4 Unusual and Wonderful Things for the Curious in Japan

GUNDAM Café, Akihabara

If there is one place you can trust to be brimming with diverse and unusual things to explore, Japan would be it. And if you are the curious type, here are some of the weirdly wonderful places and things you will want to see and experience in Japan.

1. Capsule Hotels
As the name suggests, a kapuseru hoteru or capsule hotel is a type of accommodation that features small or pod-like rooms. Its minimalistic tiny design only has the basic essentials making it more affordable than regular hotel rooms.

2. Cat Islands
Japan is known for its fascination and love for cats — think Hello Kitty and Doraemon to name a few. So it should not come as a surprise that the country is home to several cat islands where the felines rule. Some of these islands even have more cat inhabitants than humans. Some of the most popular ones are the islands of Aijima (Fukuoka), Aishima (Fukuoka), Aoshima (Ehime), Enoshima (Kanagawa), Genkaishima (Fukuoka), Iwaishima (Yamaguchi), Kadarashima (Saga), Manabeshima (Okayama), Muzukijima (Ehime), Okishima (Shiga), and Sanagishima (Kagawa).

3. Futuristic Cafés
Japan has an abundance of quirky themed cafes and restaurants. For a futuristic theme, visit two of its most famous — the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku and the Gundam Café in Akihabara and other locations.

4. Japanese Kit Kat
A visit to the convenience store or the supermarket can spark your curiosity on what seems like so many Kit Kat flavors in the candies section. Some of the flavors you can find are Blueberry Cheesecake, Cinnamon Cookie, Citrus Golden Blend, Edamame Soybean, Green Tea, Hojicha Roasted Tea, Hot Japanese Chili, Japanese Sake, Pear, Purple Sweet Potato, Red Bean Sandwich, Shinshu Apple, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Wasabi.


Keeping a Curious Mind


A curious mind is one of the traits many of the world’s greatest thinkers, innovators, and creators share. And it is out of curiosity that a lot of wonderful inventions and life-changing innovations were born. With curiosity comes a wealth of possibilities and potential discoveries. This is why having an inquiring mind is quite possibly one of the best traits to nurture in everyone. It develops openness to new ideas, broadens perspective, and can be a source of continual learning. While being curious is natural to many people, especially in children, it may diminish over time. Here are some of the best reasons to stay curious and develop an inquiring mind.

Provides a wider perspective. There are always different angles to everything. Your ability to think differently enables you to find answers and information less curious individuals would likely miss. It also prevents you from jumping to conclusions that would limit your knowledge and could impair your relationships with others.

Promotes continual learning. Children set the best examples of tapping into their natural curiosity. They never seem to get tired of asking questions, seeking novel experiences, and experiencing things. Their inquiring minds help them learn more about their environment. They acquire knowledge from every question in their mind that was answered directly by others or through their own experiences. Intelligent people likewise are highly curios, which goes to show that you know more when you keep a curious and open mind.

Good for the health and wellbeing. Study shows that people who exhibited higher levels of curiosity had lower risks of developing certain diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. When you cultivate curiosity, you become more receptive to the unfamiliar. You welcome new experiences that can lead to fun and excitement. You open yourself to positive experiences that are good for your wellbeing.

Keeps life fun and interesting. Have you noticed how happier you felt after you learned something new or met new people? Curiosity plays a role in gaining new-found knowledge and friends. Questions are part of the learning process. On the other hand, being curious about people encourages you to know more about them.

Encourages personal improvement and growth. You strive to explore and discover when you are inherently curious. The questions you ask, the steps you take to find the answers, and the knowledge you gain drives self-growth and continuous improvement.