Just Give Me a Sign

Throughout my time in Japan, I’ve happened upon some pretty hilarious, entertaining, and just all-around intriguing signs. This is a collection of some of my favorites. There’s no real unifying theme or fact that applies to them all. They’re from various different prefectures throughout Japan and call attention to everything from proper etiquette for interacting with deer to a “real” American burger. The humor in a fair number of them comes from their English translations, but some are amusing regardless of the language.

A pretty valid request at a historical village exhibit in Takayama.
A pretty valid request at a historical village exhibit in Takayama.
The standard "caution, slippery!" sign on highways throughout Japan. How many laws of physics would you have to break to accomplishing doing this with your car?
The standard “caution, slippery!” sign on highways throughout Japan. How many laws of physics would you have to break to accomplish doing this with your car?
Being from Pennsylvania, I'm used to the "Deer X-ing" signs. In Japan? They've got "狸 [tanuki, raccoon dog] crossings."
Being from Pennsylvania, I’m used to the “Deer X-ing” signs. In Japan? They’ve got “狸 [tanuki, raccoon dog] crossings.”
Watch out for the deer...
Watch out for the deer…
....oh, god, and the bears?!
….oh, god, and the bears?!
In Japan, it's illegal to use your cell phone while driving. The もしもしピント sign marks spots where you can pull over to use it. Naturally, the car on the sign is both freaking adorable and anthropomorphized.
In Japan, it’s illegal to use your cell phone while driving. The もしもしピント sign marks spots where you can pull over to use it. Naturally, the car on the sign is both freaking adorable and anthropomorphized.
Again with the Pixar-esque cars.
Again with the Pixar-esque cars.
Beware when interacting with the deer... From the famous park in Nara. (Also known as the spot where the deer are so friendly that you feel like a Disney princess.)
Beware when interacting with the deer…
From the famous park in Nara. (Also known as the spot where the deer are so friendly that you feel like a Disney princess.)
Watch out for the monkeys, too.
Watch out for the monkeys, too.
From the top of Misen, on Itsukushima in Hiroshima.
From the top of Misen, on Itsukushima (popularly known as Miyajima) in Hiroshima.
Okay, this technically isn't a proper sign, but it is one of my favorite advertisements I've seen in Japan. Naturally, a Texas burger involves a cowboy riding through the drive-thru. Because...that's America.
Okay, this technically isn’t a proper sign, but it is one of my favorite advertisements I’ve seen in Japan. Naturally, a Texas burger involves a cowboy riding through the drive-thru. Because…that’s America. I think this was from Tokyo Station.
This, also from Miyajima, is hands down my favorite. It doesn't matter how many times I see it. "7 if run a little" gets a chuckle from me every single time.
This, also from Miyajima, is hands down my favorite. It doesn’t matter how many times I see it. “7 if run a little” gets a chuckle from me every single time.

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