Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Signs from a Japanese Subway

I really should be doing other stuff right now instead of blogging. Like planning for my daughter's birthday party. (Or licking the empty bowl of hot fudge sauce I just made for her ice cream birthday cake.)  I've invited a bunch of girls over this weekend and still have not planned exactly what I'm going to do with them. Perhaps I'll make them write clever captions for all the signs I saw in Japan. Because that is EXACTLY how little girls want to spend their time.

My favorite part of this Tokyo sign is the little bubbles floating up from the yellow man's head. Or maybe it's the expressions on everyone's face. I'm not quite sure what pushing the button will do because Yellow Man looks like a goner if the train is that close. (By the way, the one-eyed son is a motif you'll find in many of my Japanese photos.)

I didn't have a chance to take a photo of a great instructional sign we saw in Kyoto. It showed that the passenger platform at the train station is a ledge. If you fall down on the tracks and a train is approaching, roll over into the empty space under the ledge. It was bona fide useful information.

Woe is the person who is so busy texting he loses his arm (or worse) to an incoming train.

The most fabulous thing about this sign from the Kyoto subway is that girls actually wear adorable hats like this one. We happened to get on a train at the same time as primary schoolchildren going home for the day. They had on the cutest school uniforms I've ever seen. The girls wore hats straight out of Madeleine, and the boys had on Eton suits. Everyone matched, down to their socks and shoes. Even their leather and plaid book bags matched. They could be in a little fashion show. If The Gap copied the look for a Preppy Classics line, they would make a fortune.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine is big in Japan, too. There's even a Thomas Land amusement park somewhere. Here, Thomas gives little ones directions for "Station Safety for Children." The only words I recognize are "SOS!" and "HELP!" So, now you know what to do if Percy is up to his old mischievous tricks.


  1. You know what I like about these signs? I do not read (or speak) Japanese and yet I know exactly what they are trying to warn me of. Good to know Thomas is international.

  2. Love the signs. You don't have to know how to read to get the meaning. :-)

  3. How cool! Apparently, I wasn't paying much attention to signs in Japan because I don't remember seeing any of these. =) The first one does make you think what the magical button will do.

  4. What great signs! I especially love the one-eyed shot of your son :-)

    1. I'm basically willing to agree to just about anything to get vacation photos of my kids.


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