Unintentionally Funny Signs of Travel in Japan

  • SumoMe

You know there are often times some signs and postings that are just humorous to see, even if unintentionally so.  Often times I wonder if it is only I who finds these funny, maybe it’s just my stupid sense of humor.  Japan is an amazing place, and it has such an amazing culture.  However often times there are things there that either maybe don’t translate or possibly shouldn’t be translated.

Some of the odd or funny signs from the Japanese capital of Tokyo.

Kid jumping from water -- Tokyo Japan
Beware of children leaping out the water and scaring you…

Hamburg Steak -- Tokyo Japan
Is shutting up the taste of beef good?  Heck none of this makes any sense whatsoever.

Dog peeing sign -- Tokyo Japan
I have no idea what this sign is about, but I find it unlikely that there is a need for a dog urinating…

Detox Onsen Sign  -- Tokyo Japan
I’m confident this is why tourists are afraid of visiting onsens.  I have no idea what any of this means…

Urinal Sign -- Tokyo Japan
Why is this strange?  Context is important perhaps, it was above the urinal in the store’s bathroom.  I have no idea why and yes I took photos in the bathroom…

These several couple signs are from the island of Miyajima that is off the coast of Hiroshima.  Miyajima is most famous for their floating torii gate at the Itsukushima Shrine.

Beware of Deer -- Miyajima Japan
Are you sure it’s not the deer that should be afraid of the children?

Gondola Sign -- Miyajima Japan
At least they are honest about the scenery?

Gondola Sign -- Miyajima Japan
A warning sign from the Gondola.  Now this isn’t a funny sign right away, but I had the feeling that they are hiding some important information from the non-Japanese readers

Monkey Warning Sign -- Miyajima Japan
Stupid AFO graduate…

Don't feed the monkeys -- Miyajima Japan
As one of my friend’s described it, “Please don’t Americanize the monkeys”.

These are just a sample 10 images from the last several trips, I hope others found these humorous as well.  If people are curious I can try to poke around and find a few more as well (and maybe some from other countries too).


  1. BigTed says

    In case you were still curious, on the rope way sign they haven’t translated point #2, not point #3. Point #2 on the Japanese says “Please don’t be a nuisance to other passengers.” I guess it was too hard to translate and they didn’t bother. Or they expect gaijin to ignore it. Who knows.

  2. Andrew Graeme Gould says

    I forgot to add that I have my own funny one from when I was in Japan about twenty years ago. I saw someone on the subway with a carrier bag with the following written on it:

    “I like elephant family. Their humming makes me happy.”
    Andrew Graeme Gould´s last blog post ..Santiago, Chile: Photo of the day

    • AY says

      Ahh there are some hilarious bags and shirts there too. I wasn’t sure how appropriate it would have been trying to take photographs of those.

  3. Andrew Graeme Gould says

    These are just so funny — especially with your added comments, Anwar! My favourite sign for the text is the red one about the beef! And I couldn’t stop laughing over your comments on the one with the little blue dog and the gondola sign! That last one is a bit of a worry! Someone needs to translate point 3 in Japanese for us, or we’ll remain eternally curious.
    Andrew Graeme Gould´s last blog post ..Santiago, Chile: Photo of the day

    • AY says

      Yes I need to ask one of my friends who speak Japanese what it says. I just always forget to do so. The beef one is hilarious, i still wish I knew what it meant….

    • AY says

      I love taking photos of signs around the world when I travel. it is sometimes amusing, often insightful, and generally good memory of a place.

  4. says

    LOVE this! I was amazed and amused at some of the zany signs that are posted everywhere in Tokyo. Coincidentally, I’m in the process of preparing my own Funny Signs post. It will be up soon. Curious to hear your reaction! (Great blog, btw).

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