Effective communication is one of the most important factors that should be adapted and maintained in any workplace. Aside from its significant role in socializing, it also promotes motivation and good working relationships between the employees and the management. It is particularly important in assigning tasks, giving updates and working on the skills that need to be improved.

In order to achieve all the aforementioned benefits, we’ve prepared a short list of tips to promote effective communication in the workplace.

  1. Respect

In all matters, respect is the most important ingredient to be able to communicate effectively. Culture is a factor to be considered. It also includes using the right words and tone of voice. In addition, recognizing and respecting authority inside the office should be observed in all manners of communication, whether it be in a verbal or written form.

  1. Listen

Always remember that hearing is different from listening; one can hear what another person is saying, without understanding it. Thus, listening is essential in the communication process as appropriate feedback and/or response can only be given if the receiver perceived the message clearly and correctly.

  1. Respond

Communication is useless if there is no feedback. It sustains the process and gives meaning to the conversation. Likewise, in the workplace, feedback can provide information that will be beneficial to the company’s goal. The feedback must be clear and concise in order to avoid misunderstandings and arguments.

  1. Consult

As mentioned above, feedback must be delivered clearly and accurately. However, there are situations in which an immediate feedback is not possible due to uncertainty and/or lack of necessary information. This is where consultation comes in. Asking for assistance doesn’t mean incapability to do the job; it only serves as a prudent action towards certain situations.

  1. Cooperate

Cooperation is particularly important for brainstorming sessions and team projects. Be active in sharing your thoughts, but be careful with your approach (tone of voice, use of words, salutation) when presenting your ideas. Go out of your comfort zone and discover what you can do through cooperation.



Sources and References:

Management Study Guide (2017). Importance of Communication in an Organization. Retrieved from https://managementstudyguide.com/importance-of-communication.htm

Danique W. (2011).The Communication Process & The Elements of Communication. Retrieved from http://cape-commstudies.blogspot.com/2011/10/communication-process.html

Doyle L. (2017). Communication Skills for Workplace Success. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/communication-skills-list-2063779

Oluwanisala S. (2010). The Importance of Feedback in Communication. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Importance-Of-Feedback-In-Communication&id=3631322





Learning can be achieved through the solid foundation made by an effective teacher. An educator should not only master the lesson but must also attain the qualities of a good communicator. To be able to provide a quality teaching, here are five (5) characteristics a good ESL teacher should strive to develop.

  1. Communication

As an ESL teacher, excellent communication skill is a must. Just like in the process of photosynthesis wherein sunlight helps the plant grow, instructors who can communicate well will also help the students in their skill development.

  1. Listening

Good listening skill is a way to connect with the student. It allows an instructor to evaluate and understand their goals and needs. Along with this skill, a teacher must also consider factors such as age, sex, belief and cultural background in interpreting the student’s message to avoid misunderstandings.

  1. Motivation

Learning a new language is not easy. Throughout the learning process, a teacher must anticipate different hindrances that might be encountered by the students. In doing this, the instructor will be prepared to provide encouragements that can help students focus on studying and achieving their learning goals.

  1. Sensitivity

Sensitivity to the student’s needs plays a vital role in the learning process. It helps the instructor identify which aspects of the student’s skills must be worked on and what teaching style they must apply to help overcome learning barriers.

  1. Passion

Stress can’t be avoided, but its effects depend on how a person will handle it. Dedication and passion for the job help a person grow and enable them to push through the difficulties that come with any profession.

