Japan is a really unique country for a lot of reasons. The fact that Japan has their own unique culture that is so different to anywhere else has made the country a really popular place for people to visit. It's so much fun to go somewhere completely different than where you're from and experience a new culture.
But being so different from other places in the world means that Japan has some things that are a little strange. For some people, these strange things just make visiting Japan even more appealing. From unique lotteries to strange vending machines, there are a lot of things that only exist in Japan.
To see 10 things you can't find outside of Japan, keep reading!
10 Unique Kit Kat Flavors
Kit Kat is a chocolate bar that has wafer cookies that are coated in delicious milk chocolate. Well, the original ones are. There have been quite a few other flavors of Kit Kats that have been released in the US including strawberry, green tea, and dark chocolate. But in Japan, there are so many strange flavors of Kit Kats.
Some of the most notable flavors of Kit Kats that are available only in Japan include baked potato, fruit parfait, hot chili, and corn. Although some of Japan's exclusive Kit Kat flavors are ones we wish were available here, we'll definitely have to pass on some of the others.
9 Strange Game Shows
There are so many different game shows in Japan. While they're all totally unique and different from one another, they all have one thing in common: they're weird. One called Candy or Not Candy would have the contestants bite into various things in a room to see if they're actually made of chocolate or not. Others involve putting people in scary situations or having them perform physical tasks.
Related: The 10 Best Sushi Joints In Japan
Japan's TV shows haven't all stayed in Japan, though. Terrace House, a reality show similar to Big Brother in other countries, is a popular Japanese reality show that was added to Netflix.
8 Ichiban Kuji
Ichiban Kuji is a type of lottery that exists in Japan. If you visit a convenience store, you'll likely see tons of posters plastered all over the walls advertising different products from huge franchises like Sanrio, different anime and manga series, and Pokémon.
But these items aren't for sale. In order to get your hands on them, you have to buy a Kuji ticket. These tickets typically cost between ¥500 and ¥1,000 - or $5 to $10. You're then able to peel the ticket open and see what letter or number is inside. That number or letter corresponds to the prize you won! Prizes are typically plush toys, collectible figures, and home items like plates and cups.
7 Alcatraz ER
Alcatraz Island is an island located just off the coast of California that used to be home to a prison where several infamous criminals were locked up. Although it seems strange to name a restaurant after this, Alcatraz ER in Tokyo is definitely a restaurant that has no problem being considered strange. Unfortunately, this restaurant closed permanently, but was themed after a prison hospital. Guests would dine in cells and were served with hospital equipment.
Despite the fact that Alcatraz ER closed its doors for the final time in 2018, it's far from the only strange restaurant in Japan. There's even another prison-themed restaurant that has filled the gap that Alcatraz ER left called The Lockup.
6 Display Food
When filming commercials or taking product photos, food companies go to some seriously bizarre lengths to make their food look picture perfect. Ice cream commercials typically use mashed potatoes and cereal companies will use glue in place of milk. Crazy, right? But Japan takes that to a whole new level.
If you've ever wondered what your food will look like and wished more menus had pictures, you need to add Japan to your travel bucket list. Many places in Japan will have plastic models of their food on display so people know exactly what they're getting before they even order.
5 Super Efficient Public Transportation
Considering the fact that Japan has such a massive population and cities like Tokyo are full of people with places to go, it's no surprise that so many people rely on public transportation. Driving to work everyday with so many people around would be a nightmare because of the traffic.
Being punctual and arriving places on time is very important to Japanese culture. Because of this, there's a lot of pressure on public transportation to always run on time and never make people late. Luckily, this isn't much of a problem. If the subway is running late in Japan, it's a huge deal because it's such a rare occurrence.
4 Blue Traffic Lights
When it comes to traffic lights, green means "go" and red means "stop," right? Not in Japan. There are a lot of things in Japan that make driving pretty tricky like their narrow streets and tons of traffic, but something that not many people are aware of is the fact that their traffic lights are blue, not green.
This is actually because the Japanese language didn't always have a word for the color "green." They had words for only a few colors - black, red, white, and blue - and they would use those to describe other colors. Because of that, several things in Japan that we would consider green are called blue instead like blue apples. That's also the reason that they chose to go with blue instead of green for their traffic lights!
3 Super Expensive Fruit
Eating healthy can be expensive. This is true all over the world, but it's especially true in Japan where a visitor might experience some serious sticker shock when they visit the produce department. Fruit in Japan is expensive. There are a lot of reasons for this, the biggest ones being the supply of fruit that Japan has.
Although fruits can be imported from countries like Mexico in the US, that would be quite a long and expensive trip to Japan. So, they grow a lot of their own fruit. And the farmers want everything to look perfect meaning that there's a small amount that makes it out to the stores. Because of this, peaches can go for up to ¥3,000 ($300) and grapes can be up to ¥5,000 ($500).
2 And Some Unique Ones
On top of being incredibly expensive, Japan is also home to some unique fruits. Because so much of their fruit is grown on small farms by people that put a lot of care into making sure each and every single piece of fruit is perfect, they're able to create some really unique pieces of fruit.
Japan has become famous in recent years for their uniquely shaped watermelons. They come in squares and hearts, much cuter than the round watermelons we have here, and have become super popular around the Internet. Although they may be fun to look at, they can go for a pretty penny and can run a supermarket visitor up to $200.
1 Vending Machines That Sell... Everything
Vending machines that sell drinks and snacks are totally normal, right? There are even some unique vending machines that can sell things like phone chargers, t-shirts, and umbrellas in places like airports. But in Japan, they've taken the strange vending machine to a whole new level.
In Japan, there are vending machines for absolutely everything. Whether you want a hot and fresh pizza, a bouquet of flowers, a surgical mask, or a new pair of underwear, there's likely a vending machine right around the corner with what you're looking for.