- Japan Signs: No Crossing
October 17th, 2012
This is a sign that is quite common especially in the busier areas of big cities like Tokyo. There are certain places where you are not allowed to cross, and the arrow indicates the next part of the street where you are allowed to cross the road safely. This is a good example of where just knowing one basic kanji eg 止 (stop) can come in very handy. Don’t be bothered about not knowing the other three kanji just yet as they are N2 and N3 level so you’ll get those later if you’re just starting off.
- Japan Signs: Van Haren
May 3rd, 2012
Unfortunately we didn’t find much that qualified as exciting out at Chiba but I did get to visit Tower Records, which I hadn’t been to in a very long time, ever since iTunes came along. One CD stood out in particular with the phonetic Japanese spelling of the classic American rock band – Van Halen ^^
- Sukiya: Beef Bowl Heaven
March 22nd, 2012
One of the most popular dishes in Japan is beef bowl or gyūdon (牛丼). While there are many places that serve the dish, the two largest chains are – Yoshinoya (吉野家) and Sukiya (すき家).
- Japan Signs: Watch Out For Bag Snatchers
March 13th, 2012
While Japan is known for its low level of crime, it is still common to see warning signs placed in high traffic areas such as train stations. I found this particular sign located at the top of the stairs leading up to Futako-tamagawa station (二子玉川駅) in Tokyo. Don’t you love those happy little “bag snatch warning” characters! ^^
- 5 Minutes in a Japanese Supermarket
February 22nd, 2012
After seeing an article on Danny Choo’s excellent website, we decided to pay a visit to the new Rise shopping centre located beside the Futako-tamagawa (二子玉川) station in Tokyo on a trip to Japan late last year. For those of us who live outside of Japan, I thought it would be interesting to see inside a Japanese supermarket and some of the food and beverages for sale.
- Japan Images: Watch The Road!
July 28th, 2010
I found this sign hanging on a fence around a small public park, which also doubles as a kindergarten playground, near Tokyo Tower. Perhaps they thought subtility wasn’t going to get the message across ^_^ For the Japanese beginners out there, “とびだし” means “something that leaps” and “注意” means “warning or caution”.
- Japan Signs: Tokyo Fruit Juice Bar
April 23rd, 2010
I stumbled on this juice bar at a train station in Tokyo and thought it would make a perfect image for my Japan Sign series. There’s a great mixture of hiragana, katakana and kanji although I’ll mainly be looking at the katakana in today’s example. First up on the left we have Banana Juice (バナナジュース), which is entirely in Katakana. Banana is written as バナナ (ba-na-na) and juice is ジュース (ju-u-su).
- Japan Signs: Soup Nazi Barber
April 7th, 2010
I found this small ¥1,000 barber shop hidden somewhere in the back blocks of Ueno Station in Tokyo. The whole concept highlights the Japanese predilection for hyper-efficiency and I must admit that is exactly what I love about Japan. Although the love doesn’t extend far enough to get my haircut for ¥1,000. I’d assume you get one style here – salaryman standard.
- Japan Signs: A Day At Ueno Zoo
February 24th, 2010
This sign is in the grounds of Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. We visited there when we last stayed in Ueno and apart from being the coldest and wettest day of our trip, it was definitely worth the visit. There’s a fair bit going on in this sign but don’t worry as we’ll go though the kanji and katakana one at a time.
- Japan Signs: Ameyoko Fruit Stall
February 16th, 2010
This was shot somewhere along the busy market streets of the famous Ameyoko in Ueno, Tokyo. There is all sorts of produce available including seafood, fruit and vegetables right through to shoes, t-shirts and jeans. The markets are always packed, which makes for an exciting place to visit when you’re next in Tokyo.