Sources and References:


Ultraviolet (2012). The Qualities of a Good ESL Teacher. Retrieved from http://blog.about-esl.com/qualities-good-esl-teacher/

ACS Distance Education (2011). Listening Skills. Retrieved from https://www.acs.edu.au/info/education/trends-opinions/listening-skills.aspx

Gillette B. (2013). Teaching is a Profession Not a Job. Retrieved from http://tsl.news/opinions/3579/




Colorful festivals, delicate foods, wonderful sceneries; these are the essence of the rich culture and tradition of Japan. It is a place where ancient tradition co-exists with modern life. One of its proofs is the beauty of the poetry called ‘haiku’. Here are the things that you should know about it:


Haiku was first written in the late 15th century as part of a poetry style called renga or “linked verse” which is comprised of a 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 line pattern. This kind of poetry is essentially the first three lines of this older form and was originally elevated during the seventeenth century by Matsuo Basho. Finally, the traditional poetry called hokku was renamed to haiku by Shiki Masaoka at the end of the nineteenth century.


Its writing population in Japan is around 8 to 10 million, submissions are made weekly and are featured daily in newspapers and magazines. Aside from its 5-7-5 pattern, it also contains a kigo which indicates a season. It is dedicated to people as well as birds, flowers, and other forms of life. Composing a haiku is a tribute to nature for its wonders.

Haiku in Modern Days

Haiku is not just a form of poetry, but a way to see the world. In the same way, writing this kind of poetry is a way to cherish an experience by putting it into words. Commonly, composing three-stanzas, with a 5-7-5 pattern, the poem serves as a reflection of the beauty of nature.


Here are some examples of haiku:


The glimpse of the sun                    

Another chance to get up

It sets me on fire


The wave of the sea

Extend beyond the limits

Breathe, see its beauty

Tiny drops of rain

Just enjoy the little things

Have fun and relax



Sources & References:

Madoka M. (2010). Haiku: The Heart of Japan in 17 Syllables. Retrieved from http://www.tokyofoundation.org/en/articles/2010/haiku

Gilbert R. (2005). Kigo Versus Seasonal Reference in Haiku: Observations, Anecdotes and a Translation Retrieved from http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv3n3/features/rGilbert-kigoSeasons_js.html

Missias A.C. Contemporary Haiku: Origins and New Directions. Retrieved from http://www.webdelsol.com/Perihelion/acmarticle.htm



Learning a new language is like driving on an unfamiliar road; spending most of the time worrying if you are taking the right way, which sometimes leads to panic, causing you to be even more lost. Likewise, a learner’s mind could be so full of worries that their anxieties start to hinder their learning process.

Language anxiety is defined as the worry and negative emotional reaction that is aroused when learning a second language (McIntyre in Lucas et. al, 2011). However, despite the fact that learning a second language can be a real struggle, there are four (4) ways for a learner to overcome language anxiety:

 Focus on the goal

Being focused is probably the most important thing to remember. There will be many different factors that will come into play throughout the course of acquiring a new language, but being focused will help you stay on the right track.

Never compare

Trying to converse with someone who can speak English fluently can be quite intimidating. Despite wanting to communicate, you find yourself being conscious of the words you use and second-guessing your ability to express yourself at every turn. In this kind of situation, take it as a challenge. Listen attentively and try to respond in the best way that you can. Do your best to enjoy the conversation.

Invest time in practicing

Practice makes perfect. It can be done through watching English movies without using subtitles, reading English materials, and having active conversation practice. Do these activities regularly and it will surely improve your confidence and communication skills.

Speak up with confidence

Your confidence is reflected in the way you speak or communicate with other people. Stop entertaining negative thoughts that will only hold you back from speaking up. Do not let your anxiety overcome you, but overcome your anxiety with confidence instead.

Sources and References:

Ottinger R. (2017). How to overcome the anxiety of speaking a foreign language?. Retrieved from https://englishthesmartway.com/content/how-overcome-anxiety-speaking-foreign-language

Lucas R. et al. (2011). English Language Learning Anxiety among Foreign Language

Learners in the Philippines. Retrieved from https://www.philippine-esl-journal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/V7-A5.pdf

Don&Panic Clip Art – Clipart Free Download by cliparts.zone. Retrieved from https://cliparts.zone/clipart/1194327




Are you planning to go to Japan? Then, just like in any other cultural experience, one of the things that you must try when you get there is to eat Japanese street foods. Yatai is the Japanese word for food stalls. Although eating in food stalls is not as widespread in Japan compared to other Asian countries, it has gained popularity due to the massive volume of tourists, particularly during festivals.

