15 Things Japan Is Famous For

things japan is famous for
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Get to explore the amazing attractions of Japan and return home with gifts and souvenirs. Japan is not only famous for its traditional arts but also it is well known for culinary exports. Travelers and tourists spend a lot of time searching for what to do. Japan has famous attractions that make tourists come back, again and again, such as Mount Fuji, Arashiyama, Kiyomizu-Dera, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Osaka castle, Tokyo Tower, Meiji jungu and Odaiba We have searched the market and selected the fancy and most popular things in Japan. As you explore these amazing experiences, make sure that you have a comfortable stay in the form of the top Airbnbs and pod hotels in the country. Scroll down and learn about the top things Japan is famous for.

1. Ramen

Ramen
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Pursehouse used under CC BY 2.0

This list will not even be remotely complete without ramen. Who else doesn’t love the rich umami broth and the warm feeling after you’ve slurped this heaven-sent creation? Ramen is traditionally wheat noodles in a meat-based broth with miso or soy sauce, though almost every region in the country has their own version of the noodles. Take for one the tonkotsu ramen, or pork bone broth, which originated in Kyushu. This famous Japanese noodle soup is often served with various toppings like egg, chashu (pork slices), nori, and scallions.

2. Koi fish

Koi
Source: Photo by Flickr user Becky Wetherington used under CC BY 2.0

That marbly orange and golden fish that you see in outdoor water gardens are called koi fish, a type of Amur carp. This ornamental fish was originally bred in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, during the 19th century. Nishikigoi Village in Ojiya is the single museum in the world that displays the breeding history of this symbolic fish; the museum also exhibits varieties of living koi. Koi has been a symbol of prosperity, luck, and good fortune in Japan. It also symbolizes fortitude.

3. Bullet trains

Shinkansen N700 with Mount Fuji
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user tansaisuketti used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Leave it to Japan to have created one of the most efficient modes of public transportation. Bullet train, or locally known as Shinkansen, is the high-speed railway network in the country. It was originally built to connect the outskirt regions of Japan to its capital, Tokyo, in an effort to boost the development of the economy. Tokaido Shinkansen belongs to the list of the world’s busiest railways, being the railway connection of Japan’s biggest cities: Osaka, Tokyo, and Nagoya. Over the course of its 50-plus-year operations, there has not been a single Shinkansen-related accident.

4. Cherry blossom

cherry-blossom
Source: Photo by Flickr user Syuzo Tsushima used under CC BY 2.0

One of the most prominent Japanese culture staples is the cherry blossom, also known as sakura, which is the country’s national flower. The cherry blossom tree, its bloom and death, are symbolic of the fleeting nature of life, which is deeply ingrained in the Japanese culture. The impermanence of things is seen as a beautiful opportunity to appreciate what’s in front of us and has often been associated with our own mortality, and the Japanese believe that we must be graceful in accepting whatever destiny throws our way.

5. Mochi

Mochi
Source: Photo by Flickr user Curt Smith used under CC BY 2.0

A great addition to the Japanese culture arsenal is the well-loved dessert called mochi. These fluffy little balls are actually Japanese rice cakes made from mochigome, a type of glutinous rice. Water, sugar, and cornstarch are often added to mochi. Japan even has a traditional ceremony called mochitsuki, a mochi-pounding event often held during the New Year. It has since gained popularity due to the rise of mochi ice cream, which is exactly its name—delicious ice cream wrapped in an equally delicious mochi!

6. Sumo wrestling

Sumo Wrestling - Tokyo
Source: Photo by user ElHeineken used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Japan is the only country where sumo is practiced professionally. It’s been in the market and relevant for the last 1500 years. Six tournaments are held every year, three in Tokyo in January, May, and September, and one each in Osaka in March, Nagoya in July and Fukuoka in November. You can enroll for morning training at an affordable price. Any seat in the arena is good since you can view the matches easily. It is very enjoyable to watch competitors in action. Most matches last less than 30 seconds. It’s always a fantastic experience and it’s made better by having a guide to explain who the wrestlers are and how the tournament operates. Sumo wrestling is worth your holiday, make reservations and be sure to enjoy.

7. Capsule hotels

Capsule hotel corridor
Source: Photo by user Butch used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Are you looking for basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require or who cannot afford larger or more expensive rooms? Then capsule hotels are for you. Many of their amenities are communally shared, including toilets, showers, wireless internet, and dining rooms. The rooms vary in size, from fifty or so capsules to 700, and they primarily cater to men. Some capsule hotels offer separate sections for male and female guests, or even separate floors and separate elevators. Luggage and valuables are usually stored in lockers or if available, in-room safes. Capsule hotels are the perfect place for solo travelers or groups of friends. They are spread in most countries in the world like Japan.

8. Samurais

Samurai-in-Armour-by-Kusakabe-Kimbei
Source: Photo by user Kusakabe Kimbei used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Samurais are some of the coolest warriors in history. This popular thing in Japan had a key and eccentric position in the country’s culture. They were one of the highest-ranked military class who eventually turned into the highest-ranking social class back in the days. Many people still admire the samurai lifestyle and culture. In Japanese history, samurai history has a special place. You can find historical samurai residents and samurai castles all over Japan. There are various samurai-themed amusement parks and museums dedicated to honoring the samurai tradition. Today, many years after the samurai era, Japan is still famous for samurai.

