The Ten Best National Animals:Mammals Edition

There are some countries that have truly remarkable national animals. Not only are these national animals unique but the fact that these specific animals were chosen tells us a lot about their countries` history,raises awareness of endangered species, and shows what traits are most valued in their nation.

Kochi Prefecture, the Chicken Kingdom

Kochi prefecture is located on the island of Shikoku and is known for many things such as its friendly locals, Sake, and Kastuo Tatataki(lightly broiled Skipjack Tuna). From the title, you shouldn`t be surprised to hear me say it is also famous for its breeds of chickens. There are 38 heritage breeds chickens in Japan and 8 of them come from Kochi Prefecture. Kochi not only has a large number of varieties but they are unique in their abilities, appearance, and even taste.

The Only Horseshoe Crab Museum in the World!

In Kasaoka city in Okayama prefecture, you can visit the only Horseshoe Crab Museum in the world! Go way off the typical tourist map and see a strange and one of a kind museum devoted to an animal that could only get a prize in a beauty contest if it was playing a game of Monopoly.

How to Eat in Japan

You may think how can eating be different in Japan, doesn't everyone eat? Food is one of the major ways, culture can be expressed in countries around the world. Things like history, religion, and the availability of foodstuffs affect what people eat. Buddhism in Japan led to a 1, 200-year government ban on meat consumption with fish being the major exception. Buddhism believes humans can be reincarnated into animals and shuns the killing of any life. There was also a practical reason for the ban, Japan is a mountainous country and there is very little land available for agriculture. Livestock farming is not only labor-intensive but takes up valuable land space. Fish and rice were a better source of protein. White rice is a major staple of Japanese cuisine, usually accompany a meal. Miso soup is also a common sight at dinner tables. Nowadays, there is a large increase in meat consumption with pork and chicken being the most popular. Bread is also more widely eaten in modern times. But seafood and rice are still a standard part of Japanese cuisine. Religion and cultural factors in Japan not just impacted what people but how people eat. Many modern taboos and customs regarding food can be traced back to Buddhism and the ”the customer is god" attitude in Japan. The Japanese proverb " The customer is god" is related to the Japanese concept of "Omotenashi", which means to show good hospitality and look after your guests. You can see "Omotenashi" in the excellent service you will receive at restaurants.

Japanese Macaques in Kamba Falls

Today, I will talk about Kamba Falls and its resident monkey population in Maniwa city, Okayama. There are a few places in Japan famous for Japanese Macaques but I chose Kamba falls because it is less intrusive and more sustainable than other spots. It is also not well known to foreign tourists yet so it is not overcrowded like Arashiyama (famous for its bamboo forest and troop of monkeys)or Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park(this a park where monkeys bath in hot springs). There are about 160 monkeys in Kamba falls that can be often seen hanging around the walkway to the waterfall. They come down from the mountains in search of food. The monkeys are not stressed or aggressive as the park is not usually overcrowded and visitors are forbidden to feed them