all images courtesy Gaku Yamazaki
Gaku Yamazaki, a 21-year old college senior, spends his spare time traversing Japan in search of what he has dubbed ikei-yajirushi, or ‘unusual arrows.’ There are thousands of these abnormal road signs dotted across Japan and while drivers might find them confusing or even annoying, Yamazaki has developed a certain affection for them, particularly towards the more bizarre ones.
unusual road signs of Chiba
Yamazaki travels across Japan, usually on public transportation, rented bicycle or on foot, in search of new road signs, each of which are meticulously documented on his website and categorized by prefecture. “I am impressed that they have weathered the elements and remain standing along roads in hopes of working diligently and honestly,” he said. “The arrows look as if they were alive, deepening my affection for them.”
So far he has documented over 3,700 unusual road signs across all 47 prefectures. At 880 instances, Shizuoka currently reigns supreme. You can see them all on his website or follow him on Twitter.
unusual road signs of Hokkaido
unusual road signs of Kanagawa
unusual road signs of Tokyo
May 26, 2023 at 9:54 am
Funny topic and very unusual signs!
June 4, 2023 at 6:16 pm
Yes, but what do they signify?
June 5, 2023 at 2:07 am
Your photos are wonderful. I’m glad you thought to collect and present them to us who might otherwise not have seen the full impact of these venerable unique directionals.