countries

The strongest passport in the world! Which nation’s citizens can freely visit the most countries?

The “strongest” and “weakest” passports may surprise you.

Read More

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 kanji used to represent foreign countries 【Weird Top Five】

“You use WHAT kanji for my country?!”

Read More

“25 Potential Culture Shocks from around the World” infographic offers tidbits of travel wisdom

What could be hard about taking a pee in Poland? Where are you likely to see camel racing with robotic jockeys? Answers to these and more below!

Read More

Why do the Japanese call the UK ‘Igirisu’?

Amerika. Itaria. Kanada. The majority of countries are known in Japan by names that sound vaguely similar to their native monikers. So why on earth do the Japanese call the UK ‘Igirisu‘?

Read More

“Is this because of Fukushima?” Japanese people react to ‘Why people run’ meme

Infographics are designed to present complex information in a digestible, easy-to-understand visual format. And, y’know, to make jokes about national stereotypes sometimes.

There’s one doing the rounds at the moment called ‘Why people run in different countries’, which supposedly depicts – you guessed it! – the reasons why people from different countries might feel the need to run. Perhaps unsurprisingly, commenters from the countries depicted in the meme quickly came forward to ask “WTF why is Australia upside-down?” and to point out that “Americans don’t run for hamburgers – haven’t you ever heard of drive-thru?!”

Japanese netizens were similarly perplexed by the creator’s choice of what people in Japan are running from, and came up with a surprising interpretation of what’s going on here.

Read More

How do you divide? Intriguing models of long-division problems from around the world

Love it or hate it, long-division is a necessary and practical skill to learn. While I certainly don’t use any of my high school calculus in daily life nowadays, I do occasionally whip out a pen and paper to calculate how many cat sushi figures I can buy for my yen’s worth, for instance.

Recently, our minds were blown when we stumbled across a picture that illustrates the ways that people in different countries calculate long-division problems. Which style were you taught to use in school?

Read More

Geopolitical dictionary: Japanese net users turn countries into verbs

You know how in English you can take pretty much any noun and make it a verbderivation for the cunning linguists out thereby adding to to the front? For example, how the search engine Google has become to google, as in, “Why the hell are you asking me? Go google it, you twit!”

Well, you can do the same thing in Japanese by adding –ru or a handful of other suffixes to the end of a word, and some Japanese net users recently had some fun with this by turning country names into some very non-PC verbs.

Have a look at our geopolitical dictionary and see how your country fared.

Read More

The country that sent the most foreign visitors to Japan in 2013 was…

In 2013, a grand total of 10,363,904 foreign tourists visited Japan! That number surpasses the goal of the Visit Japan Campaign, which began in 2003 with a goal to increase the number of overseas visitors to 10 million.

The Japanese language version of popular travel planning and information website TripAdvisor was quite excited by this news, and recently produced their own visual graphic detailing some fun facts about foreign tourists in the Land of the Rising Sun during 2013. Can you guess which country most of the visitors came from, or which country had the highest percentage jump in visitors? How about the most popular tourist destinations for foreigners traveling in Japan? Find out all that and more after the jump.

Read More

Searching ‘Japan’ on Google Images in 17 different countries (Korea’s results? Just plain weird)

Google operates hundreds of domain names for different regions around the world, from Australia (google.com.au) to  Zimbabwe (google.co.zw). And searching for the same keyword throws up different results depending on which country Google thinks you’re in.

So what happens when you search “Japan” in different countries’ Google Image Search? To find out, a curious Japanese netizen did exactly that. The image results reveal a little bit about how each country sees Japan – some just might surprise you!

Read More