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Author Topic: Japan  (Read 47181 times)

Rothman

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Re: Japan
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2022, 08:25:55 PM »

Does anyone here know anything about Okinawa?

I'm moving there at the end of this month. I've been doing a ton of research, but would love to know more if anyone can add anything.
Check out Miyagi-do Karate's dojo.
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jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2022, 07:30:38 PM »

Does anyone here know anything about Okinawa?

I'm moving there at the end of this month. I've been doing a ton of research, but would love to know more if anyone can add anything.
Check out Miyagi-do Karate's dojo.

I gotta catch up on that series.

jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2022, 07:31:07 PM »

Documentary about "730", or the day that Okinawa switched driving sides, from right to left, in 1978:

Rothman

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Re: Japan
« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2022, 09:59:30 PM »

Does anyone here know anything about Okinawa?

I'm moving there at the end of this month. I've been doing a ton of research, but would love to know more if anyone can add anything.
Check out Miyagi-do Karate's dojo.

I gotta catch up on that series.
It's been uneven, but I've enjoyed it overall.
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bing101

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Re: Japan
« Reply #79 on: October 15, 2022, 10:19:10 AM »

Here is Dashcam Roadshow tour from Chiba to Tokyo.

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jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #80 on: October 28, 2022, 10:51:20 PM »

Busy intersection outside the entrance to the Rycom Centre / Aeon Mall in Okinawa. Took this video myself:

jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #81 on: November 07, 2022, 02:16:10 AM »

Cross-post from another thread, possibly relevant here.

I'm living in Japan now. Apart from a handful of intersections, at least here in Okinawa there are no protected right turns (Japan drives on the left, so right turns are across traffic). There are many right turns with two lanes as well, and these operate permissively just like the rest. I'm convinced there is at least one with three right turn lanes, but I haven't located one yet (I only know of one, in Tokyo). Here is an example near the Rycom Shopping Center, and one of the busiest intersections outside of Naha. It also has a westbound double left turn across the crosswalk; crossings in Japan are always concurrent with through traffic.

Most right turns have a dedicated box where traffic is designated to pull into while waiting to turn. If there is a gap, you are welcome to turn, although Japanese drivers are generally pretty conservative and don't shoot through tight gaps like back in the US. Especially because the protected phase is at the end, so there's not really a strict "need" to turn during the permissive phase. The waiting boxes are great because, effectively, half the turn is already complete when the green arrow comes on. You do have to be careful though, as the yellow lights are very short (maximum around 2 seconds, even at large intersections), so plenty of drivers are still coming at you when the green arrow comes on.

At some newer intersections, such as here in central Naha, the movement through the intersection is defined by dashed lines as well as colored pavement. In that example, the right turns following the blue pavement. This helps keep drivers in the lane as they turn, but seems much more effective than just using dashed lines when there is more than one turn lane. They are also used at single-lane turns when the turn is really long, such as here.



Unrelated to double permissive turns, but just to give you some idea of how committed the Japanese are to permissive right turns: this three-level diamond has a single intersection beneath it that operates entirely permissive with a five-second all-red phase at the end (single turns only, though). You can have up to seven or eight cars in a single file line waiting to turn.


Okinawa Expy (E58) at Route 329 Bypass by Jacob Root, on Flickr

Scott5114

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Re: Japan
« Reply #82 on: November 07, 2022, 04:49:48 AM »

Good grief, those signal heads look like they'd be impossible to pick out in those giant intersections. You must be in hell :-D
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jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #83 on: November 07, 2022, 06:09:43 AM »

Good grief, those signal heads look like they'd be impossible to pick out in those giant intersections. You must be in hell :-D

They've gotten better, some newer intersections now have up to three signal heads! Just incredible haha.

The typical Japanese intersection has one far left signal and one near right signal, both mounted overhead on those DC-style stubby mast arms. New intersections often have far right signals as well, such as here.

As for the intersection above, it's not good. When you're waiting to turn right, at the waiting point, there is literally no signal in view. You have to watch for oncoming traffic to stop, or for the through signal on the parallel road to turn green; of course by that point, you've already had a red signal for at least five seconds, and now traffic is coming at you and the six cars behind you, so it's best to be very observant! I saw that happen while I was observing the intersection, and it was one of the few times I've actually heard Japanese drivers use their horns, even though it was the poor guy at the front of the line who didn't notice it go red way off behind his left shoulder. I would give him the benefit of the doubt, but they were the only driver to make that mistake. It goes without saying that the intersection needs another supplemental signal on the far right of each approach.

One other thing I see here on wider roads: when there are U-turns permitted (which is everywhere unless it says otherwise), drivers will often make their own U-turn lanes. In my image above, the two Mazda sedans on the left of the image are both making U-turns to reach the Aeon Haebaru shopping center.

kurumi

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Re: Japan
« Reply #84 on: November 07, 2022, 12:02:59 PM »

Slight derail: in Osaka 5 years ago I saw a guy in the distance with a National Route 58 T-shirt (which the E58 expressway in jakeroot's post is based on).

