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The Weird and Wonderful World of Japan

Delve deep into the fascinating country of Japan and experience a never-ending mix of intriguing culture, oddities and more. We’ve put together a list of uniquely Japanese things that are worth experiencing on your next trip.


Animal Cafes and Islands


Cat Island

What’s not to love about animals? Japan takes its interest to the next level and is home to an assortment of animal cafes. Cat cafes are the most common for fur-loving friends and visitors can play with the cats while enjoying a coffee. These cafes provide a perfect place for those who do not have the room or means for their own pet and are popular amongst both locals and tourists. Other animal cafes include ones for rabbits, birds, dogs, goats, and for the more adventurous – snakes and reptiles.
Japan’s fascination with animals doesn’t end here. ‘Cat Island’ is small island off the coast of the country with the majority of the inhabitants being friendly stray cats. A popular tourist attraction, it is believed that feeding them will bring wealth and good fortune, and they are free to roam the island and multiply. Another island is Okunoshima, or ‘Rabbit Island’ Here hundreds of tame rabbits hop freely and will happily swarm humans for food and company so brace yourself for the world’s cutest and fluffiest stampede.


Vending Machines


Vending Machines


Although vending machines are found almost everywhere in the world, Japan famously offers items outside the norm and not just the usual can of drink or snack. You can find these machines on nearly every street as there are over five and a half million dotted across the country, including one on the top of Mount Fuji. Hungry and on the go? Pick up canned bread, cup of noodles, eggs, hot drinks, beer, sliced fruit or sushi. Other strange items include comics, umbrellas, second hand mobile phones, toy cars, flowers and fishing bait.


Japanese Food


Japanese Food


The imagination runs wild when it comes to Japanese cuisine. Here you will find not only some of the most delicious and fresh food on the planet but definitely some of the strangest. Raw chicken sashimi, poisonous blowfish fugu, raw horse meat, eel, fermented soy beans, black burgers, and squid and salt flavoured ice-cream are just some of the dishes you will find. Japan is also famous for its snacks and candy, and has a huge list of Kitkat flavours including soy bean, wasabi, purple sweet potato, hot chilli, green tea, cheesecake and baked pumpkin pudding. Another tradition that may seem strange to us is going to KFC for Christmas. Reservations are made months in advance and lines spill out the door on the day. This surge was due to a brilliant marketing campaign created in the seventies that aimed at convincing people that fried chicken was the best thing to eat on Christmas day!


The Robot Restaurant


Shinjuku, Japan


In the heart of Shinjuku, Tokyo you will find the world-famous Robot Restaurant. This sensory overload of a show features dancers, lasers, robot battles, musical acts, flashing rainbow lights and much more. Where else but in Japan could you experience such a thing?


Car Hire in Japan with Auto Europe


Hire a Car in Japan


While we’ve only covered a tiny fraction of the amazing things on offer in Japan, Auto Europe will help you get there sooner so you can discover even more. We offer a vast range of car hire all over the country so whether you want to drive the streets of the bustling main cities such as Tokyo or Osaka, or roam the picturesque countryside, we can find the perfect vehicle for you. Visit our website or call 0800 358 1229 to find out more!


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