The ‘only visible in Japan’ things

Japan is known for great inventions, but it’s not just about big things.


Separate icons for people with disabilities

Other countries often use the image of the person in a wheelchair as a symbol of the disabled, but Japan has chosen to use the image of four-leaf clover. The reason is supposed to avoid the misunderstanding that all disabled people use a wheelchair. Besides, the clover is considered a lucky symbol because it is not very popular. Taking four-leaf clover symbolizing the disabled is a unique and creative idea that helps the disabled not think that they are incompetent.

Car decals for older drivers

Special decals are recommended to people 70 years of age and older to denote “this car is driven by the elderly” (Kōreisha brand). Drivers aged 75 and over are required to have this sticker on their vehicle. That way, other drivers can recognize and care to yield, help or “sympathize” more. The fact that the owner has this mark also means that they have the right to park in the reserved area.

Badges for pregnant women

A circular badge with the words “I have a baby in my belly” is offered to pregnant women. Thus, train riders will make room for pregnant women on crowded trains. This makes pregnancy less stressful and stressful.

Heating toilet, with hand wash basin

The luxury toilets in Japan all have heating, which is very useful in winter. In addition, the toilet also incorporates a sink. The running water after you wash your hands can be used to flush the toilet. This helps to reduce wastage of water.

Karaoke microphone does not sound

Karaoke singing can be a nuisance for the neighbors, especially if you live in an apartment. To solve this problem Japanese companies have created a microphone that can block about 70% of the sound you emit.

Braille on everyday items

The printing of braille on all objects that the visually impaired can use is very popular in Japanese culture. Manufacturers print braille on cans to separate wine and other beverages, even on toilet buttons, number of seats on high-speed trains, on coin vending machines and even on glue bottles.

Yellow lines on pavement to guide people with poor eyesight

Inspired by the braille, Seiichi Miyake has created its own yellow path so that people with low vision can still see it. The dots indicate danger ahead, while the long squares indicate the way for the blind.

Cell holding area

Some places in Japan provide lockers with locks to hold your umbrella. After that, you can move around the building more easily without having to hold the umbrella beside you. Not bringing wet umbrellas into your building also means that you don’t get the floor wet and no one will slip.

Use a small tray for cash payments

Using a tray for cash payments is not only a polite gesture, but also practical and helpful. Customers can easily see if they have given them the right amount, have given enough money, have not lost any money.

Public phone booth is wheelchair-friendly

Although smartphones are widely used in this era, Japan still retains public phone booths, in case of natural disasters. These public phones are often placed below eye level, to be served by wheelchair users.

Decals are for the hearing impaired

Japan allows deaf drivers to ride in traffic. However, they do provide these drivers with a butterfly sticker. When one driver has this sticker, other drivers must be patient and support them. The symbol represents ears that look like a butterfly, simply because their pronunciation is similar.

Yellow flags for children to cross crowded roads

Children in Japan often move on their own, so they will have to cross the street without adult supervision. Yellow flags are installed to warn motorists that someone is crossing the street. These flags are available on the sidewalks of busy roads. Children can use the flag and return them to the box across the street.

Lovely shaped barricades on construction sites

In order not to disturb others, workers on construction sites are required to minimize noise from construction work. Some activities on site are only carried out at a specific time, and if there are any changes to the itinerary, someone will always guide the road users. Interestingly, there are always beautiful warning devices in use on site.

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