Route 58 is the longest such route in Japan, but hops many islands between Okinawa and Kyushu; its distance over land is less than 1/3 the official length. That would be a fun (but difficult) route to clinch.
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Alps

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Re: Japan
« Reply #85 on: November 07, 2022, 10:45:48 PM »

Slight derail: in Osaka 5 years ago I saw a guy in the distance with a National Route 58 T-shirt (which the E58 expressway in jakeroot's post is based on).

Route 58 is the longest such route in Japan, but hops many islands between Okinawa and Kyushu; its distance over land is less than 1/3 the official length. That would be a fun (but difficult) route to clinch.
If they're counting sea miles it's not difficult, it's impossible. No ferry from this end: https://goo.gl/maps/GovA4qJdswBQvrX68

fwydriver405

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Re: Japan
« Reply #86 on: November 08, 2022, 08:07:44 PM »

Been wondering about a few things about Japanese traffic control for a while...

1. How common are vertical traffic signals in Japan?


2. What do the different crossbucks at many level crossings in Japan mean? I've seen four styles used, but not sure what they mean (or if those were installed by the different railroad companies in Japan):

Style 1, 2, 3, 4

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jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #87 on: November 08, 2022, 09:01:50 PM »

Been wondering about a few things about Japanese traffic control for a while...

1. How common are vertical traffic signals in Japan?

Vertical signals are used when needed for visibility (example here in Yonabaru), and also in snowy areas. I think they are quite common in Hokkaido. The intersection in your video, in Toyama, is in a snow belt.

...

Can't personally comment on your crossbuck question, there are no rail lines in Okinawa apart from the monorail so I can't go out and investigate for myself.

I do think it's realistic to assume that it could be related to the various JR organizations and their own design standards.

jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #88 on: November 14, 2022, 12:15:05 AM »

Cross-post from the Traffic Signal thread:

I'm hoping to get some more photos and videos up, but I wanted to write a bit about Japanese traffic signal operations.

First, I want to talk about the design. Japan primarily uses horizontal signals outside of two situations: (1) snowy areas, or (2) signals placed in tight spots for additional visibility. Otherwise, signals are always horizontal. Because Japan drives on the left, the horizontal signals are opposite from what you'd see in the right-hand traffic countries. So, red is on the far right, closest to the inside of the road, with green on the outside. Arrows are also used, and are placed below the main lenses at horizontal signals, and to the right at vertical signals. The arrows are always green, no yellow arrows to be found here. Most four way intersections will have a right-facing green arrow, some with left turn lanes also have a left turn filter signal. T intersections never have green arrows, the protected phase has oncoming traffic stop on red, but there is no indication of this to turning traffic; Japanese law does not seem to allow a green arrow and green orb to be lit simultaneously. The signals themselves are either grey or dark brown. There have been three design "ages": incandescent signals, then LED signals with visors, and (presently) LED signals without a visor. The non-visor signals are single units, rather than individual signal faces.

Next, I want to talk about operations. Japan is...not the most creative when it comes to signal phasing. The standard phasing is very simple: through traffic and pedestrians have green simultaneous, turning traffic yields; this is followed by a green arrow for right turning traffic. The right turn green arrows always come on at the same time, for both directions, no matter what. Most four-way intersections with turn lanes will have this operation, though some do not have any protected phase (example here with a double right turn). Three-way intersections, for traffic turning right off the top of the T, also typically get a protected phase, but as mentioned above, there is no green arrow; traffic has to deduce that it's their turn based on oncoming traffic having stopped. Regardless of the number of turn lanes, these operations described above are the same (double left turns, double right turns, everything is always a yield). Advanced left turns are exceedingly rare. I have only seen one, and it is shown with a green right, up, and left arrows and a red orb (example on my Flickr). Green phases of any kind always end with the yellow orb, even green arrows (so the main three-section signal will go from red to yellow if a green arrow phase is ending, kind of confusing if you only look for a split second).

Importantly: all traffic signals are timed. There are no actuated signals in Japan, that I've seen at least. I think they have time of day phasing, but that may be it. Pedestrian walk signals always activate with through traffic. Left on red is prohibited except on military installations.

jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #89 on: May 01, 2023, 05:39:22 AM »

Thought I might make another quick post about the traffic signals in Japan, this time just about the signals themselves.

There are at least three major manufacturers for signals in Japan: Koito Denko, Nippon Signal, and Shingo. Nippon Signal apparently has quite a presence outside Japan as well.

The major difference in products is that Nippon Signal and Shingo mostly make signals with visors, whereas Koito Denko primarily produces visorless displays. According to Koito Denko, their research into visorless ("hoodless") signals was prompted by concerns over wind and snow. Wind can damage the visors and cause them to go flying off, and snow can get caught inside the visors and get stuck. From my experience, the flat faces have not been an issue in bright settings, and the wind thing certainly may be helpful in windy areas. But the snow issue may not have been perfected, as I have found examples online where the entire face of the traffic light becomes a white sheet of snow; the downward angle of the signal face should normally prevent this, though.

Fun fact: traffic signals in Japan are 250mm, or 10 inches.

The vast majority, if not all traffic lights in Japan, are entirely timed. The only time pedestrian activation buttons are used are at traffic lights that have the pedestrian feature disabled, used only when there is an all-way walk, or when the signal is specifically for a pedestrian crossing.



