11 Awkward signs found on Trains in Japan

Coming to Japan, I was expecting to see lots of “Engrish” (mis-used English words in Japan). But then I realized I was in Tokyo, not only one of the most developed cities in Japan, but also the city with the highest concentration of foreigners in business.

So I still do see “English” – just not as often as I had hoped.

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Instead, I see signs that are accidentally and offensively hilarious in a million other ways. I’ve been collecting pictures for the last couple months and putting them into categories. You are about to witness the “Hilariously Offensive signs found on a Japanese train.”

Enjoy.

Accidentally offensive signs found on a Japanese train (listed from least to most offensive):

Honorary mention: Club Bigote. This is right next to the musashisakai station, so I thought it earned at least an honorary mention.

IMG_362311. The “make sure sound isn’t leaking out of your headphones” personal service announcement, with the adorable animal/child. I just like the phrasing of this one. It’s not actually offensive…

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10. The “if you see a drunk person fall onto the tracks, press the panic button before they get hit” public service announcement. The only thinks I find hilariously offensive about this one is the fact the guy who fell on the track was drunk (which, as you’re going to find out, is a re-occurring theme) and the really bright colors.

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9. The “don’t occupy more than one seat” public service announcement with the same adorable animal/child. Once again, I find the English in this one hilarious.

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8. The “don’t fall asleep on the train or you might get robbed and/or sexually assaulted (because I can’t see the other guy’s hand)” public service announcement. I think it also might have a “if you see someone asleep on the train getting robbed and/or sexually assaulted, please stop the attack” aspects in it, but I’m not sure.

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7. The “don’t text near the tracks or you might fall in” public service announcement. IMG_7917

6. The “don’t cough/throw up on other passengers” public service announcement. I’ve actually seen someone cough on another passenger. It was bad. There’s a whole post about train etiquette in Japan, if you’re interested.

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5. The “if you see a chikan/creepy man flirting with or sexually assaulting a woman on the train, yell at him to stop” public service announcement  Actually, according to my boss, this is a rather brilliant and effective campaign.

We’re just going to ignore the fact that the pervert looks like the devil.

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4. The “be careful about wearing crocs on the escalator, because they might get caught and break/hurt you” public service announcement.  I find this one unnecessary. I think that if you’re wearing crocs in the first place (already a big no-no) and manage to get them caught in the escalator, maybe that’s natural selection at its best (sorry dad).

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3. The only mildly offensive weight-loss advertisement. The character is a super-hero/anime character that wants to lose weight so she can look like the rest of the freakishly tiny anime girls. I took this picture a couple months ago, they put out a new one every other month, with her getting progressively skinnier. So… Yeah.

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2. The “watch out for upskirting” public service announcement. I see these all the time on the escalator which bothers me for two main reasons:

A. Before I came to Tokyo, I didn’t know what upskiting was (upskirting is sticking your phone camera underneath a girls skirt to get a picture of her underwear).

B. This apparently happens enough that they have to create multiple warning posters, spread across about ten stations, warning girls. That in itself is a little creepy…

Watch out for upskirting (taking pictures of a woman's underwear)

Watch out for upskirting (taking pictures of a woman’s underwear)

1. This is another “don’t drink and fall into the tracks” public service annoucement. I think the first time I saw this one I stopped dead in my tracks (holding up the line behind me), turned to Ryosuke, pointed at the poster, and was like “Holy crap, they’re allowed to make a poster like that??”

Be careful while you're drinking

Be careful while you’re drinking

In case you can’t notice, the dad is a salary-man (a Japanese business man). He’s been drinking, like usually. And since he’s coming home late, he bought his wife (or daughter) a present. However, since he’s so drunk, he’s about to fall in front of the moving train.

And then (the hilariously offensive part), h is daughter and wife are in the upper corner going “No, dad!” or “Honey, don’t die! No!”

… the heck?

That just makes me sad. But every time I see this poster, it makes me laugh. So it wins number one in my list of accidentally and offensively hilarious public service announcement posters at a Japanese train station list.

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About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

1 Comment on 11 Awkward signs found on Trains in Japan

  1. Lol wow these are something else for sure! Well, I shall refrain from upskirting, drinking and falling on the tracks and blowing chunks on passengers on the train when I visit Fukuoka next year! Thank you :)

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 6 More Things People (especially foreigners) Need to Stop Doing on Trains in Japan | Texan in Tokyo
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