. Most of these hotels you shall find in Tokyo.
2. Tipping in Japan
Beware! If you tip in Japan you will be frowned upon! In this country, tipping is almost non existent. Waiters, hotel workers, taxi drivers and others do not expect to be tipped at all.
3. Adult Adoption
You would have always thought that you can adopt the children! But, look at Japan- the country promotes adoption of the adults. An incredible 98% of all adoptions in Japan involve adults aged;20 to 30, the vast majority of these being men. If the owner of a family business doesn’t have a son to keep the family name alive, a suitable heir will be found and adopted into the family. The custom is also employed if a father deems his son incapable of running the business. That is really something commendable. Isn’t it?
4. No janitors in Japan’s schools
This is one encouraging policy that the world should seek to. Instead of employing someone to clean up the children’s trash, the schools teach students to clean up after themselves. The schools especially dedicate the time for this activity. The children work together to clean classrooms, scrub floors and keep the bathroom spotless. It also extends to eating lunch. Rather than a cafeteria, students eat in their own classroom with their teacher and hand out the food themselves. The idea is to instil a sense of responsibility. No wonder if you visit a Japanese home you’ll find it ultra clean!
5. Falling asleep at work is considered as a good practice
The afternoon siesta at work is considered as a good practice in this country. This practice is called as “inemuri” – or napping on the job. This power nap is encouraged to let people refresh themselves for further work ahead!
6. You have to wear special shoes in the bathroom
Japanese are ultra cautious when it comes to hygiene. When you use the restroom in someone’s home you may need to put on designated bathroom slippers. Since many Japanese bathrooms don’t have a separate area for the shower, meaning the floor is often wet.
7. The Suicide forest
Aokigahara, a forest at the base of Mount Fuji has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology, and is the second most popular place in the world for suicides, after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. More than 50 people took their own lives here in 2010 alone, and an annual body hunt is undertaken by volunteers.