Here are some of the must-try street foods in Japan:




Okonomiyaki is a very popular food in Japan, especially in Osaka and Hiroshima. It is a pancake with many ingredients. The prevalent version of Okonomiyaki is the Osaka-style, this contains flour, eggs, yam, meat, seafood, vegetables, and cheese. There are various types of batter and toppings of Okonomiyaki depending on the region.




Takoyaki comes from the words “tako” which means octopus and “yaki” meaning to fry or grill. The most common fillings of Takoyaki are diced octopus, tempura scraps, spring onion and pickled ginger. Top with Takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, dried seaweeds, and dried bonito fish flakes. You will surely love these delicious golden balls.




Yakisoba is fried wheat noodles with pork, cabbage, and onion, which is drizzled with Worcestershire sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, pickled ginger (beni shoga), dried skipjack tuna, green laver (aonori), and sometimes topped with an egg. If you are a noodle lover you should try to eat this.




Yakitori consists of small pieces of chicken skewered on bamboo sticks and grilled over charcoal fire. This is seasoned with wasabi, sour pickled plum paste, mustard, salt, and grilling soy sauce.




A bite-sized, disk-shaped street food which is filled with either chocolate, custard or red bean paste. A sweet treat made from a batter of eggs, flour, sugar, and water.




This is a fare for seafood lovers. A squid grilled to perfection and coated with soy sauce and served with a slice of lemon or lime. A simple yet mouthwatering dish.




A snack that is perfect for autumn or winter. Japanese sweet potato baked over a fire that will give you the comfort of its soft texture and caramel-like taste.



Yaki Tomorokoshi


During the summer season, yatai’s are vast with this food as this is the peak season for harvesting corn. Yaki Tomorokoshi is grilled corn brushed with soy sauce, mirin and butter.



A popular treat for children, it is a Japanese cotton candy. You can watch how the vendors prepare Wataame.


Candied Fruit


Another sweet treat, fruits drenched with syrup. It can vary from apples, cherries, slices of pineapple to citrus fruits. This is usually kept in a block of ice to prevent melting.




Beat summer in Japan with this shaved ice treat. Typically topped with flavored syrup, condensed milk, sweet red beans, mochi (sweet rice cakes), jelly, and whipped cream.



DSC_2059 - Version 2

Although crepes come originally from a Western country, this has been adopted by the Japanese and widely spread in yatai’s. Crepes are made from batter and cooked on a griddle then, filled with sweet delights. This cone-shaped food is wrapped in a paper case for the convenience of eating on the go.


Choco Banana


A banana coated in chocolate (milk, dark or white) with sprinkles.




A fish-shaped cake filled with red bean paste, chocolate, sweet potato, cheese, custard, okonomiyaki, gyoza, or sausage. You should try this when you visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.




The traditional bottle is made from glass and sealed with a marble top. It comes in the form of soda, popsicles, or candy, all in its trademark blue. However, the roots of the original Ramune soda still remain a mystery. It is believed to have been brought from foreign lands by the British in the 1800s as lemonade, and thereby earned the moniker “Ramune”.



Sources and References:


29 Japanese Street Foods by John Spacey, (2015). Retrieved from https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/japanese-street-food

12 Japanese Street Foods You Need To Try by  gurunavi.com, (2016). Retrieved from https://gurunavi.com/en/japanfoodie/2016/07/yatai.html?__ngt__=TT0d89c8f39005ac1e4ae6a2La3ucvqU3wkjekRQPkMDLz

A Guide To Street Food In Japan by Corlena Bailey, (2016). Retrieved from https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/a-guide-to-street-food-in-japan/

Yatai (food cart) by wikipedia.org, (2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yatai_(food_cart)

Takoyaki by wikipedia.org, (2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki

