Tales from the Man who would be King

Rex Jaeschke's Personal Blog

Signs of Life: Part 18

© 2017 Rex Jaeschke. All rights reserved.

From time to time during my travels, I come across signs that I find interesting for one reason or another. Sometimes, they contain clever writing, are humorous, or remind me of some place or event. Here are some from Japan.


Magnetic signs in my Tokyo hotel room, which I could stick on the outside of my room's metal door.

I especially liked the pictures.


Once you've seen this sign on the sides of vans, you start to wonder what it's all about.

According to Wikipedia, "Yamato Transport is Japan's largest door-to-door delivery service companies." Supposedly, they are as careful as a momma cat is when she moves her kittens!


Well, do you?

Yakiniku refers to grilled meat cuisine.


East meets west.

BTW, this famous American brand of whiskey is now owned by the Japanese!


As big as the Japanese are on small animals as pets, this is a recyclable bottle made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).


I was staying at a ryokan on Izu Peninsular, and there were two sets of indoor baths with change rooms. The larger one was usually assigned to men; however, at certain times of each day, they swapped over the signs, so the ladies could enjoy the larger communal bath. Now while I remember reading this soon after I checked in, I promptly forgot about it, until that is, I was coming out of what had been the men's room the day before, and ran into a woman coming in. She gasped at the sight of the giant gaijin (foreigner) coming out of the (currently) ladies' room, and raced away!


When staying at a ryokan, one gets to wear a kimono-like gown called a yukata, for walking around the house and gardens, and for sleeping. The important thing to remember is shown in the box marked Caution! It states, "Do not put the right side of the Yukata over the left side—this is the way Japanese people dress corpses." So, unless you want to be a "dead man walking", pay attention!


In my many years of seeing this beverage during my trips to Japan, I cannot get inspired by drinking the sweat from anything! That said, this sports drink is very popular.

According to Wikipedia, "The reference to sweat in the name of the beverage tends to have a certain off-putting or humorous connotation for native English speakers. However, the name was chosen by the manufacturers originally for the purpose of marketing the product as a sports drink in Japan, where English words are used differently. It was largely derived from the notion of what it is intended to supply to the drinker: all of the nutrients and electrolytes lost when sweating. The first part of the name, Pocari, does not have any meaning; the word was coined for its light, bright sound."


Sign on a commercial laundry, probably not run by the Chinaman, Mr. Clea Ning!


On the table of a restaurant. Once a customer has ordered, waitstaff do not come and ask, "Is everything OK?" several times throughout the meal. If you want their attention, or to get the bill, you simply press the button, and someone comes.


Just in case you were wondering what this pet store is offering, the list contains the following: dog run, dog cafe, dog products, souvenirs, porcelain, and, of course, more!


In some Japanese restaurants, one takes off one's street shoes and puts on slippers provided by the host. (However, as I can attest, one size does not fit all!) So, what to do with one's own shoes? Put them in a storage locker in the foyer, close the locker door, and take the wooden block "key" with you. Wakari-mas? (Do you understand?)


From a sign outside a store on the island of Enoshima.

For only 500 yen, you can take off your shoes and socks, roll up your pants legs, sit down with your feet in a pond, and let the fish remove all the dead skin. It's ticklish fun!


According to Wiktionary, capricious means "impulsive and unpredictable; determined by chance, impulse, or whim." An interesting name for a resort.


While all the kinds of people qualified to sit in this train seat are obvious, I can't help but feel sorry for the woman who appears to be pregnant with triplets!


As Wikipedia states, 'The maneki-neko, literally "beckoning cat", is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman) which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner.' You'll see it "all over the place."

BTW, neko is Japanese for cat.


Comments (2) -

  • Tom MacDonald

    11/21/2019 4:07:13 PM | Reply

    I'm not drinking any beverage named as some kind of sweat.  Smile

  • Oak Winters

    11/28/2019 5:22:47 PM | Reply

    Having traveled in Japan helps one to better understand how culture affects signage. I too have run afoul of custom at communal baths, wearing my yukata tied as a dead man and discovering the tiny towel given to cover private parts while walking to and fro does not mask the third leg of many westerners.