Japan, the land of the rising Sun, has so many beautiful and unique things to offer to every traveler! This amazing country in East Asia has a huge tourist reputation primarily because of its unique culture and tradition. As a country that was isolated from the continental part of the world, Japan managed to develop a characteristic culture, completely free from any external influences.
From Japanese haiku poetry and shodo calligraphy, through the volcanic sacred Mount Fuji, to the famous Samurai warriors, there is much that will impress every traveler. In the text below, you will find 7 reasons why you should visit Japan!
1. Shinkansen – Japanese high-speed trains
Shinkansen is the name for the railway network of Japanese high-speed trains. They move at speeds of 240-320 km/h. Trains are without a doubt the fastest way to get from one city to another in Japan. They are even two to three times faster than cars.
Here are some of the interesting facts about these trains:
- The average delay per train is 0.9 minutes (including delays due to uncontrolled causes, such as natural disasters and catastrophes).
- ZERO deaths in collisions and traffic accidents.
2. Mount Fuji – one of the many reasons why you should visit Japan
With an altitude of 3,776 meters, Fuji is the highest mountain and the highest volcano in Japan, but it is also one of the most famous landmarks of the Land of the Rising Sun. This mountain has a symmetrical cone, which is covered with snow for a good part of the year, surrounded by lakes and beautiful untouched nature.
Fuji is considered a symbol of Japan and is a very common motif in photographs and various works of art associated with this beautiful country. Also, it is one of the three holy mountains of Japan – the other two are Mount Tateyama and Mount Haku.
3. Sumo wrestling
Sumo is a type of wrestling more than 2,000 years old that originated in Japan. In addition, Japan today is the only country in the world where this noble skill is trained professionally. A total of 660 professional wrestlers are registered, and all of their coaches are former sumo wrestlers.
Sumo wrestlers live and train in common areas. Most things in their lives are dictated by tradition, from the menu to the clothes they wear in public. All sumo wrestlers must have a Shikon – a name they use when they are in the arena, but they are not allowed to choose it themselves. Their name is most often given by their coaches, and sometimes by fans. There are only 6 major sumo tournaments (Honbasho) held each year. These competitions have a lot of media attention and the Japanese consider them one of the biggest events of the year.
Fun fact: The heaviest sumo wrestler in history to be an official competitor is Yamamotoyama Ryuta, weighing 272kg. He competed from 2007-2011.
4. Japanese Art
Japanese calligraphy is another reason why you should visit Japan. This form of artistic writing in Japanese is known as shodo. There are two types of symbols in Japanese calligraphy – Kana and Kanji.
Another type of art for which Japan is world-famous is origami. It is the art of folding paper, which is taught today in countries around the world. It comes down to practicing and learning how to turn an ordinary rectangular sheet of paper into a beautiful paper sculpture with an unlimited number of combinations.
Haiku is Japanese poetry valued all over the world. It has a specific structure – 3 verses and 17 syllables. The syllables are arranged according to scheme 5 in the first, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third verse. It is always written in the present – the essence of haiku poetry is a short and precise description of a given moment in nature and the impression that a person experiences at that same moment, but without his/her own emphasis.
5. Onsen – Japanese hot springs
Japan is a country with a lot of active volcanoes, so it should come as no surprise that it is rich in geothermal water. There are thousands of hot springs throughout Japan. Spa centers called Onsen were built around the spring, and according to them, Japan is unique in the world.
There are open and closed baths in Japanese spas, and Onsen is also known for its traditional Japanese restaurants, which the Japanese call Ryokan. Some of them function as spa hotels, and a night spent in a ryokan that offers this type of rest and relaxation will help you relax and enjoy the true meaning of the word and supply the body with the necessary energy.
6. Japanese cuisine
Sushi, ramen, takoyaki… There are various Japanese dishes and specialties known all over the world, so lovers of good food will enjoy this country.
Japan is a country with as many as 28 restaurants that have 3 Michelin stars, which is why it ranks first in the world. In addition, the capital of Japan, Tokyo, is the city with the most restaurants that have been awarded at least one Michelin star – they received a total of 314 stars, which is almost three times more than the second-ranked restaurants in Paris, which have 114 stars.
7. The country with the lowest crime rates
Japan is known as the country with the lowest crime rate in the world and one of the safest countries to live in. When you travel there, don’t be surprised if you notice that people leave their valuables on the table in the restaurant while they go to the toilet or to the counter to order a meal and drinks.