Pedestrians signals used to be reverse colors, where the human figure was white and the background was either red or green. Nowadays, the background is black and the human figure itself is green or red. Countdowns are sometimes used these days as well, with the countdown being a series of blocks on either side of the signal slowly counting down from the beginning of the phase to the end. The same process occurs during the red light, helping pedestrians to know how long until they get a green light. The countdowns are helpful as you typically don't get more than about six seconds of warning before a red signal.

As I mentioned in the prior section, signals in Japan are entirely timed, so you don't find activation buttons except at some all-way walks or pedestrian-specific signals.

These images are from Koito Denko's website showing modern pedestrian signals:







Here are some pictures:

Old traffic signal showing inverted pedestrian displays and incandescent bulbs:


Incandescent Signal by Jacob Root, on Flickr

Newer traffic light. Note the extra signal below for a right turn arrow (used after the through phase):


Modern Japanese Traffic Signal by Jacob Root, on Flickr
« Last Edit: May 01, 2023, 05:42:39 AM by jakeroot »
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Chris

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Re: Japan
« Reply #90 on: May 01, 2023, 05:00:44 PM »

I wonder if they have problems with LED traffic signals becoming blocked with snow. They emit little heat compared to older models, so that they do not melt the snow off.

jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #91 on: May 01, 2023, 06:37:11 PM »

I wonder if they have problems with LED traffic signals becoming blocked with snow. They emit little heat compared to older models, so that they do not melt the snow off.

There seems to have been two ideas with the downward angle, (1) easier to see from the stop line, especially the near-side signal, *(2) reduce glare from the sun, and also (3) it should keep snow off the face of the signal. But there are examples of where, during big snows, it can still cover the entire face...maybe it slid off later.

*edit
« Last Edit: May 01, 2023, 06:41:26 PM by jakeroot »
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bing101

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Re: Japan
« Reply #92 on: June 11, 2023, 11:24:10 AM »

https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/road-in-chiba-plagued-by-accidents-involving-shutterbugs-seeking-%27chiba-fornia%27-shots
Dang also in some of the videos Chibafornia was supposed to be modeled after Venice, CA from the shots of Palm Trees on the coast the way it was intended to be. Interestingly Chibafornia allegedly had some of the most reported accidents in the area. 




Here is the Original


Here is Chibafornia in Japan.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2023, 09:22:11 PM by bing101 »
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jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #93 on: June 11, 2023, 08:38:18 PM »

The Japanese don't give a damn about rules regarding parking along the edges of streets like in the image. Stuff like that is totally normal.

Problem seems to be people wandering around in the road and not paying attention. That's definitely unusual, "jaywalking" (the law against it) is very much a thing in Japan. Can't really blame drivers for not seeing someone or not expecting someone in the road, it's very rare to see that here.

There is likely another dozen roads just like this, especially in southern Honshu and the islands to the south. Climate here is basically the same as California, just more humidity and rain. Lots of palm trees around.

Plutonic Panda

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Re: Japan
« Reply #94 on: June 11, 2023, 11:09:15 PM »

Was that a Street in Venice used by cars and then they converted it to pedestrian only corridor or was it always only for pedestrians?
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bing101

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Re: Japan
« Reply #95 on: June 18, 2023, 12:32:23 PM »

Was that a Street in Venice used by cars and then they converted it to pedestrian only corridor or was it always only for pedestrians?


From these shots they look like they are mainly for bikes and pedestrians.

https://gentleartofwandering.com/a-walk-on-the-sidewalk-streets-of-venice-california/


« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 05:29:19 PM by bing101 »
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jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #96 on: July 16, 2023, 10:10:34 PM »

Documentary from Life Where I'm From (a Japan-specific English-language YouTube page) about traffic in Okinawa:


Traffic in Naha (and surrounding environs) is the worst in all of Japan in terms of traffic speeds, despite the city being only the 69th largest city in Japan (as of 2011).

About two-thirds of all trips in Japan are by car, but the modal split in metro areas is much different, with much higher public transit usage. The opposite is true in Naha though, with almost all trips being by car, as public transit counts for a minuscule percentage of trips.

The video correctly blames America for earlier planning decisions, but Japan has had 50+ years to correct things; I'm glad the monorail exists, but much more needs doing.

bing101

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Re: Japan
« Reply #97 on: July 22, 2023, 01:50:10 PM »


Here is a tour of one of the Expressways in Japan where the 1989 video is synced with the 2023 tour.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2023, 09:42:28 PM by bing101 »
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jakeroot

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Re: Japan
« Reply #98 on: July 23, 2023, 04:26:31 AM »

(make sure to edit out the "size" code in your post)

Here is a tour of one of the Expressways in Japan where the 1989 video is synced with the 2023 tour.


Great find! Not much has changed, really speaks to how well Japan handles their transportation network.

That whole channel is a gold mine of historic Japanese content.

bing101

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Re: Japan
« Reply #99 on: September 11, 2023, 11:44:08 PM »

Here is another example on a Japanese Roadgeek tour with a 37 year difference.
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