Many of us love to travel for very many reasons, adventuring, learning a language, tasting different cuisines, meeting people, for business, etc. But as a frequent traveler, you may want to find out the crazy/weird life of people who act/behave strangely and learn about their baffling cultures and the general perception of life. Japan is regarded as the world’s weirdest country because of the strange things that happen there. Let’s talk about them below.

As the world continues to open up with the ever improving technology that has necessitated connections among people, in Japan people are beginning to shut themselves from the society. These are called Hikikomori and they are young adults and adolescents who have chosen to live a life of solitude by preferring to shut themselves in the bedrooms rather than face off with the fast-moving outside world. There are currently about 3.6 Hikikomori in Japan.

Kanamara Matsuri is a local penis-venerating festival
Kanamara Matsuri is a local penis-venerating festival

You may not believe it but every year in Japan they hold fertility festivals, locally known as Kanamara Matsuri. The fertility festival is held every spring at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki. Normally the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April. The phallus, as the central theme of the event, is illustrated in candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade. The festival is centered on a local penis-venerating shrine that claims to offer remedies to sexual problems.

Do you sometimes feel pity for crying babies? Well, in Japan, there are competitions where Sumo wrestlers make babies cry. Normally new parents would gather at the Irugi Shrine in Tokyo on Sundays to take part in a 400-year-old ritual known as Naki Sumo. During the Naki Sumo, two wrestlers stand across from each other, each carrying a baby, and then compete to make the babies cry. The child that cries first, or the one that cries the loudest, wins the competition. This ritual is believed to bring good health to the little ones.

Other crazy things in Japan include the Hizamakura or the lap pillow which goes for $86 USD. This is a life-sized pillow in the shape of woman’s hip and legs and is specially made for companionship. It is also one of the most popular Christmas and end of year gifts in Japan. There are also the funnel glasses which are designed to guide eye drops so that they don’t miss their mark. These glasses are very useful to the people who use eye drops all the time!

If your conventional umbrella doesn’t protect you from the violent rainfall when in Japan, you won’t have to keep getting wet over and over again when there’s a cover-all umbrella. This will not protect just your head, but the entire body and whatever you’re carrying and trust me, you won’t get wet! And some eating habits too, when eating noodles, or Soba (buckwheat), you are expected to slurp loudly indicating that the food is delicious. Just know that not slurping while eating is considered rude.

Also, when you have a bowl of food, for example, rice, you’re expected to pick it up and bring it up close to your mouth to eat. If you don’t do so, people think that you are eating like a dog. Again, never stick your chopsticks upright in your rice. That is only done when food is offered to the dead. When it is not an offering this is considered a bad omen.

Have you ever heard of the Capsule hotel? Well, this is a type of hotel that features a large number of really small rooms (capsules). These are intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require the services offered by more conventional hotels. Some of them include a television, Wi-Fi connection, and electronic consoles.

The capsule hotel cubicles.
The capsule hotel cubicles.

The open end of the capsule can be closed, for privacy, with a curtain or a fiberglass door. Luggage is stored in a locker and washrooms are communal. While in Japan, you may want to try out one. In Japan, you’ll find the weirdest hotel where you’ll encounter a dinosaur receptionist. The Henn – na (Weird) Hotel lets guests check in with robots which also deliver their luggage to rooms. These robots will welcome you in English and then guide you on the check-in process.

Lastly, where in the world would you find more than 5.5 million vending machines? Well, nowhere else other than Japan! You can find these vending kiosks on almost every block and they sell almost everything. From batteries to beer, wine, condoms, cigarettes, comic books, hot dogs, lightbulbs, crepes, soft drinks, coffee, juice, noodles, eggs, sandwiches, and toys. Easy!!

That’s Japan for you…

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