While most of Japan is served by “National Routes” with the upside-teardrop shape (see the previous Japan post) Tokyo’s Expressways are called “Shuto Expressways” and are managed by a different company, and have different route markers and different construction styles, different signs, all that. The routes even have their own numbering system. You can get a good map here (click) – it’s in Japanese but as maps go, it’s fairly self explanatory and you can run it through google’s translator.
There are two belt roads, called C1 and C2. Numbered routes radiate out clockwise. The B expressway runs along the Bay, while the tunneled Y expressway is buried under the Yaesu Neighborhood – Routes prefixed with a K serve Kanagawa prefecture, while routes prefixed with an S serve Saitama prefecture. Easy, right? Remember, click the smaller images for the larger ones – you’ll need to for these freakishly complex overhead signs. We’ll start with an easy one :
I could not figure out what this sign was for at first – until my friend translated it for me. It means, be quiet! The Japanese politeness culture extends even on to the untamed road network. Don’t play loud music, or honk, or have a loud muffler because people in the very closeby apartments might be asleep.