Katsuobushi by wikipedia.org, (2017). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katsuobushi

Mizuame candied fruits by Muza-chan, (2014). Retrieved from http://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/mizuame-candied-fruits

Fukuoka Food Guide by japan-guide.com (2016). Retrieved from https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4811.html

Okonomiyaki by recipes.sparkpeople.com. Retrieved from https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=108172

10 Favorite Places To Get Takoyaki In Manila (2016). Retrieved from http://says.com/ph/foodtrip/favorite-places-to-get-takoyaki-in-manila

Chicken Yakisoba By Sarah (2016). Retrieved from  http://thewoksoflife.com/2016/04/chicken-yakisoba/

Yakitori, Grilled Chicken by goingmywayz.com. Retrieved from https://www.goingmywayz.com/yakitori/

Imagawayaki by it.wikipedia.org (2016). Retrieved from https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagawayaki

Ikayaki: Grilled Squid on Sticks by Yuri (2014). Retrieved from https://triplelights.com/blog/ikayaki-grilled-squid-on–273

Baking Sweet Potatoes in the Schoolyard by eb-japan.org (2004). Retrieved from http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/archives/news/04-02/yakiimo.html

Yaki Tomorokoshi by oksfood.com (2014). Retrieved from http://www.oksfood.com/grill/yakitomorokoshi.html

Totti Candy Factory: The Cute Sweet Shop in Harajuku Everyone’s Talking about by goinjapanesque.com (2016). Retrieved from http://goinjapanesque.com/11085/

Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival by jcjsm.org (2017). Retrieved from http://jcjsm.org.au/fest/

The Kakigori Chronicles A Guide To Tokyo’s Iciest Treats By Metropolis (2015). Retrieved from https://metropolisjapan.com/the-kakigori-chronicles/

Japanese Street Crepes Recipe by littlejapanmama.com (2011). Retrieved from http://www.littlejapanmama.com/2011/10/japanese-street-crepes-recipe-harajuku.html

Frozen Bananas by bakedbree.com. Retrieved from https://bakedbree.com/frozen-bananas

Tayaki/ Koy Fish waffles recipes by theartofforking (2014).  Retrieved from https://theartofforking.wordpress.com/tag/taiyaki/

The Origin of Ramune by jpninfo.com (2015). Retrieved from http://jpninfo.com/15978




Online lessons continue to become increasingly popular mainly due to its convenience. However, despite its many advantages, these lessons do have their downsides as well. Being able to sign-up and start lessons anytime also means being able to just quit or disappear with ease. This may be caused by many different reasons, but one of the things that online teachers can do is to help maintain the student’s motivation to learn.

Dealing with unmotivated students will always be a challenge, but here are some ideas that might help:

  1. Show your own enthusiasm. You cannot help raise a student’s motivation if you yourself are unmotivated. Be careful of how you present yourself while teaching class. Mind your body language, words, the tone of voice and let your student be swept away by your energy and eagerness in class.

  1. Relate your lessons to real-life situations and interests. Let your students see how useful the skills that they gain in your class would be in their everyday lives. Search for news articles and other materials and situations that you can discuss or integrate into class wherein they can use the knowledge and skills that you’ve been providing them.

  1. Take advantage of your student’s learning style. Since both you and your student have access to the internet, you can easily use its availability to adjust your lessons depending on your student’s learning style. Don’t hesitate to use its resources. Even in classroom settings, more and more instructors are starting to utilize multimedia in their everyday classes.

  1. Help set realistic goals and recognize your student’s achievements. To maintain their motivation, students need to know that they will succeed in their pursuit. Encourage participation by helping them set realistic goals and by recognizing their achievements. This will help them refrain from having impossible standards and to have a sense of growth throughout the course.




