10 Weird Things About Japan

By , 1 December 2009

10 Weird Things About Japan
10 Weird Things About Japan

Japan is certainly a unique place. After collecting a long list of interesting and often bizarre quirks, I have managed with some difficulty to whittle it down to just these 10 observations which to me characterise Japan.

Let's start with number 10 deshou?


Japan is clean. The bikes, taxis, buses and shops are so shiny it feels like you are living in a computer generated city.

10 Weird Things About Japan


Japan is so clean there aren't even any bins. Clean people don't need bins.


Did I say Japan is clean? Well, even the homeless people are clean and live in perfectly kept boxes along the streets and under the bridges. Some also keep miniature potted gardens.


Everything is small. Except the cities that is. There are roughly 35 million people in Greater Tokyo.


The Japanese word chigau can mean both different and wrong.


Local streets don't have names, and addresses are denominated in blocks and buildings instead. My address, 東京都台東区池の端2-1-23-101, translates roughly to Tokyo Metropolis, Taito City, Ikenohata District, Zone 2, Block 1, Building 23, Room 101. The fact that three buildings can all have exactly the same address doesn't complicate things at all.


If you don't sleep while on the train, you have to read Manga or check your phone. Of course, that's presuming you can figure out which one of the 7 or 8 train companies you're meant to be traveling with.


Being a fundamentally conservative society, it is important that the school girls wear ridiculously short skirts.


The Japanese language doesn't really have pronouns, prepositions or adjectives. It's basically all just nouns and verbs, with some interesting hybrids I affectionately call adjerbs, adjouns and verbouns.


So what, I hear you wonder, is the strangest, quirkiest and most unique thing about Japan? Well, it is a tough call. So many sites and experiences have left me bewildered and astounded, but none more than a brief introduction to a Japanese lady, when I discovered that....


To make polite conversation, you might be asked "what is your blood type?".




About Roger Keays

10 Weird Things About Japan

Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. He has no fixed address and has left footprints on 40-something different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, the proper use of semicolons, and finding good food.

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Comment posted by: Jess, 10 years ago

Blood type?OMG,thats crazy. I don't even know whats my blood type.

Comment posted by: Jen, 11 years ago

 Thanks for this :)  Amusing.   You should start a book and add to the trivial country knowledge literature, Bill Bryson comes to mind.