No wonder so many people just take the train.
While Japan’s super-efficient railways get all the glory, the country’s highway system also has a lot going for it. The roads are well-maintained, brightly lit at night, and flanked by rest stops that boast pristine bathrooms, samurai town recreations, and/or giant anime robots.
But a definite downside to driving on Japan’s highways is that some of the signs posted ahead of interchanges are extremely confusing. How bad can they be? Just take a look at this series of illustrations shared by Japanese Twitter user @tfvesp.
手布部＠10/2名古屋ずんぱ3 (@tfvesp) September 29, 2016
The brief, six-panel comic starts with a bespectacled man driving through Aichi Prefecture, a little less than five kilometers (three miles) before the interchange for Toyota City.
▼ “OK, the interchange should be coming up soon…huh?”
Seriously, that sign looks more like a children’s activity book maze than something that’s meant to convey processable information in the few seconds it’ll take motorists to drive by it. And it’s not like @tfvesp is taking artistic license in order to punch up his comic’s comedy, either. Here’s what Google spits back if you do an image search for the sign, which is supposed to direct drivers headed to Tokyo, Nagoya, Mie Prefecture, or the local airport onto the correct path to their desired destination.
But even if you make it past this cartographic challenge, you’re not out of the woods yet.
▼ “I…I made it, somehow…All right, the next turn off is…”
Yup, after you make it to the Nagoya South Interchange, you’ll be greeted by this sign that either tells you how to get to Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, or Tokyo.
▼ Either that or it’s a picture of a dragon, complete with horns, a tail, and flame breath.
And once again, yes, the illustration is how the sign actually looks in real life.
Really, with signage this confusing, it’s surprising that Aichi has to bribe its citizens with free coffee to get them to pay attention when driving.
Follow Casey on Twitter, and he promises to do what he can to organize a search party for you if you ever get lost in Aichi.