When it comes to cultures, especially as viewed by people in the Western world, there are very few as mind-boggling, strange, and yet often misunderstood as that of Japan.


Cuddle Cafes

This one isn't new by any stretch. The phenomenon of "Cuddle Cafes" went viral a few years ago after they became a hit in Japan in 2012. These establishments cater to lonely working Japanese men who long for a little bit of human connection and intimacy. While all things sexual are strictly prohibited, they do offer a wide menu of services including quick naps, full night sleepovers, spooning and foot massages. For a few extra yen you can even choose your slumber buddy. I don't care how tough you are, sometimes a little cuddling is just what you need!




People Who Are Paid To Push On Public Transit

This is another one that is probably both astounding and, secretly, kind of appealing to westerners. While we all loathe the kind of people who push on public transit, and complain endlessly about being crammed in like sardines, there are people in Japan whose entire career is to facilitate that very situation. Oshiya, literally "pushers," have one job: push, shove and cram as many poor SOBs into every train car that they can in order to achieve maximum efficiency. It seems to be working, too: Japan has the most punctual transit system in the world, with the average delay being only 18 seconds. Further, were you to kill yourself by leaping in front of one of their trains, your family will be charged a "delay penalty" following your death!



The World's Oldest Company

The Kongō Gumi Co., Ltd., a Japanese construction company, founded in 578 A.D. earns the distinction as the world's oldest ongoing independently run company until 2006, when it was purchased and absorbed as a subsidiary of another company. That's 1,428 years. That's nearly as old as Keith Richards! Someone call the Canadians about this one so they'll shut up about that Hudson's Bay Company, already!



Bosses Encouraging You To Sleep On The Job

That's right, you heard me. While it would definitely earn you a write-up at the very least over here, in Japan, napping on the job is actually seen as a good thing because it indicates just how hard the employee is working. There are rules, such as staying upright at your desk while sleeping, but that's manageable. In reality, some of these people are pulling 19+ hour shifts, so yeah, they deserve a quick snooze, for sure. However, because it is not only tolerated but seen as virtuous, there are those who will actually PRETEND to be napping, just to score brownie points. I have a feeling I would be the third type of person, who isn't working hard, but still naps because I'm a huge ass kisser!

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