Around the World

The Wonderful World of Japan: Bizarre Things That Only Happen in the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan is a marvelous place where weird and wonderful have a lovely relationship. While this eccentric country is notorious for its bizarre and unusual traditions, we must admit, there’s something charming about it. This interesting country is sure to set off a serious case of culture shock.

The life they live there is in no way similar to life in America… and it’s not a bad thing either. For outsiders, the country seems like a weird place, but for those who passed the culture shock phase in Japan, they know that the country is awesome. Before you head out to this exciting place, there are a few things you should know before you land. Let Popular Everything spark your curiosity by introducing you to some wacky things that happen only in Japan.

The Best Seat in the Car is Reserved for Your Dog

Dogs are the best things that happened to the planet! So there’s no reason to be jealous of the fact that your four-legged buddies will be riding first class when you drive them around town.

The spot is fit for a small or medium dog. But don’t forget that it’s got its own ac! Rock on dog!

Lap Pillows

Sometimes people need a shoulder to cry on, and other times they need a lap to put their head in.

For those who feel they need a lap to relax on, this is the perfect fit for you. It’s strange but it works for well for some people.

Maid Cafes… It’s Exactly What it Looks Like

We’ve seen bunny cafes but the weird dining places don’t stop with that. In maid cafes, you’ll find women dressed as maids serving you food.

The waitresses get all dolled up for work. For some reason, customers prefer this type of service.

Love Hotels Are Everywhere

Love hotels are a common thing to see in this country. A love hotel is a place for couples to have some romantic privacy for a night or even for a few hours.

They’re often themed. You can find a Hello Kitty love hotel, or you can pay the big bucks and book a room in a luxurious love hotel.

Robotic Girl Friends

Rumor has it; these robots are being mass produced. They are made to look pretty and young, and apparently, they are making loads of people happy. 

This is only the start of something huge. Next, we’ll have robotic waitresses and hostesses maybe even teachers.

Cuddle Cafes

Japan actually has cafes that are made for cuddling. Imagine walking into a cafe, jumping into a bed and cuddling. These cafes are equipped with beds, blankets, and stuffed animals.

There are a strict “cuddles only” rule that customers must follow. Although it sounds strange, there are some people out there looking for a hug in this cold world.

Mayo on Ice Cream

Mayo on Ice cream and everything else. Some people love mayo, and we accept them for who they are, but sometimes things go far beyond any potential acceptance.

For example, the mayo lovers of Japan light to top their ice cream with mayonnaise. Just, why?

Subway Chin Rest

Some say this gadget is strange and unnecessary, but Popular Everything would like to call it what it is… efficient. There is no reason why this subway headrest shouldn’t be a thing in the US.

Leave it to Japan to create a gadget that will let you sleep while standing on the subway, on the way to work. It’s light and portable. If you’ve ever stood for an hour on a crowded New York Subway, you’ll probably look for this on Amazon in the next few minutes.

Elevator Ladies

Maybe this is not so strange because we’ve seen some old school hotels hire some elevator service.

But there’s something bizarre about having a woman dress up as if she were in the ’20s to stand in an elevator. It just seems as if she’s a ghost.

You Can Hire a Professional Apologizer

If you don’t have the guts to tell someone your sorry, that’s totally fine… if you’re in Japan.

You can just hire someone to find the person you need to apologize to, and they’ll do it in a very respectful way.

Ear Cleaning Parlors!

People usually go get their hair, nails, and makeup done. Imagine casually walking into a place and scheduling a routine ear cleaning.

It seems super strange but, you never know. It might actually be cool.

Outrageously Expensive Melons

There’s nothing like sweet slices of melon on a summer day, but how sweet could this fruit taste after you pay $14,000 for it? In Japan, melons are an expensive delicacy.

To all of those planning a trip to Japan, stay away from the melons! Unless you’re willing to drop a minimum of 300 dollars, its best, you eat an apple.

World’s Shortest Escalator

This is another level of laziness. We all are guilty of taking the escalator when there are stairs right beside it. But when you take an escalator for four simple stairs, you’ve officially earned professional lazy person degree.

Although it’s always great to break some world records, there are better uses for the space that the escalator takes. How about a ramp for the handicapped?

Solar Powered Bras

The Japanese people seem to really be into the innovative types of things. For example, these solar powered bras.

Although it’s strange, it actually makes perfect sense. The idea is to use their bras as a source of power. They can charge up any device when there are no available plugs… We don’t know about you, but the Popular Everything team voted, and this is what we would take if we were only allowed a couple of things on an island.

Capsule Hotels

If you’re low on Yens and homeless for the night, the Capsule Hotel rents out personal, morgue-like capsules, where you can practice being dead for a night. We suppose some people are simply looking for a place to sleep without having to drop hundreds of dollars for a night. 

This is bizarre, but it’s efficient. Japan, we don’t judge you for this one!

Slurping Is Considered Good Manners

Slurping in a considered a polite thing to do in Japan. If you grew up getting in trouble for slurping your food at the table, Japan is the place you can get your slurp on!

The enthusiasm you express when you’re eating will finally be appreciated! Right on!

Island of Rabbits

Bunnies are cute as heck. Their fuzzy ears and whiskers are just irresistible. If you ever feel like you need to get your bunny-fill Japan is the place to do it.

If a basic petting zoo doesn’t cut it for you, you’ll be thrilled by Japan’s Island of Rabbits, where bunnies are bountiful and roam free, thanks to its lack of rodent predators.

Bunny Cafes

Yes, a Bunny Island is not enough for the Japanese people. Traveling to a bunny island is fun and all, but why not incorporate bunnies in daily activities.

