12 of the funniest Japanese signs

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As a tour leader, there’s no corner of Japan Robert Kodama hasn’t visited, but he still finds surprises wherever he goes. Not least of all in the simplest of places: signs!

As I lead tours across Japan, I love taking photographs of beautiful scenery along the way (some of which you may have spotted on the InsideJapan Instagram!) However, at times, humorous signage catches my eye and I just have to take a snapshot for my collection.

Favourite Japanese signs

1. Warm Bottoms

Warm Bottoms Engrish sign, Japan

I am assuming they are selling trousers to keep you warm through the winter. Or perhaps, the famous toilet seats I am sure you have heard all about.

2. Shoo

Shoo Engrish sign Japan

I left this train station pretty sharpish!

3. Japanese foodstuff

Japanese foodstuff Engrish sign

4. Have a good socks

Good Socks, funny Engrish Japan

The marketing department for this socks company have made quite the bold claim. The socks have not disappointed me yet.

5. Handrails are in trouble

Handrails in Trouble funny Engrish sign Japan

I spotted some very naughty handrails when visiting Ryougin Garden in Nanzenji Temple, Kyoto.

6. The garbage which burns

Garbage which burns, funny Engrish sign Japan

It is hard to determine whether the garbage put into this bin will spontaneously burn on its own.

7. Stinkpot

Garbage Stinkpot, funny Engrish sign Japan

Spotted in a FamilyMart convenience store in Kyoto, concerned about the garbage being thrown into what seems to be currently the official translation of toilet: stinkpot.

8. We are so very afraid

We are so afraid, funny Engrish sign Japan

9. Guilty shoes

Polite prison, funny Engrish sign Japan
Spotted at the Hakone Tokaido Checkpoint, your shoes appear to be far too guilty to enter even a prison.

10. Groin groin

Groin groin, funny Engrish sign Japan

Perhaps referring to the French “grouin grouin”?

11. Roast pork, oh, oh.

Roast Pork funny Engrish menu in Japan

Oh, oh… perhaps don’t order the roast pork here.

12. Bar Rehab

Bar Rehab, funny signs in Japan

I am fairly confident that this is not the place to go.

It will be great to see how Japan adapts to welcoming more tourists from all over the world as it becomes the go-to destination for beautiful nature, unique culture, interesting history and delicious food (as well as amusing signs).

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