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Published on : Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Tokyo’s central shopping district has implemented a very smart and eye-soothing idea to avoid traffic hassle near the construction sites beside train stations. The hello kitty figures and barriers outside the potholes are ensuring the security of the travellers and also attracting tourists to click selfies.
The authorities have installed several barriers with more than 30 varieties of cartoons like deer, dolphins, elephants, giraffes etc. The cartoons are part of the Japanese culture called ‘kawaii’. The word kawaii means cute in Japanese. No one ever thought of using the word kawaii for a construction site before this initiative.
The main idea is to keep the agitated passers-by entertained near the construction sites. Also, the authorities think that the cartoons will be able to beautify the city.
The company Sendai Meiban, which manufactures construction and traffic related materials, has introduced its first kawaii traffic barricade in 2006 featuring a monkey.
Tokyo National Highway Office employee Tetsuya Hatakeyama has informed that the hello kitty figures outside the train station in Shinjuku have become a tourist attraction from December 2015. He has added that the construction site has become a stop for foreigner tourists to take pictures. Children also consider the place as a fun spot.
Meanwhile, a 27-year-old contemporary artist, Fusao Hasegawa has been trying to turn the traffic cones into art works. Several of his art forms have been placed near temples in Kita-Kamakura.
Hasegawa has stated, “Once people see my art, if they see an ordinary traffic cone, it will remind them of this work.”