Sources & References:

How to motivate your students By Errol Craig Sull (2008). Retrieved from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1373288

Motivating Students Without a Classroom: 5 Tips from Top Online Teachers by Monica Fuglei. Retrieved from http://lessonplanspage.com/motivating-online-students-tips-from-top-teachers/

Student engagement: 5 strategies to motivate the online learner by Brian M. Morgan (2016). Retrieved from http://blog.blackboard.com/student-engagement-strategies-motivate-online-learner/

How to motivate online students by Idania Gorrochategui (2016). Retrieved from https://blog.teachlr.com/motivate-online-students/

Five Factors that Affect Online Student Motivation By Rob Kelly (2012). Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/five-factors-that-affect-online-student-motivation/



While most Filipino employers still prefer the traditional method when it comes to meeting candidates, there’s no denying that Skype interviews do have several advantages such as saving time and money for both the applicant and employer particularly if they are located in different cities or sometimes even countries.  If you are planning to work from home or as a freelancer in general, having to attend an interview through Skype will definitely be a possibility.

So, regardless if you’re proficient in using the application or not, here are a few tips to help you nail that Skype interview.


  1. Use a professional username. Just like how you make sure that the email address in your resume is professional when using Skype in your application, you must also refrain from using names such as CuteChix4u as your user ID.

  1. Check your profile picture. You might look exceptionally good in that selfie you took last week but using it as your profile picture on Skype for this particular appointment might not go over as well as it did on Facebook. Instead, you can replace it with the same picture that you used on your resume.

  1. Dress properly. Since the employer can only see your upper body on camera, it might be tempting to just wear a nice top and pair it with a simple pair of shorts. However, remember that anything can happen during the course of the interview. You might need to stand up at one point or another to fix your audio or some other equipment and inevitably expose the rest of your outfit. Besides, dressing like you’re going to a personal interview can give you a confidence boost and put you in the correct mindset for it.

  1. Mind your location. If you’re planning to work from home, the employer would most likely also be considering your work environment in their assessment, so make sure to prepare this ahead of time. Your work area should be quiet and free from any distractions particularly on the day of your interview. If you live with your family, inform them of your appointment so that you can avoid any disturbances. Check your background and lighting as well.

  1. Practice. Not everyone is used to or is comfortable with using Skype and if you’re like this, this tip is essential. Practice using the application and explore the different functions and settings. Ask a friend to help you figure out the correct angle for your camera. Know where to look to keep eye contact and how close or far to sit without being too near or distant from the camera.

  1. Check your equipment and connection. Aside from knowing how to properly navigate the application, you should also make sure that your equipment is ready and in working order. This includes your headset, camera, and computer. If you plan to use a laptop make sure that it is either fully charged or plugged into a power outlet. As for your connection, use LAN as it is definitely more reliable than Wi-Fi.

  1. Add the interviewer’s Skype ID to your contacts list. Before the day of the interview, make sure to confirm and add the correct Skype ID that your interviewer will use. The employer will usually provide this information ahead of time, but in case they don’t, don’t hesitate to ask.

  1. Confirm the details. When setting up the date and time of the interview, make sure to check for any additional information, such as what to do, prepare or submit before or on the day of the appointment. It is also important to establish who, between the two of you would be expected to make the call.

  1. Communicate well. This is necessary for all kinds of interviews. Articulate well. Don’t speak too fast or too slow and make sure to listen actively while the other person is speaking. Verbal cues will be very useful to let the interviewer know that you are listening and that you are able to hear and understand them well. This is especially important as audio problems can sometimes occur in the middle of a call.

  1. Take it seriously. It might be done in the comfort of your own home, but an interview is still an interview. Professionalism and interest about the job or company should always be displayed.

