When we were driving around Kyoto, we saw the cutest little roadblocks. They were shaped like frogs. While Belgian roadblocks are just functional and boring looking, the Japanese never pass up an opportunity to make something look cute. We were surprised and fascinated to suddenly see these funny frog-roadblocks while entering Kyoto. In Japan you never know what you’ll see next!
Japan is all about ‘cute’, or ‘kawaii’ as they call it. Grown adults, children, elderly people, they all engage in the cult of kawaii. When even the most serious of objects gets a touch of kawaii, it often leads to slightly comical scenes (for the Western beholder at least). But the cult of kawaii it is one the very typical things that make Japan what it is, and I am both fascinated and delighted by it.
i like the fact that they use green cones instead of just sticking to the regular orange-red ones.
I found out there are a lot more different shapes and colours. If you scroll down to Ayako-san’s comment, she posted a link where you can see all the different kinds.
nice information 😀 Is it just in Kyoto? Or we can see this cute roadblocks in other district?
Another reader commented that they also exist in Tokyo. So my guess is that you can find them anywhere in Japan.
Funny–the ord for frog is “kaeru” which also means “to return–or go back.” Perfect symbol for a road block.
I hadn’t thought of that yet. Clever!
Now, these are not normal. Have never seen them and I don’t think I ever will in Tokyo though you never know. But we do tend to like frogs, that I know.
Maybe it’s just something for Aichi-ken or central Japan then? I saw them a lot around Toyotashi and Kyoto. I always find your comments so interesting because they always give an extra perspective on the things I write and I learn a lot! Thank you!
And of course I was wrong!! This guy writes about how he came across frogs in Shimbashi.
And I found a company that sells them as well as other shaped roadblocks.
Omg, these are so funny and cute! I love the rabbits and lions. I wonder what makes a company decide to buy these instead of the more conventional ones.
A sense of humor or the Japanese urge to make things kawaii at all times…?!
Definitely the kawaii thing then! There is no such thing as too much kawaii (^ω^)
Omg, they are cute indeed! 😀 Why is it only Japan that has this kind of thing? :p There should be a market for this (as in “make the world more cute”)
In my opinion that ‘market’ is called 100yen shop 😀 They have so much cute stuff there. I wish there was a Daiso or Seria in Belgium.
hahaha, I meant a market in Belgium actually 😀 I wish there would be more cute cheap stuff in Belgium anyway..
I heard they have Daiso in Los Angeles. Maybe we could write to the company and urge them to open a store in Belgium as well 🙂
btw, I noticed some of these roadblocks in Fukuoka as well!
Cool! It seems they are everywhere!
wow, these look very kawaii!
I wonder if it helps alleviate “road rage”??
Haha, I hadn’t considered that yet. Could be! 🙂