Walking and the pedestrian environment
April 4, 2006
Kid Signs (Tokyo)

A sampling of kid-related signs.

Kids in SubwayRed leather backpacks are a symbol of Japanese school children. Some schools use the flat surface to hang reflective, cautionary signs.

School RouteA children crossing sign. Below it is "Elementary School. School Route."

Local Schools and ServicesSign pointing to nearby schools and services. Notice that there are two elementary schools and two junior high schools within a 5 minute walk.

School and ParkMap of an elementary school wrapped in a park's loving embrace. The park is full of kid-friendly activities.

Cute Stop SignPedestrian stop sign in front of a crosswalk, with cute animals to attract kids' attention. They're the target audience, since this is right next to an elementary school exit.

No Batting PracticeIn a pocket park, this sign tries to stop kids from taking batting practice. The park is just long enough for a makeshift mound and plate.

No FireworksIn a pocket park, this sign tries to stop folks from setting off fireworks in the summer time. It's probably aimed at adolescents and young adults.

Rush Hour Ped Bike OnlyA common sight in residential areas, this sign limits a narrow street to only bike and ped use during morning and afternoon rush hours - covering the hours just before and after school. The sign says "Pedestrian Use Road. Except Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays. 7:30-9, 16-18."

Rush Hour Kids OnlyPainted on a business district road, this sign says "School Route, Vehicles Prohibited 7:30-9, 16-19". There are also signs asking people to keep their speed down.

School Route Paint"School Route" painted on a one-way street next to an elementary school.

School StreetAnother common sight, these signs say "School Street", then have the character "bun", which means "writing" and appears as prefix in many terms related to literature, grammar and education. In that sense it could be taken to mean "grammar school", but I believe these appear near junior and senior high schools as well. Finally the name of the school district (in Tokyo, the same as the local city government) appears at the bottom.

Grammar"Grammar" painted on a school walking route.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at April 4, 2006 6:51 PM
Lost Seattle
Check out my book Lost Seattle for more explorations of history and urbanism.
These pages are an archive. For my new content, visit ba-kground.com.
Copyright Rob Ketcherside; contact roket swirly gwu.edu