Sources & References:

9 Things You Need to Prepare for a Skype Interview by Michaela Gianotti (2016). Retrieved from http://www.joinkoru.com/skype-interview-tips/

Learn How to Ace A Skype Interview by Penny Loretto (2017). Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/learn-how-to-ace-a-skype-interview-1986906

Ace Your Skype Job Interview: 14 Smart Tips by Amy Levin-Epstein (2011). Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ace-your-skype-job-interview-14-smart-tips/

How to Ace a Skype Interview by Phoebe Spinks. Retrieved from  https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/ace-skype-interview/




October is almost over and the quickly approaching Halloween season is a great excuse to bridge culture gaps and liven up your classes at the same time. Here are some activities to integrate this spooky holiday into your everyday lessons:

  1. Give Advice for Scary Situations

First, think of several scary situations one could find oneself in on this dreaded night. They can be realistic, like being stranded on an abandoned road in the woods or fictional ones like being chased by Frankenstein’s monster. Choose one situation and then discuss between yourselves how to handle it.

  1. What Are You Going to Be for Halloween?

For a fun speaking activity, you and your student can take turns imagining something you might like to be for Halloween. Without sharing your choice, write down three things you will need for the costume. Take turns sharing your list and see if you can guess what each other might be dressed as this Halloween.

  1. What Monster Am I?

This is a variation of number 2. You’ll need to create descriptions of various monsters ahead of time and have the other person guess what monster it is.

  1. Ghoulish Idioms

First, prepare a list of English idioms involving Halloween related words such as:

  • Blind as a bat
  • It is dead and buried
  • A dead loss
  • Drop dead
  • Dead center
  • Dead on my feet
  • Devil in disguise
  • Dig your own grave
  • Pale as a ghost
  • Skeleton in the closet

And make a game out of having your student guess their meanings.


Sources and References:

Bring Halloween Fun to Your English Class with These 5 Eerie Lessons! By Stephen Seifert. Retrieved from https://www.fluentu.com/blog/educator-english/halloween-english-lesson/

Give Your ESL Students a BOOst with These Halloween Themed Language Activities By Susan Verner. Retrieved from http://busyteacher.org/24513-give-your-esl-students-a-boost-with-these.html



In the recent years, English has been one of the major languages employed in communication, business, and the academe. According to the British Council, about 1.75 billion people are speaking the language worldwide, and by 2020 it is forecasted that 2 billion people are already using English or will learn to use it.  Being widely utilized for a variety of functions, the English language reaches a bigger audience, particularly non-native speakers. With the recent boom in the number of non-native speakers aiming to gain fluency in the language comes the need for people who can teach them to attain such.

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) is one of the fast-growing careers in the job market. Though most people tend to shy away from this feat, it still continues to attract those who find interest in such opportunity, including career-changers and established educators alike. But why do people choose to teach ESL? Tammy Cario, an author from Oxford Seminars, tells us 10 reasons why.

  1. You need a change of scenery. Our routines and habits can dissuade us from being productive, hence ESL teaching will be a great way to see a new perspective.

  1. You want to do something meaningful with your life. Teaching is a good opportunity to consider when thinking of worthwhile things to do. It is a good change, whether permanent or transitory.

  1. You love to travel. ESL teaching might bring you abroad or to different places in your country. This is a good chance for you to get your feet on the places you wish to go to.

  1. You have a huge case of wanderlust. Teaching ESL can bring you to different adventures. The chances of exploring are possible so this might be the solution for you.

  1. You want to make a difference. Witnessing how even the simplest of lessons make an impact on students is one of the perks of teaching ESL. You will see the accomplishments transpiring in students, children and adults alike.

  1. Your goal is to save money. Getting paid with a good amount is fulfilling in any job, and teaching ESL is one of the ways for you to get a rewarding compensation.

  1. You want to gain experience. Teaching is not just about gaining work experience. It also exposes us to various real-life situations and makes us go out of our comfort zone.

  1. You want to broaden your horizons. Teaching ESL gives you an opportunity to meet people of different cultures and traditions. You will attain firsthand experience on things and expand your perception of those.

  1. Widening your circle of friends will make you happy. You will meet friends along the way while teaching. The relationship you build with them becomes strengthened as time goes by, making it last for a long time.

