Talking Points: 12 Odd Japanese Safety & Traffic Cones

Plastic safety cones have become so ubiquitous along Japan‘s roadways, unusual measures have been taken to ensure they stand out amongst the crowd.



“Safety in numbers”… a self-defeating term if there ever was when it comes to Japan’s countless cohorts of conical warning signs. They’re everywhere it seems: parking lots, construction zones, anywhere the ground is disturbed and could possibly pose a hazard to drivers and/or pedestrians.




If these cones were all standard Safety Orange, our senses would tune them out as visual background noise. What to do? If you’re Japan, you deviate from the norm in oft-unexpected, cute and quirky ways… like these endearing Mount Fuji cones captured by Asagiri Web, Setsugekka, One Sometimes Futari, Daily Model Railroad Room, and Illumination Designer.

Smile When You Safety That



Is it somewhat incongruous for warning markers to sport goofy grins? Yes, yes it is, but this is Japan so all bets are off. Flickr user Martin Bryant (MartinSFP) and blogger Cat (Overtake) Chan spotted these smiling sunflower cones making light of a serious situation.

Flower Power



At the Sakuragi shrine in Chiba prefecture (east of Tokyo) it’s all cherry blossoms, all the time. The theme extends even to the temple’s parking lot where cherry blossom-wrapped safety cones add a note of scenic harmony. Kudos to blogger “Drawer of his Head” for noticing the cute cone in October of 2015 and proving one does not have to blend in, in order to stand out.

Size Matters




Go big or go home, and that goes for safety cones, to the chagrin of local police forces. Kudos to Flickr user Kat n Kim and blogger Minkara for the images above.