How many of these Japan facts do you know?

1. There is about 1 vending machine in Japan for every 25 people.

Anyone who has spent some time in Japan can tell you about the ubiquity of Japanese “Jidouhanbaiki”. They sell everything from ice cream to whisky!

2. Japan is composed of over 6,000 islands.

Only a tenth of them are inhabited, but this greatly increases the area of Japanese national water.

3. Tokyo restaurants have been awarded twice as many Michelin culinary stars as restaurants in Paris.

It goes without saying that you can find some very top shelf sushi restaurants in Tokyo, but you can also find pretty much anything else your discerning palate desires within walking distance from most train stations in the downtown Tokyo. Unfortunately, fine dining options dramatically drop off for those of us living out in the countryside.

4. Fortune cookies were first sold in Japan in the 1800s.

They were then adopted by American Chinese restaurants at the turn of the century.

5. Over half of the world’s industrial robots are operated in Japan.

As the population in Japan gradually gets older, more and more of the workforce is replaced with robotic helpers. Recently, customer service and nursing professions started using robots to help with heavy lifting and more mundane job aspects.

6. Japan is home to the oldest family-run business in the world, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, operational since the year 705.

In business for more than 1300 years!

(Speaking of old family businesses, one major candy distributor we work with is represented by the 6th, 7th and 8th generation of candy specialists. These people know their stuff!)

7. Slurping your noodles and gulping your beer are perfectly acceptable table manners.

In fact, it is common to see people in Japanese commercials doing just that. This makes life hard for all us expats traveling back home who have gotten used to noisy dinners!

8. The world’s most of expensive tuna was sold in Japan… for over $700,000!

In some swanky restaurants in Tokyo, you can spend over a hundred dollars on one plate of the best cuts of sushi.

9. Japanese snowmen are made from two balls of snow.

This in turn means they are easier to make, of course.

10. Christmas is considered a romantic holiday in Japan.

Many performing artists hold concerts for couples on Christmas night.

Stay tuned for our next edition of 10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Japan!

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