3. A cat or a dog become a station master.
© Takobou / Wikimedia
Do you remember the legend about the Roman Emperor Caligula who made his horse a senator? The Japanese aren’t crazy, but at Kishi Railway Station in Wakayama Prefecture a cat holds the high position of station master.
The first purring master was Tama. This cat greeted passengers and instead of money she received food. She even took part in the shooting of a local documentary. After her death, thousands of people came to pay their respects and she was enshrined at a nearby Shinto shrine as a spirit goddess.
In 2015, her position was taken by her successor, Nitama.
The station master at JR Ajigasawa Railway Station is a dog. His named Wasao (also known as busakawaii which means “ugly but cute”). There’s also a film starring Wasao and people adore him.
Thanks to Tama and Wasao, the number of tourists who visit small towns has increased significantly: almost 120,000 people arrive annually in Ajigasawa to meet the dog.
4. There’s fish in the flood channels.
© JVT-en / Youtube
The water in the flood channels is really clean; people don’t litter in it and sewage doesn’t get mixed there either. Its quality is even better than tap water and fish swim freely in it. Underground water that is delivered to these channels could be used as ice or for cooking. This system is called kabata. In Shiga Prefecture the channels are constructed at different heights — the lower ones are used to wash dishes the remains of which get eaten by fish. If you leave a dirty plate for 3 hours, you won’t have to wash it — the carp will eat it all.
These channels are a point of interest in Japan. Paid tourist tours bring enough money for the repair and cleaning of the channels.