10 Similarities between Japan and Europe


Usually we have a tendency to think about Japan and Europe as two very totally different locations, situated on reverse sides of the world with very totally different histories and cultures. Normally most articles concentrate on these variations, which can shock newcomers to Japan. Nonetheless, though at first look it could not appear so, additionally they have lots in widespread as they’ve influenced one another all through historical past!

Though Europe is a continent and never a rustic, and every nation has very totally different cultures and customs, they’re some common phrases. So from historical past and humanities and meals to public providers, these are 10 similarities between Japan and Europe.

One of many first belongings you discover once you arrive in Japan is that particularly the massive cities like Tokyo and Osaka have an intensive public transportation community. For extra rural areas, the frequency and availability of public transportation decreases, however there are nonetheless at all times choices. In my years in Japan I’ve traveled across the nation, and you will get from one finish of the nation to the opposite utilizing public transportation. I’ve by no means as soon as wanted to take a automobile or cab. Getting used to touring in Europe, studying to make use of this public transportation community has been straightforward for me as each have a really related system.

2. Walkable cities

Japan cities

One other similarity between most European cities and Japan, which is expounded to public transport, is that cities are designed for pedestrians or cyclists. Each in Japan and in lots of cities in Europe it is not uncommon to see individuals shifting from one place to a different on bicycles. It’s straightforward to stroll from one level to a different, and actually, relying on the site visitors generally it’s simpler and faster to get there on foot. This contrasts for instance with the overwhelming majority of cities in the USA or different nations, dominated by automobiles or bikes, the place individuals take their personal automobiles to go wherever, even to locations near dwelling.

That is associated to the general public transport community as individuals use it to go to work or faculty as a substitute of the automobile, and stroll from the closest station to their vacation spot. There isn’t a want to make use of the automobile.

Public National Health

Japan has a copayment public well being care system. The citizen pays an quantity per 30 days in keeping with his/her earnings, and when he/she wants to make use of a service (clinic, hospital, and many others.) he/she solely pays 30% of the price (5% for youngsters and aged individuals). If it’s an operation with a excessive price, then a restrict is established in keeping with the financial system of that individual/household. Medicines are additionally included within the system.

In Europe, relying on the nation, nationwide well being care is totally free, however there are others which have a system much like that of Japan. However in each circumstances the State pays for a part of the remedy (whole or partial), which may be very totally different from nations with a personal well being care system with excessive costs for residents.


Though that is one thing which will shock many individuals, in truth some dishes which might be thought of typical of Japan comparable to tempura or the Castella sponge cake have their origins in Europe, in these two circumstances particularly within the Portuguese missionaries. However the traditional curry rice, for instance has its origins in England. Then there are different dishes which might be more moderen, but additionally have a European origin or inspiration comparable to Doria (rice au gratin), which the Japanese declare to be of Italian origin however the Italians have by no means heard of this dish.

And within the reverse facet these days it’s straightforward to search out Japanese meals eating places in any massive metropolis in Europe.

5. Feudalism

Samurai Era

One factor that unites Japan and Europe is that each have a protracted and intensive historical past, in distinction to some nations of more moderen creation.  And Japan and Europe had very related political system specifically within the medieval and ancient times.

After all the division of historic intervals used for Europe doesn’t match precisely with Japanese historical past, though some individuals generally attempt to power it. However the system of castles, feudal lords, amongst different issues does have similarities.

Monarchy in Japan

And speaking about feudalism, though not all European nations one thing that some nations in Europe share with Japan is the existence of a monarchy nonetheless in power.

The overwhelming majority of Europe has had a monarchy all through its historical past, however some nations over time and attributable to totally different causes (for instance the French Revolution in France) have damaged away from this considerably outdated idea at this time. Others, just like the Netherlands or the UK, nonetheless have a monarchy.

In Japan as a substitute of Royal Household and King or Queen the identify used is Imperial Household and Emperor, and it’s stated that the Japanese monarchy is the oldest hereditary monarchy on this planet that has reigned repeatedly above the English Royal Household.

7. Arts 

On the arts stage, Europe and Japan have influenced one another in lots of areas. One instance that’s near me is the Japanese kabuki and the Spanish flamenco. In the event you can ever take pleasure in a Kabuki play, it’s straightforward to know why the Japanese love Spanish flamenco a lot.

Even at this time there may be nonetheless a connection and affect in arts. The well-known Japanese manga has these days and for years an enormous following throughout Europe. Or it’s straightforward to search out influences on this planet of vogue, a completely totally different but additionally creative area.

8. Spa/Onsen


The love of sizzling springs is one other factor that unites Japanese and Europeans. In Japanese they’re referred to as onsen, and the foundations of etiquette dictate that it’s essential to enter the onsen utterly bare. And though it’s true that within the sizzling springs in Europe, normally individuals enter with some clothes that covers the intimate elements (bathing go well with, and many others), basically within the European nations there may be extra tolerance to nudism than in different places. In truth it’s widespread to search out nudist seashores or areas.

To the shock of many maybe, sure, Christmas can be celebrated in Japan. Though, as is commonly the case with many imported celebrations, the Japanese have fun it in a completely totally different means.

When it comes to ornament and idea the affect of a extra American-style Christmas is extra noticeable, nonetheless whereas in Western nations it’s a vacation to spend with the household, in Japan Christmas is a romantic day to spend together with your accomplice having fun with a romantic dinner, or if it’s with the household, consuming KFC and cream cake with strawberries. There are presents, however not Santa Claus model. However throughout December in Japan you may take pleasure in Christmas illuminations, Christmas markets and a special environment within the purchasing malls and the town!

10. Small Vehicles

As defined above, each in Japan and in Europe there’s a bigger public transport community and cities are designed extra for individuals than for automobiles. This additionally interprets into smaller automobiles, which match higher in bigger cities. In comparison with Japan, automobiles in Europe are larger, however they’re nonetheless small if we evaluate them with automobiles in the USA or Canada.

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