Anyone who’s glanced at modern, urban Japanese culture has inevitably run across one or two bits that are simply strange. You don’t even need to get into pornography to see some aspects of Japanese culture that are straight-up weird.
1. The Parasites Museum
Yup. The only museum in the world dedicated to parasites. It’s filled with glass cases in which organs and tissue have been allowed to play host to some of the world’s most interesting (and revolting) parasites.
2. Japanese Toilets
The Japanese have mastered toilet time. Some of their toilets include a heated seat and music ranging from pop to nature sounds. When you’re finished the toilet can actually splash your hind quarters with warm water for a nice refreshing treat.
3. Robot Restaurant
Not that the Japanese are obsessed with robots or anything, but their specially dedicated restaurant sees bikini-clad women fight huge robots on migraine inducing neon backdrop. The food is extremely expensive but the four 90-minute shows attract huge audiences every day.
4. Vending Machines
Japan is obsessed with these machines having the highest per capita rate of vending machines in the world. From drinks to … well, some very odd items. Need some bread in a can? How about pirated video games? Buddhist amulets? Fresh noodles? Used underwear? You can get it all in a Japanese vending machine.
5. Go Kawaii or Go Home
It seems that the highest achievable goal in Japanese society is to be cute. Everywhere you look there are brands ready to help you get kawaii. Even the government has embraced the cute vibe and started implementing it in the strangest of places, like this elderly people crossing sign.
6. Japan’s Shut-In Problem
Known colloquially as hikikomori, Japanese shut-ins are a growing number of teens and twenty-somethings so anxious about moving out into the world that they simply don’t. This group of youngsters has been dubbed, “the missing million.”
7. Cartoons Are Everywhere
In Japan, animated characters aren’t just for kids. They’re used all over the place. From an army of cartoons covering posters and billboards hawking any kind of product to simple public signs and instruction manuals, the Japanese can’t get enough of em.
8. Nap at Work
The Japanese have a well-earned reputation for being hard workers by day and getting blasted with their coworkers by night. Fortunately, the Japanese culture has built in a back door to this obsessive type-A lifestyle. It’s called “inemuri”. Basically a 15-minute nap you can take at your desk.
9. Old Men And Young Women
In Japan, there’s a popular niche of pop music featuring underaged girl groups. What’s disconcerting here is that most of the fans are men between the ages of 40 and 65. That’s extra gross when you consider that the most popular of these girl groups recently recruited a 12-year-old member.
10. Kentucky Fried Chicken
In Japan, KFC is an extremely popular chain. In fact, every KFC features a life-size version of the Colonel himself, welcoming customers. In fact on Christmas Eve the lines at the chain go out the door. People even go so far as to make reservations months in advance. At KFC. Reservations…
Which of these bizarre Japanese cultures surprised you the most?