7 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan


As the land of 200,000 festivals beckons, Japan is made up of 6,852 islands, the main ones being: Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. This archipelago is almost as big as the state of California, but the population of Japan, at 127 million people, is more than three times as big as California’s population.

Japan is a neighbor of China, Korea, and Russia, and a proudly independent nation. There’s much Japan has to be proud of.  Here are seven things you didn’t know about Japan.

Fortune cookies

In spite of debate about fortune cookies being of Chinese or even American origin, it’s easy to see why there could be confusion about their origin. The cookies are actually a Japanese treat, thanks to creator Makoto Hagiwara. He was a Japanese immigrant who created them for the San Francisco Tea Garden.

The fortune cookies come in three varieties: tsujiura senbei, o-mikuji senbei, and suzu senbei, and they are more savory than their sweeter Chinese counterparts. The fortunes in these morsels are baked in the cookie, not added later.


You can easily tell the difference between a Japanese fortune cookie and its Chinese counterpart; the Japanese cookie is larger and a darker brown.

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