Monday, 23 February 2009

Western Food

Chinese and Western style food area

And here is another Narita sign.

Japanese Food

Japanese-style food area

It was referring to the food court area in Narita. You could think of it also as saying 'the Japanese Quarter'.


Travel goods

At Narita.

Service Counter

Credit card holder's service (counter)

Another sign at Narita.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Submit a Japanese Sign

The moment you've been waiting for has come. I'm opening the floor to anyone with a worthy Japanese sign. Send me your pictures, captioned or not, and I'll put them up. I'll try not to put signs up which are already on the site, or too similar to something on the site, or not very useful. Also, if I don't put your sign up straight away it's because I'm lazy or busy, or perhaps I secretly hate you and your superior sign finding ability.

My email address is shown below, as an image to avoid spam.

Any format is fine, if you want to caption it try the format shown below:

-Original kanji containing sentence
-Hiragana and/or katakana reading
-English translation

An example:

Height limit 2.0 metres or less.

I'll check any captions I get, I won't post blindly. Of course, if I make a mistake, please let me know in the comments so we can get it fixed up and avoid misleading anyone. So far people have been very generous in pointing out errors and typos and I appreciate it.

I will be altering and posting these pics for everyone to copy and use as they see fit. If you don't want your picture distributed freely on the internet, then don't send it.

Have at it.

Money Exchange

Money exchange

These are all from Narita airport. Not many people fly in to Haneda, even though it's closer to the centre of Tokyo.


Terminal 2 arrivals.

Also at Narita. I had to crop the English underneath this to enhance it's educational value for you, the reader.


Terminal 2 departures.

At Narita.

Closed Shop


They've added the しました although they could have done without it. It's a bit like saying 'we have closed our shop', instead of just describing it as 'closed'.

Lottery Tickets


Middle-aged ladies always seem to man these lottery ticket booths. Perhaps older ladies are lucky in Japan. Middle-aged women also have a monopoly on illegal money changing conducted in the street. Go to Shibuya and walk into the main mall street and you can see them standing around next to the Yakuza and arubaito, waiting for business. Maybe they are Yak mums.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Shibuya Standing Sushi Bar

元祖立食寿司、 にぎり寿司、 1ヶ75円、 にぎりたてのお好きなネタがすぐ食べられます。
がんそりっしょくすし、 にぎりすし、 1ヶ75えん、 にぎりたてのおすきなネタがすぐたべられます。
The originator of stand-up sushi, hand-formed sushi, 1 for 75 yen, your favourite topping stand-up hand-formed sushi can be eaten immediately.

As I said in the last post, restaurants often have heavily stylised kanji on menus and signs. This store has gone for a crystal clear font, except for the Rorschach kanji at top right. You can see 寿司 (すし) in both the weird font and the clear, one above the other. I sometimes think they try to make the kanji as disfigured as possible whilst still retaining borderline legibility. The し looks a little like a cartoon duck.

Anyway, that's some cheap sushi.


そば、 うどん
そば、 うどん
Soba, udon

Remember, it's read right to left. I'll tell you, reading menus and restaurant signs is some of the hardest stuff. Everyone seems to prefer highly stylised scripts, so it's really difficult to make out. It's like trying to read English that's written in an ornate Gothic script. Okay for natives to do, but hell for second language learners. You can see this one is pretty easy because they are using kana, but even so, check out the 'ど'. Now imagine reading kanji written like this.