The land of the rising sun is a country that has the perfect blend of modernity and ancient culture. Its technology and traditions never cease to amaze. The more you get to know this place, the deeper you fall in love with it. Here are 15 reasons why you should definitely visit Japan once in your lifetime.
1. Capsule hotels
Hotel is a misnomer for these extremely small spaces. It might take a while for you to get used to these compartments, but your trip to Japan will not be complete if you do not stay in one of these. Claustrophobic people, stay away.
2. Travel in the one of the world's fastest trains - The Bullet Train.
Zipping away at 300 km/hr, it seems more like travelling in a plane that refuses to take off. Although this science marvel is chock-a-block with people during the peak hours, you don't have to worry about getting into it as Japan has Professional Pushers who will push you into it!
3. You can slurp your noodle shamelessly
While in most parts of the world it is rude to slurp your food, in Japan, it is rude not to slurp your food. So the next time you are dining in Japan, make sure you slurp the loudest. Do they have a competition for this?
4. You can sleep next to a stranger
Of course there's a lot of money involved, but after a long day at work no tired worker will think twice before shelling out those yens to sleep in the arms of a beautiful Japanese woman. Don't get your hopes too high because cuddling her is by far the most intimate thing you can do in these cafes, popularly known as Cuddle Cafes.
5. You get to enjoy Valentine's day, twice a year
The Japs are known to be warm and loving people, so much so that they celebrate the day of love twice a year. The second Valentine's Day falls on 25th December. So if you are looking for a reason to celebrate another Valentine's Day, just fly to Japan during Christmas with your loved one and spend a romantic day there. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
6. You are not expected to tip waiters
If you've always been prick when it comes to tipping, then Japan is the place for you. Servers here not only do not expect any tips, they would refuse it even if you gave them any. You'll be surprised by their courteous demeanour and their unconditional service. No wonder Japan is considered to offer the world's best hospitality.
7. Sumo wrestling
These giant men have always fascinated us. Most of us may just have seen them on TV, but to see them right in front of you is an experience in itself. The grand entrance these wrestlers make in their loincloths is something to watch out for.
8. The tradition of Crying Babies
Although there are a lot of traditions in Japan that you can witness, the most interesting one seems to be that of the Crying Babies. This seemingly inhuman tradition involves Sumo wrestlers trying to make babies cry. It is believed that the louder the baby cries, the better for it.
9. Napping at work is a sign of a hardworking employee
While in India, being caught napping by your boss might send you packing, in Japan, it may send you higher up the ranks. The Japanese believe that if a worker is sleeping at work, it just goes to prove how hard he/she has been working. Some employees even go to the extent of taking a nap on purpose to impress their bosses.
10. Japan has some of the most weird vending machines
From a live crab vending machine to a bra vending machine, the Japanese have tried to stock almost everything in these boxes. Not only do these vending machines dispense some of the most bizarre things, they are also found in places you will not believe. They have a food vending machine on Mount Fuji.
11. It is also home to the world's second most popular suicide location - the Aokigahara Forest
Located at the foot of Mount Fuji, this forest is so dense that it is easy to lose one's way here. This place is marked with an absence of wildlife and is disturbingly silent. A lot of people have reported that they have felt a strange sense of depression and an urge to end their lives. If you plan to explore this forest, brace yourself to see the legs of some corpse poking out from between the rich foliage.
12. The Cherry Blossom Season
This season commemorates the beginning of the New Year for the Japanese. The whole city is dressed up and is clogged with revelers. The fragrance of the cherry blossoms takes over the place and the city is literally painted in pink. It is a sight that should not be missed.
13. You get to slip into those Toilet Slippers
While you may be too lazy to fix that flush of the toilet, the Japanese are so particular about cleanliness that they even have separate plastic slippers for entering the toilet. You may call it OCD, but the Japanese call it personal hygiene.
14. The high tech Japanese Washlet Toilets.
In Japan, technology is found everywhere... even in their toilets. These washlet toilets have so many buttons and functions that you wonder what more can one do to make 'dumping' a comfortable experience. I won't be surprised if these things were capable of flying too.
15. Imperfect teeth are considered cute
The Japanese woman will do anything to woo her man... by hook or by crook. And mostly, it's by crook. Don't get me wrong. When I say 'crook' I mean 'crooked teeth'. In Japan, men find women with deformed chompers extremely attractive and thus a lot of women have been queuing up to deform their pearly whites! I agree, she does look cute.