Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 1. You buy bread based on how thick you want the slices to be. 2. If you're worried about your cold groceries on the trip home, most modern Japanese supermarkets have free dry ice machines for you to use, specifically for that reason. 3. Convenience stores keep balls of paint underneath their counters for workers to throw at thieves, marking their clothes and body to make it easier for the police to catch them. I threw one of these at a thief once when I was working at a conbini and because I was a pitcher I was able to hit him! But I don't know if the police ever found him. 4. Everyone knows how common convenience stores, aka conbinis, are. It's said that you're almost always within walking distance of a conbini. Knowing that, there are actually more dental clinics in Japan than there are conbinis. Twice as many, if you count each dentist. There's even a whole Japanese Wikipedia page called “The Problem of Too Many Dentists”. 5. You can order a smile for free at Japanese McDonald's, even as delivery. 6. Japan imported the culture of suits and ties from Europe, meaning most Japanese tie stripes slant up to the right, the opposite of most American ties, which slant up to the left. 7. School buses in Japan are mostly used for kindergarteners only, and boi those are some adorable buses. 8. Most Japanese streets don't have names. Your address is instead determined by a block and house numbering system. 9. There's a package delivery company called (Kuroneko) Yamato, which means black cat Yamato. Not only is their logo cats, but when they leave an attempted delivery slip in your mailbox it has indentations cut out in the shape of cat ears so that blind people can easily recognize the slip. 10. If you're not home when the mailman delivers a package, they will leave a number for you to call, so they can redeliver within a 2 hour time window of your choosing. 11. If you call before 6pm-8pm (depending on the company), they can often redeliver the same day. And while many numbers go to call centers, some numbers call your mailman in their truck directly. 12. Japanese houses depreciate in value, like cars. A standard Japanese house reaches negative value, by the time it's 15-30 years old, meaning empty land is worth more than land with an old house. 13. This is in part due to many reasons. Many houses in the past were built cheaply in expectation of this cycle and then not well-maintained. Constant updated earthquake safety regulations lead to newer houses being safer. And technology is always improving so newer houses have better features, like better insulation and, in some cases, even central heating and cooling! 14. While old houses were generally demolished over time and then built anew, these days as housing quality increases, more and more people are opting for renovating old houses or apartments rather than tearing them down. 15. Because of the aging population combined with urbanization, small Japanese towns and villages are increasingly at risk of disappearing altogether. In 2015 Japan had an estimated 15,568 terminal villages, or villages where more than 50% of the population is over the age of 65. That was 20% of the villages surveyed. Only 5 years before it was 15%. 16. There were also 801 villages where ALL of the residents were aged 65 or older. And 306 villages where all residents were 75, or older. 17. Japan's aging population has resulted in changing infrastructure. They have car stickers that specifically mark elderly drivers. They also have stickers for people who have been driving less than a year. 18. Of course handicapped parking spots are a thing, but some places also have designated spaces near the entrance for senior drivers. 19. Most expressways in Japan, which are often suspended above ground, are heftily tolled. A trip from Nagoya to Tokyo, which is less than the distance between Houston and Dallas, costs approximately $80 one way just to use the expressway. 20. Almost everyone backs into parking spaces in Japan. With smaller spaces you have more control over backing in. And it's safer pulling out in what are often densely packed and highly populated parking lots. 21. Driver training costs roughly 2 - 4,000 dollars and you have to go to a driver school for about a month. 22. You can shorten that to two weeks by going away to an actual driver training camp. No seriously, you stay there overnight and everything. 23. More people in Japan use trains as their primary mode of transportation than any other country in the world—30.5% compared to the next highest of 17.2% in Switzerland. 24. Construction barriers are often shaped like cute animals. Because why not? 25. Many Japanese shopping centers these days have electric car chargers near the entrance. There was a report that said there are now more electric car chargers in Japan than gas stations, but that counted each charger separately as well as personal chargers. But it's still a good step in the right direction! 26. In Japan, half the country's electrical grid operates at 50 Hz and half operates at 60 Hz. This is because when Japan began introducing electricity to large cities, Tokyo purchased a 50 Hz generator from Germany and Osaka purchased a 60 Hz generator from the US. Both systems eventually spread and now it's too expensive to switch one over. During the earthquake and tsunami of 3/11, this meant that the southern half of Japan couldn't provide backup power to the northern half because of the incompatible grids. 