Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Japanese signs

I have been several times to Japan both for vacation and job reasons.
Japan can't just leave you indifferent: either you love it or you don't like it (hate would definitely be too much).
I am fascinated by the way Japanese people can combine modernity with traditions. Japan is super hyper technological, but in some places it's enough to turn the corner to find yourself in ancient Shinto's temple.
I am fascinated by Japanese silence: nobody speaks on the phone in the metro, all the taxis in Tokyo are electric cars, Japanese people are generally not talkative.
I am fascinated (although I am not a big fan of it) by Japanese food. Each dish is a work of art.

But above all I have always been fascinated by Japanese signs (not to talk about gadgets, cartoons, manga, anime, Japanese design). Maybe I find the signs so interesting because I can't speak Japanese, and the images have saved my life many times. But I also think they are not just simple signs: they combine creativity with pragmaticality.

Below you can find some of the nicest signs I have found while travelling around Japan.

Pic 1 & 2 . Signs at metro stations in Tokyo

Pic 3. A Japanese water closet (amazing, isn't it?)

Pic 4. Signs indicating a restaurant in Odaiba, Tokyo 

Pic 5. Before entering a temple in Kyoto

Pic 6. Signs indicating a public lounge in Kyoto

Pic 7. Talismns outside a temple in Kyoto

Pic 8. Prayers and wishes hanging outside a temple in Tokyo

Pic 9. An advertisment for mobile phones

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