There are cafe’s that help you live that bunny life you’ve always dreamed of. Here you can pet, play and dine with bunnies. What a dream…

Mr. Kanso Restaurant… If You Love Canned Food

At this restaurant there is no need to send your compliments to the chef, that’s because there really isn’t one. At this food joint, you have the freedom to choose from a variety of canned foods.

The concept is strange but, its a great way to keep your meals within the budget. Why not?

Suicide Forest

Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest or Sea of Trees. The forest is notorious for its unfortunately high rate of suicide incidences.

The most common means of suicide in the forest are hanging or drug overdose. People come here to remember those they lost in this forest.


Apparently, straight teeth are a thing of the past in this country. Women in Japan spend money on invasive procedures, to imperfect their teeth.

Remember all the torture and teasing you endured straightening your teeth? Well, you could have just moved to Japan and been beautiful the way you were.

Schools Have No Janitors

Now, this is not such a bad idea, but it is strange. Japanese schools save themselves some serious yens by having the students do the cleaning.

In addition to the fiscal benefits, these kids will learn responsibility. It’s also a great way to cause children to get really tired.

Adults Get Adopted for Business Purposes

Japan has an age-old tradition of keeping the business in the family. More often than not, the owner of a business will adopt their executives to pass on their business to their “son.”

This tradition leads to more than 98 percent of Japan’s adoptions being male and between the ages of 20-30.

Baby Mops… Two Birds One Stone

Being a parent is probably the most time-consuming job out there. Entertaining a crying baby is tough enough. Adding in daily chores like sweeping the floor, makes it even harder to get a moment of peace.

In Japan, they’ve figured out a way to kill two birds with one stone. If you want a moment to yourself, have your baby sweep the floors!

Ganguro Means Blackface in Japanese

While Japan’s traditional idea of female beauty is fair skin and dark hair, the rebellious teens of the country created a trend called Ganguro to defy this outdated stigma.

The translation of Ganguro is “blackface” and it involves applying dark face foundation, bright makeup, and bold clothing.


Every country has some sort of mafia, but Japan’s mafia is quite different than others. In Japan, the Yakuza isn’t a discrete underground crime organization. The gang members openly strut the streets of Japan with their full body tattoos and frightening demeanor, and no one can stop them.

When a member screws up, the punishment is cutting off his pinky. No big deal, right? They’ve become so mainstream, they even have special office buildings and appear on popular gossip magazines all around the world.

Women Dying Their Teeth Black

Back in the day, Japanese people thought that having black teeth was a sign of beauty. Women went out of their way to make their teeth as dark as possible.

Some older women still do this. So if you go to Japan and you see someone with Black teeth, it doesn’t mean they disregard hygiene altogether.

KFC for Christmas!

So Christmas is a little different in Japan. People don’t really buy an entire chicken or turkey for the holidays. So when American’s end up in Japan on Christmas, they eat KFC because it’s the closest thing to a traditional Christmas meal in America.

Eventually, the fad stuck, making KFC the place to be on Christmas.

Your Car is Marked if You’re 75 or Older

Japan experienced a high rate of fatalities caused accidentally by elderly people behind the wheel.

This pushed them to make a law warning others around these drivers that there is an old man or woman driving so be careful.

Vending Machines With Literally Everything

You can find loads of random stuff on the vending machines in Japan. Your options expand way further than sodas and candy bars.

In this case, you can get anything from a hot dog to some hard boiled eggs…

Care for Some Fishy Kit-Kats?

Kit Kat bars are awesome. In most places the only available flavor is chocolate. But when you’re in Japan, you should expect some weird flavors when you bite into these.

If someone offers you candy, you should think twice. It may look like strawberry but its actually fish. Good luck.

Tuna is a Big Deal… Like $700,000 BIG Deal

Japan is known for is quality fish. The Japanese are specifically interested in tuna and have high standards for it.

The most expensive tuna fish ever sold was worth over half a million dollars!!!

A Loaf of Eggs…?

You can have slices of cheese, salami, and bread. But there’s something really strange about a slice from a loaf of eggs.

Sure, eggs are great. But how did they get them to be in this shape?

Public Baths… Shower in the Nude With Strangers

Although this is totally uncomfortable for many people, you have to applaud the Japanese for making cleanliness accessible to all.

Surely there are some unspoken rules that go down in these places, Like “don’t look in each other’s eyes.” It’s more luxurious than a jail shower and more practical for public health.

Sleeping on the Job is Encouraged

The Japanese are a hard-working people. Some people even work 15 hours a day. That’s why sleeping on the job is a good thing.

A nap at your desk is only a sign of more quality work to come.

Why Not Dine in a Hospital Themed Restaurant

Once again, we find another bizarre restaurant. This place serves beer in a urine container and loads of dishes in the shape of organs.

Not to mention, your dessert looks like blood on a pad. The pics are too much for us to post but google it if you’re curious. Yuck!

Sand Bathing

It’s exactly what it sounds like. People pay money to bathe in the sand…

Apparently, this is supposed to be really soothing for people, and it lets them feel like they are one with the earth.

Alcohol for Your Pets…?

Well, not real alcohol. There is a Japanese company that designed a line of pretend-alcoholic beverages for pets.

Honestly, why not? We already make birthday parties for our pets, may as well let them crack open a cool one.

Train Pushers

If you thought space was tight on the NYC subways, you’ve got to see what’s happening in Japan.

The public transportation is too packed that people are paid to push the passenger into the trains so that the doors can close.

Were Not Too Sure What to Call This…

If you ever had the flu, you probably know what its like to constantly need a tissue.

Japan found a way to make that problem, a little less difficult!