27. In the past some electrical equipment like microwaves couldn't be used in the other half of the country, but these days most products have been designed to work on both a 50 and 60 Hz system. 28. The Japanese music industry is the second highest grossing music industry in the world after the US. 29. This is spurred by the fact that Japanese people buy more physical CD's and music DVD's than any other country in the world. 72% of music sales in Japan are still physical, compared to only 15% in the US. 30. In the land of the rising sun, the sun literally rises AT 4:30 AM in cities like Tokyo and Nagoya in the height of summer. 31. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and some species of Japanese bamboo can grow up to a meter a day in its early growth. 32. New bamboo shoots are also incredibly strong and capable of growing through wood, stone, and sometimes even concrete. This combined with its fast growth have led to rare but very real cases of Japanese people waking up in the morning to find a bamboo shoot growing in the middle of their house. 33. Hydrangeas were first cultivated in Japan, and as a result Japan has a much larger variety of hydrangeas than America. You'll find them along roadsides all over the country. 34. The name of this Japanese species of hydrangea, which Jun used in his cooking video, is Dance Party! 35. Many common Japanese monsters in anime and mythology are based off of real animals and insects. 36. There are so many cicadas in Japan that they come out every year. The sound of cicadas is the quintessential sound of summer. You'll notice them often in the background of TV shows, anime, and video games to establish the summer setting. 37. Because cicadas are so omnipresent, the average Japanese person is probably able to identify at least 6 different species by their songs. Abura-zemi Kuma-zemi Tsukutsukuboushi Minmin-zemi Niinii-zemi Higurashi 38. Japan has only two native species wild cats, which are both found only on remote islands so you're probably never going to run into any of them. They are the leopard cat on Tsushima island, and the Iriomote cat on Iriomote island. 39. Japan has been rabies-free since 1957, and as a result if you want to bring a pet into the country it requires a 6 month quarantining process to make sure it doesn't have rabies. 40. Japan has almost no general practitioners. This means that when you go to the doctor you're almost always going directly to a specialist. 41. 77% of Japanese people have a gene variation that gives them both dry earwax and significantly decreased body odor. 42. Japanese over the counter drugstore medications come in three categories based on how disruptive the side effects are. Category 1 drugs, like Loxonin (a pain medication), can't be bought unless you consult the in-store pharmacist first, even though it's technically an over the counter medication. 43. The birth control pill wasn't legalized until 1999 due to questions concerning the safety, and partly because of that only 1-3% of Japanese women use it even today. 44. Carrying swords around in public was made illegal in 1876 in an effort to remove power from the samurai class. 45. Today, it remains illegal to own a sword in Japan unless the sword is licensed by the government. 46. Only Nihonto, or Japanese swords, either antique swords or swords made by registered smiths can be licensed, meaning it is entirely illegal to own foreign-made swords in Japan. 47. Japanese sword smiths can't change the methods they use to make swords, meaning even modern swords are still made the same way as Japanese swords of the past. 48. The steel used to make Japanese swords, tamahagane, is also produced the traditional way. There is a position called murage who is the manager of this process. One of his jobs is to judge the temperature of the fire by eyesight, and because of this, historically many of them eventually went blind. 49. In the Meiji period, because it became so difficult for people to carry swords, and for manufacturers to make swords, the demand dropped significantly and many prominent sword smiths switched to making kitchen knives that have no such regulations. 50. And because the technology used to create kitchen knives has continuously improved over time, now Japanese cooking knives can be made sharper than katana swords. Thank you to Skillshare for sponsoring this video! Skillshare is an online learning community that offers thousands of classes for basically everything you can imagine, from creative projects to cooking classes, professional design and business classes, and even Japanese lessons! Rachel actually got ideas and recipes for my birthday presents from Skillshare last year and honestly I loved them. Anyone can take a class, try a project, or even sign up to teach classes. Once you become a member you can take an unlimited number of classes and premium membership is less than $10 a month. The first 1,000 people to sign up with our link below can get a free two month trial! Thank you for watching!