Only in Japan!

Japan is roughly the size of California with about 130 million inhabitants. The island nation is ranked third among the world’s economic  powerhouses . Japanese culture to Western observers is interesting, vibrant, and exciting! When we think of Japan, sushi, samurai and sumo wrestling immediately come to mind. Japan is known for its technological advancements, kawaii, and cosplay culture that never cease to amaze us.  At the same time, Japanese culture is also rich with ancient traditions and practices that are deeply ingrained in the daily lives of the people.

Japan is also known for setting trends and coming up with some weird things just because they can.

Here are some of the weirdest things found only in Japan:

The Puchicalator – is the world’s shortest escalator. It doesn’t seem to have any real purpose rather than to hold the title for the Guinness Book of World Records “the World’s Shortest Escalator”.

The Puchicalator is 2.7 feet long, and it only takes people one way, and that’s five steps down. It is located at the basement of More’s Department Store in Kawasaki. On the other side is a more conventional, and albeit, faster way, good old regular steps.

World’s shortest escalator. | Ran Zwigenberg

Cat Island Tashirojima is a small island in Japan in Ishinomaki, Miyagi. The island has a small fishing community of about 100 residents.  The amazing thing about Tashirojima is the number of cats that live in it, outnumbering the locals almost four to one. The stray cats thrive on the island because residents believe that feeding the cats will bring them wealth and good fortune. These cats roam freely in the streets and most can be found hanging around Nitoda Port.

KFC for a Christmas feast -whoever thought KFC would ever be a traditional Christmas dish? KFC in Japan is the epitome of a Christmas meal. When a group of foreigners could not find turkey in Japan, they opted to have fried chicken instead. KFC saw this as a great marketing opportunity and launched their first Christmas meal in 1974. The fast food chain now gets Christmas orders months in advance.

KFC during Christmas. | erysimum9

No Janitors in public schools – Japanese public schools do not employ janitors. It is a Japanese ideology that by making the students responsible for keeping the school clean themselves without having a Janitor, students in Japan do not learn to look down on janitors and custodians.

It is also instilled in the students’ mindset that cleaning the school is everyone’s responsibility and they are not above such work.

Classroom in Japan. | eightydaysjet