  1. You want to exponentially enhance your resume. Teaching as work experience gives a good impression to potential employers. What’s better is that you can back your resume up with a brief account of your experiences as a teacher.

If you have been thinking of choosing ESL teaching as your career and want to find out more, you can go here or browse other information here.


Sources and References:

The British Council (2013). The English Effect. Retrieved from https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/english-effect-report-v2.pdf

Cario, T. (2015). Top 10 Reasons Why People Choose to Teach ESL. Retrieved from https://www.oxfordseminars.com/blog/top-10-reasons-why-people-choose-to-teach-esl/



Japan is known for its methodically plotted anime, mouth-watering food, and innovative technology that leaves the rest of the world amazed. However, the country offers other facets waiting to be discovered.  Here are some facts about Japan you might find interesting:

  1. In Japanese, the name “Japan” is Nihon or Nippon, which means “Land of the Rising Sun.” It was once believed that Japan was the first country to see the sunrise in the East in the morning.


  1. The Japanese people have a deep affection for the beauty of the landscape. The ancient Shinto religion says natural features like mountains, waterfalls, and forests have their own spirits, like souls.


  1. Japan has the third longest life expectancy in the world with men living to 81 years old and women living to almost 88 years old. The Japanese live on average four years longer than Americans.


  1. Japan consists of over 6,800 islands. There are four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Also, Japan is slightly smaller than the US state of California.


  1. Japan has more than 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants, the largest number in any country outside the U.S.


  1. Twenty-one percent of the Japanese population is elderly (over the age of 65), the highest proportion in the world. There are more elderly than there are children in Japan today.


  1. The Japanese eat more fish than any other people in the world, about 17 million tons per year. Japan is the world’s largest importer of seafood, with shrimp comprising about one-third of the total, about four million tons a year. More than 20% of Japanese protein is obtained through fish and fish products.


  1. Over two billion manga, Japanese comic books or graphic novels, are sold in Japan each year.


  1. Sushi has been around since about the second century A.D. It started as a way to preserve fish in China and eventually made its way to Japan. The method of eating raw fish and rice began in the early 17th century. Sushi does not mean raw fish in Japanese. It actually means rice seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Raw fish sliced and served alone without rice is called sashimi.


  1. In March 1995, a religious cult spread sarin, a nerve gas, in the Tokyo subway. Twelve people were killed and more than 5,000 were sickened.


  1. Japan can be a dangerous place. Three of the tectonic plates that form Earth’s crust meet and often move against each other, causing earthquakes. More than a thousand earthquakes hit Japan every year. Japan also has about 200 volcanoes, 60 of which are active.


  1. Japanese food is very different from food in Western countries. There are lots of rice, fish, and vegetables, but little meat. With little fat or dairy, this diet is very healthy, which helps Japanese people live, on average, longer than any other people in the world.


  1. The Japanese are famous for their willingness to work very hard. Children are taught to show respect for others, especially parents and bosses. They learn to do what’s best for their family or company and worry less about their own needs.


  1. During World War I (1914-1917), Japan fought on the side of the U.S., but on December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the United States Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the U.S. entered World War II. From 1941-1945, Japan’s military leaders fought against the U.S. and the allied forces. In August 1945, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing about 115,000 people. Japan surrendered a few days later.


  1. Japan is the only country in the world with a reigning emperor. Emperors have no real power, but they are still revered as a symbol of the country’s traditions and unity.


  1. Japan has around 5.5 million vending machines with one on almost every street corner. There are vending machines that sell beer, hot and cold canned coffee, cigarettes, wine, condoms, comic books, hot dogs, light bulbs, bags of rice, toilet paper, umbrellas, fish bait, fresh eggs, porn magazines, and even used women’s underwear.


  1. The Japanese have such a low birth rate that there are more adult diapers sold than baby diapers.


  1. Cherry blossoms (sakura) are Japan’s national flower.


  1. Yaeba, or crooked teeth, are considered attractive in Japan—so much so that girls go to the dentist to have their teeth purposefully unstraightened.


