The melon drop scam was a con that targeted Japanese tourists. Scammers would buy a watermelon for a low price and then bump into an Asian tourist and charge them about $100 for the broken melon. This is due to the higher fruit prices in Japan. These days the scam involves any broken item.
Japanese scientists hypothesized that zebras’ stripes deter insects. So they painted black and white stripes on cows and striped cows had about 50% fewer biting flies land on them than unpainted cows.
In the 1980s Japan introduced forest bathing (being around trees) as part of its national health program. Known as shinrin-yoku, Japan has official forests based upon their unique physiological and psychological effects. The essential oils of trees (phytoncides) reduce stress and boost immunity.
Seiryu Miharashi station in Japan is a train station with no entrances or exits, no roads or paths to connect it, all it serves is a platform for the train passengers to step out and admire the valley.
Japan converts footsteps into renewable energy in Tokyo train stations and use it to power billboards around the city, using special floor boards that turn vibration into energy.
Kit Kats in Japan are associated with the phrase Kitto Katsu (きっと勝つ), translated as “You will surely win”, and thus a good luck charm for students. Katsudon (pork cutlet rice bowl) is also known as a good luck food, so people would eat it the night before important events like exams, interviews, etc.
Japan has so many “ghost houses” that they are commonly given away at low/no-cost.
The long-standing notion of late WWII ‘Kamikaze’ pilots as hyper-nationalist zealots was largely fiction. Many pilots were reluctantly drawn from the educated and liberal in Japan, and many expressed frustration at the futility of their nation’s cause and the sanctity of the Emperor.
A Japanese ice cream company created a commercial to publicly apologize about needing to raise the price of their ice cream bars for the first time in 25 years from 60 yen to 70 yen.
In order to bolster its waning popularity as a travel hub, Japan’s Kishigawa Train Line appointed a cat named Tama as its new station master in 2007, leading to a huge spike in popularity as a tourist destination. In 2010 a second cat was hired to “assist” Tama with her duties.