Imagine a world without camera phones, selfie sticks, and DVDs! Frankly - without such tech inventions - social media, communication systems, and entertainment would’ve been unbelievably different. And how could you possibly capture your best travel moments and post them online?

Thanks to the remarkable growth and economy of Japan during the latter half of the 20th century, this nation of inventors has transformed the world we are living in. We should note that Japan’s economic growth post-WWII is known as the 'Japanese economic miracle.' From robots to computers (and sushi, of course), Japan has given a lot to the world. Especially to the travel community around the globe!


Breaking Down Language Barriers

Traveling helps people discover new worlds, break prejudices and stereotypes. Traveling unites people; so does learning new languages. While our own mother tongue lays the foundations of our identity, new languages help us develop our cognitive abilities and connect with other people. To help travelers overcome language barriers, two Japanese inventors created an instant voice translator, Muame Enence. This handy device can translate speech in real-time into over 40 different languages. Given the fact that translation can be invaluable when ordering food and asking for directions, especially in remote places, it’s no surprise Muame Enence is about to change the way we travel. Lost in Translation… no more!

Uniting Languages And Emotions

Breaking language barriers can change the way we communicate. That being said, there is one Japanese invention that has already conquered the world, encouraging people to express their emotions, feelings, and body language - all online! That’s right! We are talking about everyone’s favorite emojis - the Internet language we use on a daily basis. Emojis (from "e" for picture and "moji" for character) were created in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese engineer who managed to help his customers communicate via universal icons and smiley faces that represent real human gestures and expressions.

And to push communication between people forward, the first camera phone was invented in Japan. Even though Samsung has taken credit as launching the first camera phone in 1999, evidence shows that it was Kyocera VP-210 Visual Phone (launched in 1999) and Sharp’s J-SH04 (released in 2000) that transformed telecommunications worldwide. Thanks to camera phones, travelers today can share not only pictures but videos and social media stories.

Words (And People) Travel Faster Than The Speed Of Light

There’s no doubt that mobile telecommunications help information travel fast. But what about real people? Well, there’s one invention from Japan that can transform the way people travel - Shinkansen, the famous bullet trains of Japan. The first bullet train was invented by the Japanese engineer Hideo Shima. Today, these high-speed trains can reach 320 km per hour (198 miles per hour), offering an exceptional travel experience.

Related: 10 Things Everyone Learns Pretty Quickly When Visiting Japan

However, for those who want to take control of their own adventures, Japan introduced zero-emission cars: the amazing fuel cell vehicles that convert hydrogen into electricity and emit only water vapor. We should note that Toyota and Honda started promoting fuel cell vehicles in 2014.

How Japan's Inventions Conquered The Globe

Japan’s inventions have transformed not only the way we travel but the way we store digital information in general. The first digital camera was invented in Japan - helping people today capture their favorite (and embarrassing) travel moments. And if it hadn’t been for DVDs, also invented in Japan in 1995, the way we store information and pictures today would’ve been totally different.

It’s not only tech inventions that help us travel. Interestingly enough, Japan has given us some unusual creations:

• Planning a visit to a place subject to frequent showers? Then don’t hesitate to get a hands-free flying umbrella, launched by the Japanese company Asahi Power Service.

• Hungry and on the road? Just pack some ramen instant noodles, invented by the Japanese inventor Momofuku.

• Interested in more exotic flavors? Well, then you should know that Japan invented the famous umami seasoning, the fifth taste discovered in dashi stock by the Japanese professor Kikunae Ikeda.

• And if you and your travel buddies ever get bored when bar-hopping in a new city, enjoy a crazy karaoke night singing at the top of your lungs. Believe it or not, another Japanese invention ("kara" meaning empty and "oke" orchestra).

There is so much Japan has given the world, including butter sticks and butter graters. So if you’re interested in visiting this unique place located in East Asia and its top-rated attractions, such as Mount Fuji, Osaka Castle, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and Tokyo - do not hesitate and book your trip now. Just don’t forget your selfie stick, firstly patented by the Japanese inventors Hiroshi Ueda and Yujiro Mima in the 1980s! And of course, when you upload your pictures online, don’t forget to add an abundance of emojis to the caption.

Next: 15 Things Travelers Need To Know About Japan Before They Visit