Looking for a unique gifts – try an umbrella with a traditional Japanese katana handle. You won’t find these at home!
You know you’re in Japan when all the taxis come complete with white lace seat covers and head rest covers.
Not only does Takashimaya have elevator girls, but there is an entire training program. We caught this elevator that had TWO young ladies in attendance.
Elevator attendents have gone the way of the buggy whip and dial phone in the US, but in Japan, the major department stores still have a staff of lovely young ladies who bow to guests and push the floor buttons in their main bank of elevators. See one in action HERE.
We just love the Japanese sense of Kawaii, cuteness, that is found everywhere. We found this luggage on sale in a train station, showing adorable little rabbits.
The Japanese seem to want to be absolutely sure you have instructions in all situations. So in case you are unclear on the concept of riding an escalator, this banner found in a Tokyo subway clarifies it for you. We’re just not certain if you are required to gender separate as shown on the illustration.
The picture says it all; we’re just not sure who needs instructions in this vending-machine happy country.
Colorful fans are on display in shops throughout Japan.
At first, we loved the name of Boo Boo Park (reminded us of Yogi). But then we noted that this parking lot holds a total of 4 cars! With space at a premium in the cities, little parking lots crop up everywhere!
We love all the cute messages on clothing and accessories for young girls in Japan. This one even translates beautifully.
For the English speaker, this unusual flaunting of authority by the Japanese bicycle rider is pretty funny. But if you read the Japanese, it’s entirely possible that the bikes parked here are rental bikes and maybe they just don’t want OTHER bikes parked here. Who’s to know if you don’t speak Japanese.
The Vanilla Bus – we have no idea what they are promoting, but they sure can spell it out.
Most people have heard about the amazing toilets in Japan, with heated seats, special sprayers and dryers. But some places go further and decorate them as well. This one is at the studio of a ceramic artist who specializes in colorful glazes.
Under Tokyo station you can find an entire street filled with character stores – each one focusing on one of the many cute characters (think Hello Kitty!) that the Japanese love.
Taking a group selfie at Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto – this was definitely a production for these lovely ladies clad in kimono.
We know young children like new and engaging activities… these adorable little ones were spotted at the train station, where their caretakers were showing them the sights while wheeling them around in their custom pink cart.
First sighting of this warning sign in Japan! Along with all the usual no drinking, no smoking, no bicycling, the caretakers at Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano felt it important enough to include No Drones on their English sign at the entry. As for Keep Clean – they left the definition of that up to the visitor.
Oh, and notice the sign is primarily in English — probably because most of these warnings aren’t needed for the Japanese.
We just love how the Japanese combine English words in unusual ways. And then there are the TV game shows. When you’re in Japan you must try to see some on your in-room TV. This one was Kicking Sniper – it wasn’t obvious what the point was, but the contestants were having fun. They, of course, started the show in typical Japanese style – Everyone bowing!
We know you’ve heard about Japan’s amazing toilets. But we ran into some formal toilet paper all decked out for a night on the town on a recent trip to Japan.