The capital city of Tokyo has always been Japan’s largest city, and today over 37 million people live in this busy, exciting place. In the middle of the hustle and bustle, bright lights and people, residents often retreat to the many tea houses tucked away in the city. In was on their Coding Critters World Adventures Story visit to Tokyo that our curious Coding Critters Bopper, Hip & Hop explored one while searching for 10 Fun Japan Facts for Kids.
Follow us on Instagram to see what these brilliant bunnies and the rest of the Coding Critters crew got up to their Coding Critters World Adventures Stories. Plus visit our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts to find out how you can win cool coding prizes.
10 Fun Japan Facts for Kids
Bopper, Hip & Hop visited Japan and explored one of the many beautiful tea houses. Here’s what else they found out about this interesting archipelago of islands.
1. A tea house is called a chashitsu and it isn’t anything like a tearoom you’d find in the UK. There are no scones and jam served here, and you don’t drink tea with milk and sugar! A tea house is a place where people take part in a sacred tea ceremony and drink a type of green tea called matcha. Because matcha can be bitter, pretty sweets called wagashi, which are made from rice flour and azuki beans, are served with the tea.
2. A tea house is often a small, wooden building surrounded by a garden, with a path up to the entrance. Once they entered Bopper, Hip & Hop noticed there was no furniture. The host and guests all sit seiza-style (kneeling) on mats called tatami.
3. Japan is known as the Land of the Rising Sun, and the Japanese national flag is known as the Rising Sun Flag and has been used since a time in history called the Edo period (1603-1868).
4. Japan is the only country in the world with an emperor. The Emperor Naruhito has no real power – his role is restricted to important ceremonial duties. Still, the Imperial House of Japan is the oldest continuing monarchy in the world.
5. Each year, people from all over the country gather for an important festival called hanami – a cherry blossom festival. Hanami is the ancient tradition of going to see the cherry blossoms, called sakura, in bloom. The festival began over 1,000 years ago!
6. Japanese food is delicious and there are so many interesting dishes to try. Bopper, Hip & Hop enjoyed ramen, a yummy kind of egg noodle served in a salty broth. They also enjoyed tempura, which are fish or veggies, dipped in a batter and fried until golden and crunchy.
7. When you visit Japan, you’ll want to try taiyaki which means ‘baked sea bream’. The funny thing is, taiyaki don’t have fish at all! They’re made from waffle or pancake batter stuffed with a sweet filling and baked in the shape of a fish. Watch this YouTube video to learn more about how to make taiyaki.
8. The highest mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji. It’s also an active volcano! But don’t worry, its last eruption was in 1708 (phew!).
9. It may have been over 300 years since Mount Fuji erupted but earthquakes are common in Japan. To cope, buildings must be specially designed to stay strong and stable during an earthquake and avoid falling.
10. The Jigokudani Monkey Park is famous for its hot springs and large population of wild Japanese macaques, often called snow monkeys. During winter, these monkeys come down from the snowy mountains and warm up by soaking in the hot pools. Visit Japan from December to March and you might see the monkeys enjoying their steamy onsen (the Japanese word for natural hot spring bath).
Our world is amazing, and the Coding Critters crew have visited the most incredible places and found out lots of fascinating facts. You can find out more about their World Adventures, and let us know which was your favourite. Tell us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.