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.
In Japan people don’t sign documents but have personal stamps for documents. They’re called “inkan” (印鑑) and personal ones need to be registered at your local city hall (市役所・役場) and business ones at the Legal Affairs Bureau (法務局). This has made working remote so difficult here. Everything needs to be stamped by all parties to any agreement. Even trivial paperwork often needs a stamp.
In order to get improvements in their job security amidst the emergence of a rival bus line, bus drivers in Okayama, Japan decided to go on strike in a unique way in 2018. While on strike, they supported the community by continuing to drive their routes, but simply not charging customers.
In 2010, scientists grew slime mold in a dish, placing the mold in a central position representing Tokyo. They placed oats (major cities), and used light (which slime molds avoid) for mountains. The slime mold grew, nearly identically recreating the Tokyo Rail system.
Japan has Pokemon manhole covers, including Magicarp in an area famous for carp varieties and Gyrados next to the largest lake in the country. All of them are Pokestops.
In Japanese tradition, rabbits live on the Moon where they make mochi, the popular snack of mashed sticky rice. This comes from interpreting the pattern of dark patches on the moon as a rabbit standing on tiptoes on the left pounding on an usu, a Japanese mortar.
Yoshie Shiratori escaped Japanese prison 4 times. The first time he picked some simple locks, the next time he climbed up a wall and broke a skylight, the next time he dislocated his joints to escape through a small hole, and lastly he dug a hole with a bowl.
Business Ryokan Asahi, a hotel in Japan, offers a room for only 92 cents a night. A requirement for booking this room is that you agree to be livestreamed during your stay.
Buffets are called “vikings” in Japan. This is because a Japanese restaurant manager went to Sweden and liked smörgåsbords so much he copied the idea at his restaurant. This Swedish word was too hard to pronounce in Japanese, so the word “vikings” was used instead after a employee suggested it.