Wednesday, July 13, 2011

StreetViews of Street Barriers....Weird.

5th August, 2010 - Leaving the cemetery, we came across a rather incongruous sight... some very fancy street barriers. I've seen these around Sapporo, but not sure if they are unique to Hokkaido - can anyone else verify if they are outside Hokkaido? I have to say that whilst they are cute, you do have to wonder what was going through the designers mind when he/she decided to go with the "barrel of monkeys" motif (no copyright infringement suggested).

Actually - there was one other slightly weird aspect to these photos... and it relates to the great behemoth, the hippie empire of evil-ish, Google. Unbeknownst to me when I took this photo...

... it turns out, the Google-mobile must have gone past within the same day, or at most a day from when we were there. On another photo I can see Ojiichan's grave with Okaasans flowers that we left still looking beautiful. Ok - minus the monkey barriers (they had been taken off this part of the road whilst they did the paving)
Care of Google StreetView

Unfortunately, there's no way to date the photos in Google StreetView, so I can't be sure... but it's sort of weird. I have to admit that when I first saw this, I did look around StreetView to see if by some miracle we had made it onto the photos. Then again - it's not as unlikely as you think. In both the photos of T-chan's home in Sapporo and my parents home here in South Australia, you are able to see Okaasan and my father working in their respective front yards. Actually, this is something that L-kun has really enjoyed, and he often asks to see Okaasan's house (and of course Okaasan) in Japan using Streetview. He was very disappointed to find that they had refreshed the photos recently, and she was suddenly not there any more.

It's perhaps a little strange (not to mention slightly morbid) to see if your photo had been taken whilst visiting a cemetery, but I guess I'm a geek at heart, and am always amazed at these little coincidences. The world may be small, yet the possibilities are almost infinite.


  1. Never seen those before in Japan, but they are really cute!!

    Japan Australia

  2. They are.... but I wonder if that means they're more, or less effective? I know I was busy taking photos of them... glad I wasn't driving!

  3. I'm pretty sure I have seen similar things in Yokohama... or was it Tokyo or Kyoto?

    In any case, I look forward to your future posts. I've never been to any part of Tôhoku or Hokkaidô - the furthest north I've been so far was Nikkô, or perhaps Kanazawa - but I've heard great things about Sapporo, and it's definitely on my list.

  4. I have a feeling that they're pretty common... there's just something so japanese about them.

    Actually, I did find a good collection of them from Tokyo Times.