Japan has been captivating travellers since it first opened up to international trade in 1853. While its many traditions and cultural landmarks persist, Japan is also one of the leading economic and technological centres of the world. Ancient gods and traditional customs sit side by side with cutting edge technologies and trendy pop culture, and there is always something new to experience on a visit.
From the fashion in Harajuku to perfect produce, to empty orchestras and meal-time etiquette, here are the top 15 facts about Japan you probably never knew. There are plenty of reasons you voted it one of the most beautiful countries in the world, as revealed in our gallery of gorgeous photos of Japan.
15 interesting and fun facts about Japan
1. The oldest company in the world is in Japan
Kongo Gumi is the oldest operating business in the world, established in 578. It specialises in the construction of temples and shrines.
Interested in exploring Japan’s temples? Discover Kanazawa — AKA Little Kyoto — before everyone else does.
2. Japan has the 11th largest population in the world
An estimated 126 million people live in Japan. Since 2011, Japan’s population has been noticeably declining mostly due to low birth rates- some say it is due to expensive childcare and the difficulty of finding well-paying jobs.
Travelling with your own kids? Find out how to plan a family holiday in Japan.