30 Things You Can Only See in Japan Even If You Travel the Whole World

Elements from Japanese culture are in our lives right now: many people watch anime and Japanese TV series, they eat wok and sushi, and they listen to songs by Japanese singers. And even such a seemingly ordinary thing as karaoke actually originated in Japan. However, there are still some things that can only be seen in the Land of the Rising Sun.

We at Clever Ideas have found out which cultural things can’t be seen anywhere but in Japan.


“When you see a green man, start crossing the road,” we learned this back when we were children. But on some pedestrian crossings in Japan, you won’t see a green man. Instead, you will see the rabbit Miffy — a character created by Dick Bruna, a Dutch children’s book author. But how did this character make it into Japanese culture? The answer is simple: Miffy looks a lot like Hello Kitty — the “face” of the famous brand.


Vending machines have long been not uncommon, we are used to buying coffee and snacks in them. But in Japan, the popular machine is also used for the sale of underwear and swimwear. Sophisticated mechanism allows you to select the desired size through the control panel. And most importantly, no fuss – the purchase takes a matter of seconds. Perhaps the only drawback of the system is the inability to try on the product.


We are used to sitting on chairs in local cafes and bars. But the Japanese are used to a high level of comfort wherever they are. So, the chairs in Japanese cafes look a lot more like low armchairs that you can lie on. The Europeans call this piece of furniture Izakaya — just like the type of establishment where you can see these low chairs.


In order to reduce stress and get rid of headaches, we often use special massagers which have a very simple design. In Japan, there is a more creative and “lazy” variant — electric devices that look like multicolored octopuses.


Pringles have been very popular in a crazy number of countries for many years now. But in Japan, Pringles is a brand of noodles that people in this country eat very often.