9. Historical buildings

Horyu-ji11s3200
Source: Photo by user 663highland used under CC BY 2.5

Many visitors to Japan are usually surprised to find out that, as one of the world’s most industrialized nations, this relatively small country in Asia boasts a deep history that is traced back to thousands of years. Many significant cathedrals were built, Buddhist temples and Japan’s Shinto are the best examples of such historical buildings that were already well established and drawing pilgrims and patrons for their own elaborate designs and décor. Apart from the mentioned temples, some of the iconic historic buildings also include Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Kofuku-Ji Temple, Great Temples of Nara and many others. Japan is well known to have the most captivating old castle, temples and parks.

10. Colorful festivals

Chrysanthemum festival, Miyauchi, Nanyo City, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan - 20051016
Source: Photo by user Geomr~commonswiki used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Japan knows how to throw a party, whatever the season. These eight autumn festivals from all across the country include wild street parades, races of historical costumes and epicure street food that will satisfy even the most critical specialist. Japan’s early culture, stunning vibrant cities and breathtaking art scene make this nation an interesting destination. But during the country’s many colorful celebrations and festivals, tourists are able to enjoy a uniquely magical experience that’s unlike anywhere else. Japanese festivals are an excellent way to gain awareness of the regional culture and make memories that will last a lifetime.

11. Manga and anime

Anime Girl
Source: Photo by user Niabot used under CC BY 3.0

What is Japan famous for, you ask? Once almost completely unknown to the world outside Japan, manga and anime have become a global phenomenon and their popularity is growing every day. Most visitors to Japan simply skim the surface of manga and anime by visually appreciating the characters who pop up wherever you go. Japan is well known to have recorded thousands of tourists visiting its amazing anime and manga spots. Such include Pokemon Centre, Gundam Front, J-world, Nakano Broadway, Suginami Animation Museum, Tokyo Animation Centre, Yoshihiro Yonezawa Memorial Library of Manga and Subcultures, Otome Road and Asagaya Anime Street. You can drop by and wander through as you check out the best manga and anime with your kids.

12. Specialist stores

HK ALC South Horizons 海怡廣場 西翼 Marina Square West Centre shop JHC Japan Home City Dec 2016 Lnv2
Source: Photo by user ZIouhoaja used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Japan is famously known to produce high-quality brand items at a cheaper price. Japan has it all: high-end and offbeat fashion, vintage ware, electronics and that gadget you didn’t know existed and now desperately want. Thousands of visitors make their way to Japan for shopping in specialist stores. While exploring this beautiful destination, you will discover various specialist stores such as Koenji and Kichijoji, Kurumae, Asakusa, Ginza, Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro, Shibuya, Shimo-Kitagawa, Shunjuku and Akihabara. These specialist stores are the best for shopping since there are all varieties of items. Be sure to drop by and check out anything you need before going back home.

13. Sake or nihonshu

Nihonshu
Source: Photo by user Binh Giang used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Traveling in Japan is never fully complete without a drink of its own traditional booze. The word “sake” is often misunderstood by non-Japanese. This famous thing in Japan simply means alcohol. Nihonshu, Japanese sake, is made from fermented rice. it has become very popular around the world, attracting thousands of tourists in Japan who come back again and again to have a bottle. Some of the best nihonshu include Juyondai, Dessai, Kokuryu, Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai, Hakkaisan, Gekkeikan, Tozai and Tentaka Shuzo. After a long day of wandering in the city, you can drop by in any sake spot and have a bottle of one.

14. Mt. Fuji

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Mt Fuji And Fullmoon</div>
Source: Photo by user Noriaki Fukasawa used under CC BY 3.0

What is Japan known for when it comes to the outdoors? Mt. Fuji, of course. This is the quaintest mountain in the world. It is perfectly positioned and stands tall by itself. Due to its history and looks, the volcanic mountain is favored for millions of paintings and drawings and all people from across the world can pinpoint Fuji from just a brief glance. It is considered sacred by followers of the Shinto religion and for many people, it is a key pilgrimage destination. It is the second visited mountain in the world; many people climb Mount Fuji. It is always fun climbing the mountain with friends. There’s no limitation to climbing the mountain as long as you have the proper gear.

15. Onsen

Onsen in Nachikatsuura, Japan
Source: Photo by user Chris 73 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

An Onsen is a hot water spring. There are tons of natural hot water springs spread all over Japan because it’s a volcanically active country. The onsen bathing started many years ago, so the onsen culture is rooted in Japanese society. Onsen culture in Japan is unique. There si something called “naked friendship” (Hadaka no tsukiai). The meaning is that as soon as you remove your clothes, you will feel ease and really get to know each other on a deeper level. There are both outdoor and indoor Onsens and many of them are chaperoned by a traditional Japanese inn called ryokan. The ryokan serves as a spa hotel which gives a genuine yet luxurious feeling. The onsen rules and etiquette vary from one to another. Consider that when booking your onsen hotel.

Explore Japan

If you are planning to visit Japan or you are already in Japan, it is quite obvious that there are numerous things you can indulge in. In case you run out of ideas on what to do during your time here, don’t worry, just check the article above.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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