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.
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.