Steeped in rich tradition, with a history of war, isolation, tragedy, technology and prosperity, Japan is made up of over 6,000 islands, and is home to 126 million people. Although often known here in the US for its sushi and samurai, the country and its people have played a major role in world’s past and present and are driving forces behind the technological, social and political changes in the 21st Century.
In the timeline below, we take you through some of the major events in Japanese history and we explore its technological accomplishments and vital issues, including its complex relationship with the US, the effects of the 2011 tsunami and recent political tensions with China.
Japanese customs include bowing to say hello and goodbye and removing shoes upon entering homes and ceremonial spaces. Another distinct feature in Japanese culture is the significance of age. In the societal hierarchy, the older you are, the more respect you’re granted. In fact, one of the nation’s biggest holidays, Obon, honors ancestors specifically. Families gather in homes and at gravesites to pay their respects. They hang lanterns outside doorsteps to greet elder spirits, and set them to sail at the conclusion of the three-day remembrance period.
We can’t talk about Japan without mentioning the food — rice, local produce and seafood make up the bulk of a typical diet. In terms of leisure, Japanese people love sports like baseball and soccer. And you may associate the country with the traditional dress, the kimono, but Japan has adopted modern influences in the areas fashion and entertainment.
Scroll thorough the slideshow for a behind-the-scenes look of Maggie’s adventures in Japan.
Our time in Japan starting off in Tokyo with a day in Harajuku - the heart of youth culture in Japan.
We toured around the area with a Harajuku fashion expert who told us that when it comes to fashion in Harajuku... anything goes!
After a day in Tokyo it was time to catch the bullet train to our next Japanese adventure! It's a crazy efficient way to travel -- but also just crazy fun. You go so fast!! Looking out the window you almost start to get nauseous...
A trip to Japan wouldn't be complete without Sushi! Keith and I nabbed a seat at this sushi bar and tried anything that the sushi chef put in front of us. It was super fresh and super tasty!
Our next stop on the train was Hiroshima... and while here everyone told us we MUST TRY OKONOMIAYAKI. So obviously I did. And it was life-changing.
So what's okonomiayaki? Here's the menu breakdown. It's pretty much layer upon layer of awesome things.
Everyone in the group goes and sits next to the okonomiayaki griddle... and the chef extraordinaire starts to make everyone's dish layer by layer.
And boom! Okonomiayaki. Amazing.
How well do you know the language of the Land of the Rising Sun? Find out with our Japanese language quiz below.
Woah Maggie that looks like tons of fun, Now I want to ride a bullet train. HaHa P.S You guys pick some good songs to play on the show 🙂 BYE ~ OfficialAwesomeSauce
I know some phrases because my dad taught us Japanese (even though we’re Koreans and the Japanese gets on our nerves – look it up – Korean history) but we mostly know some because of the animes 🙂
japan is one of the largest state in the world
japan isn’t a state its a country