Japan is over 70% mountainous terrain with approximately 18% land mass suitable for human settlement. Japanese cities are typically sprawling and densely populated. Tokyo, a megalopolis and the capital of Japan, is located on Honshu island. Central Tokyo has a population of 12 million people, with the population of the Greater Tokyo Area estimated at over 35 million people.

Raw horse meat is a popular entree in Japan. Sliced thinly and eaten raw it is called basashi.

Over 70% of Japan consists of mountains. The country also has over 200 volcanoes.

A musk melon (similar to a cantaloupe) can sell for over 31,473 yen ($300.00).

The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100%.

The two major religions in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism. While religion does not play a major role in the life of the average Japanese, religious ceremonies are usually held at births, weddings, and funerals. On New Year's Day visiting a temple or shrine is also a common custom. About 1% of the population follow Christianity, which was heavily persecuted in Japan prior to the Meiji Restoration in 1873.

There are vending machines in Japan that dispense beer!

Animated Japanese films and television shows (.i.e.: Anime) account for 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment. So successful is animation in Japan, that there are almost 130 voice-acting schools in the country.

Japanese is the official language of Japan. Many Japanese also have some ability in writing and speaking English as it is a mandatory part of the curriculum in the Japanese educational system. Japanese uses four different writing systems; Kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana (phonetic alphabet for native words), Katakana (phonetic alphabet for foreign words), and Romaji (western alphabet used to write Japanese). Japanese vocabulary has been strongly influenced by loanwords from other languages, with most loanwords coming from Chinese and English.

21% of the Japanese population is elderly, the highest proportion in the world.

In the past, the Japanese court system has had a conviction rate as high as 99%!

Japanese prisons (as of 2003) operated at an average of 117% capacity.

Raised floors help indicate when to take off slippers or shoes. At the entrance to a home in Japan, the floor will usually be raised about 6 inches (15.24 cm.) indicating you should take off your shoes and put on slippers. If the house has a tatami mat room, its floor may be raised 1-2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm.) indicating you should take off your slippers.

The climate of Japan varies considerably depending on the region and season. Summer is usually very hot and humid, known to the Japanese as "mushiatsui". From mid June there is a rainy season which lasts around one month. Winters are usually mild, with the northern areas of Japan receiving more snow. Spring and autumn are usually sunny with mild temperatures.

Japanese people have an average life-expectancy that is 4 years longer than Americans.

Some men in Japan shave their heads as a form of apology.

Japan has the second lowest homicide rate in the world, but is also home to the extremely spooky suicide forest, aokigahara.

Japan has produced 15 Nobel laureates (in chemistry, medicine and physics), 3 Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize laureate.

Younger sumo-wrestlers are traditionally required to clean and bathe the veteran sumo-wrestlers at their wrestling “stables”.

Japan’s unemployment rate is less than 4%.

Japanese is the official language of Japan. Many Japanese also have some ability in writing and speaking English as it is a mandatory part of the curriculum in the Japanese educational system. Japanese uses four different writing systems; Kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana (phonetic alphabet for native words), Katakana (phonetic alphabet for foreign words), and Romaji (western alphabet used to write Japanese). Japanese vocabulary has been strongly influenced by loanwords from other languages, with most loanwords coming from Chinese and English.

Japan consists of over 6,800 islands.

“Tetsuo: Iron Man” (no relation to the comic book, or Robert Downey, Jr. film), a relatively popular, extreme, “Cyberpunk” film (a “cyberpunk” film is a science fiction film that involves technology – and the abuse thereof – and social unrest), was based on a play the director Shinya Tsukamoto wrote and directed in college.

A Paleolithic culture from about 30,000 BC is the first known inhabitants of Japan.

Prolific Japanese film-maker Takahi Miike made up to 50 films in a decade during the peak of his career.

Over 70% of Japan consists of mountains. The country also has over 200 volcanoes.

A musk melon (similar to a cantaloupe) can sell for over 31,473 yen ($300.00).

The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100%.

There are vending machines in Japan that dispense beer!

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