  1. Anime, or animated Japanese films and television shows, account for 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment. Animation is so successful in Japan that there are almost 130 voice-acting schools in the country.


  1. Ninety percent of all mobile phones sold in Japan are waterproof because youth like to use them even while showering.


  1. The sole Japanese man who survived the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 1914, Masabumi Hosono, was called a coward in his country for not dying with the other passengers.


  1. When Japanese people meet, they traditionally bow instead of shake hands, and the lowest bow shows the deepest respect.


  1. During World War II, Japan bombed China with fleas infected with the Bubonic plague.


  1. In Japan, Kit Kat candy bars come in flavors like grilled corn, Camembert cheese, Earl Gray tea, grape, and wasabi. The Japanese pronounce Kit Kat like “Kitto Katsu,” which sounds like “You are sure to pass” in Japanese, and so they make a popular gift to students during entrance exam season.


  1. In Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken is a typical Christmas Eve feast.


  1. Many hot springs and onsen (public bath houses) in Japan ban customers with tattoos from entering because the tattoos remind the public of the yakuza, or Japanese mafia, whose members sport full-body tattoos.


  1. Japanese “love hotels” are short-stay hotels mainly designed for amorous couples and are identified by the presence of heart symbols. They have different room rates: a “rest” rate as well as an overnight rate. An estimated 2% of Japan’s population visits one each day.


  1. Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, are the fabled animals that “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.” The macaques in northern Honshu live farther north than any other monkey in the world.


  1. It is appropriate to slurp noodles, especially soba (buckwheat) when eating in Japan. Slurping indicates the dish is delicious. It also cools down the hot noodles.


  1. The Japanese word  karaoke means “empty orchestra.” Cabaret singer Daisuke Inoue made a coin-operated machine that played his songs on tape so his fans could sing along in the 1970s, but he failed to patent his creation and therefore never cashed in on his invention.


  1. In Japan, it is considered rude to tear the wrapping paper off of a gift.


  1. The Japanese avoid the number four (shi) because it sounds the same as the word for death. Tall buildings do not have fourth floors. Tea and sake sets are sold with five cups. Three or five is the desirable number of guests in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. As a rule, odd numbers are preferred over even numbers in Japan.


  1. Geisha in Japanese means “person of the arts,” and the first geishas were actually men called taikomochi and they had a role similar to Western court jesters.


  1. The Japanese word for a dog’s barking sound is wan-wan instead of “bow-wow.” Japan’s Akita breed was developed in the 1600s and was once called the royal dog because the emperors kept Akitas as pets. The most famous of all Akitas was Hachikō. Legend has it he waited 10 years at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo for his master who had died while at work. A statue of Hachikō now stands outside the station as a tribute to his loyalty.


  1. The imperial family of Japan descends from an unbroken lineage of nearly 2,000 years. No other royal family in history has held its position for so long. The first Japanese emperor, Jimmu Tennō, ruled about the time of Christ.


  1. Godzilla, a huge monster resembling a dinosaur, made his film debut in 1954. In Japan, he is known as Gojira, where he rose from the sea, after being awakened by atomic bomb testing, and attacked Tokyo.


  1. The Japanese religion of Shinto is one of the few religions in the world with a female solar deity.


  1. Many Japanese babies are born with a Mongolian spot (mokohan) on their backs. This harmless birthmark usually fades by the age of 5. It is common in several Asian populations and in Native Americans.


40. Today, fewer than 200 people in Japan can claim to have both parents with
exclusively Ainu (perhaps the original human inhabitants of Japan) descent. The
Ainu do not possess the Y chromosome typically found in the rest of the Japanese


Sources & References:

Lehnardt, Karin. 79 Interesting Facts about Japan. Fact Retriever. December 17, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2017, from https://www.factretriever.com/japan-facts.

National Geographic Kids. Japan. Retrieved October 13, 2017, from http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/countries/japan/#japan-gardens.jpg