Japan seems to have mastered the art of creating public order via notifications and signs. "Pedestrians keep right," "Don't dump your trash here," and so on. Indeed, there often are messages on the street here, and, by and large, people seem to follow them.

In my home country, on the other hand, good luck getting anyone to listen to you let alone follow a sign you've posted. I wondered why there seem to be so many postings here and why they are, more or less, respected. A Japanese friend noted that "Probably, Japanese people are shy, but they still care what other people do. Perhaps, it's easier for them to communicate information and rules through a letter or posted notice."

That said, they are also more, ummm, eccentric instances of postings around the city. Sometimes they are surprising, and they even make you laugh out loud.

For example, you can find many things on the street.

"Hang in there! Don't throw up here. Throw up at the place where you drank."

It's a stern reminder to weekend partiers, but the writer didn't forget to add some encouragement:

"Hang in there."

It's nice the writer has maintained their sense of humor, even though people are throwing up in front of their store. Hopefully, all the local drinkers listen.

Followers on Twitter reacted:

  • "Yeah, you shouldn't drink if you throw up."
  • "I really like this message. Exactly…!!! You should hold it until you get to a toilet.
  • "I think many people throw up by this type of cone. People want to grab something when they throw up?"
  • "Yeah, unconsciously, they want something that supports their body when they throw up"

Speaking of toilets, there are messages not only on the street but also in the bathrooms, here is another quirky message.

"Don't smoke in the toilet. Otherwise, I will poop in the smoking room."

Indeed, I often see messages in Japanese bathrooms. There is "Don't make a mess," and also "Don't smoke in the toilet." But, I've never seen anything like this: "If you smoke here, I will poop in the smoking room". Indeed, this is a super powerful message.

People reacted:

  • "I can't think of a more convincing message."
  • "I shouldn't make this person my enemy."
  • "This is the same as the Code of Hammurabi. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

People laughed and were sure to remember this powerful message.

Of course, there are also messages in "paradise." For example, this message was posted in Okinawa.

"Beyonce is from our city, Taketomi!"


I think this person just wants her city to be famous. Nobody believes this, but people love this kind of message. There are some comments such as:

  • "Nice sense!"
  • "I knew it"
  • "I often saw this in Taketomi, and it always makes me laugh."

And here is one more funny one. This person parked in a parking space and someone put this paper on his motorbike.

"Your motorbike is very cool. Ha!"

I imagine this person initially thought it was a parking ticket, and breathed a sigh of relief.

People reacted:

  • "Wow, it's very sweet."
  • "I will add 'yeah, it is' under this message."
  • "Why doesn't this person leave this message on my motorbike?"

Mysterious guidance on the Street...

Sure enough, Japanese people are shy, but they also like to write heartwarming messages.

Reproduced with permission from Mioko (@mioko_official)

Recently, this post was popular on Twitter. A Japanese model named Mioko (@mioko_official) tweeted about a message she found on the street. When she was walking in a residential area, she noticed a mysterious message on the telephone pole.

Reproduced with permission from Mioko (@mioko_official)

Reproduced with permission from Mioko (@mioko_official)

Reproduced with permission from Mioko (@mioko_official)

There were several messages. At first, Mioko felt suspicious about the charade, but she obeyed and did what the signs said... and they led her to find some Emperor Dahlia flowers.

Reproduced with permission from Mioko (@mioko_official)

"I thought it was a trick. But actually, there are Dahlia flowers."

Dahlias are very sensual flowers, and someone wanted to show them off to passersby.

Some followers reacted:

  • "Wow...! I didn't know these flowers become so big."
  • "If I found this message I will go to see these flowers."

Japanese people may be shy, but they also love to communicate with others. They enjoy humor but in their own way.

You can find more postings by Mioko on her Twitter page. Enjoy!

By - Luke Mahoney.