Monday, May 14, 2012

Road Construction

I'm still trying to cram in all the unwritten blog posts about Japanese life before we leave this island.  This one is dedicated to the "art" of construction.

The Japanese have distinct ways of doing things that, as a foreigner, I have found fascinating and one of them is how they do road construction.  Not the actual construction work mind you, but I guess you could call it more the safety prep.

For example, you're casually driving down the road when all of a sudden you start seeing signs like these...

Of course they're signs warning you of upcoming construction.  But I love that they always have a serene picture on them - either of flowers, sunsets, puppies, etc. - I guess to assuage your uprising road rage?

Pretty soon after these signs you'll maybe see one of these guys:

Yep, this guy's job is to stand there all day waving his big yellow flag (just in case the signs and cones didn't warn you about the upcoming road work.)

Then, if you're on a side road, you might see one of these:

Yep, that would be a picture of a person bowing and a sign saying "Thank you for your cooperation and understanding to our project."  They're saying they're sorry for fixing the road and causing you an inconvenience!

Then, you might see one of these:

It's a countdown clock, just before we got the green arrow, there was a red "x" with the seconds until you could go counting down.  Considering we were on a twisty mountain road with a sheer drop off the side, I'm really glad the Japanese are rule-followers!

Of course, my all time favorite is the electronic waving man:

(I have to admit, this isn't my photo, but I couldn't find mine.)

The end result of all this stuff is that rarely do you have traffic slow downs around construction.  And it is kind of entertaining to drive through!

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