17 Things You'll Only See In Japan

When it comes to cultures, especially as viewed by people in the Western world, there are very few as mind-boggling, strange, and yet often misunderstood as that of Japan. The relationship between Japan and the European and North American nations has been a roller coaster ride. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Japan fully embraced European, and especially English culture, and its fashion, customs, food, hobbies, and sports. Everything. Fast forward to the end of WWI and you see the complete opposite occur. The Japanese wholeheartedly rejected anything to do with "Western values" and began a rapid program of returning to their own roots. This led to their opposition of the Allied powers in WWII, the events at Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the subsequent Japanese surrender. Following that war, Japan initiated a policy of strict pacifism and has stayed the same way ever since. They have gone on to become a world leader in technological advancement, and also a hot spot for foreign tourists.

That second bit is where this article is concerned. I would argue that more than half of the reasons people want to visit Japan is because of the wacky way in which we've come to view them, both through their own exploits and our portrayal of Japan in popular media. The following is a list of a number of things — but not nearly every single thing — one might see during a visit to Japan that would strike us as downright weird!

#1 Cuddle Cafes

This one isn't new by any stretch. The phenomenon of "Cuddle Cafes" went viral a few years ago after they became a hit in Japan in 2012. These establishments cater to lonely working Japanese men who long for a little bit of human connection and intimacy. While all things sexual are strictly prohibited, they do offer a wide menu of services including quick naps, full night sleepovers, spooning and foot massages. For a few extra yen you can even choose your slumber buddy. I don't care how tough you are, sometimes a little cuddling is just what you need!

#2 Hentai And Manga

In case you've never actually seen real-life pornography from Japan, let me tell you that the majority of the time, it's all censored. What fun is that, right? Well, whether that issue is caused by or the cause of the production of so much animated smut, I'm not sure. But one thing is certain: the Japanese sure do love them some anime! Whether it's the X-rated kind or otherwise, Japan is famous for both manga and anime, and, on top of the videos, the country annually uses more paper for comics than for toilet paper!

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