Road signs in Japan

Signs on Aichi prefectural road No.439 in Toyooka, Shinshiro, Aichi – road narrows; slow down; no lorries; speed limit 30 km/h
A stop sign with a pedestrian crossing sign
A no crossing sign

This page shows the road signs used in Japan.

Warning signs

Warning signs are diamond shape with yellow backgrounds, black borders and black pictograms.

Regulatory signs

The stop sign is a red, downward-pointing triangle, with the text 止まれ (tomare) in white. Prohibition signs are round with white backgrounds, red borders, and blue pictograms. Mandatory instruction signs are round with blue backgrounds and white pictograms.

Other signs

Direction/distance signs have dark green backgrounds and white text for expressways. In urban areas and on national highways, direction signs have dark blue backgrounds. The signs are normally written in Japanese and English.

"Stop" sign changes

The octagonal "stop" sign design recommended by the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals

In 2016, it was announced that the Japanese National Police Agency was considering changing the design of the "Stop" sign used on Japanese roads since 1963 from the inverted red triangle sign to an octagonal design more closely conforming to the recommendations of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.[1] The inverted red triangle sign was introduced in 1963 ahead of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, and replaced the earlier red octagonal sign used from 1960, which in turn had replaced the yellow octagonal sign used from 1950.[1]


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  1. 1 2 "Design of Japanese stop signs might change ahead of Olympic tourism surge". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
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