Since moving to Japan I have been fascinated with Japan’s obsession with cones.    I work in many different cultures and when I find something I do not understand, I try my best to understand it and not simply get frustrated.

When you go into parking garages you often see every single space ‘coned off’ and as you pull in someone comes running and asks how long you are planning to stay and with this information they decide which space to put you in.  If you are a regular reader you might have heard me mentioning this from time to time.   I am fairly confident if I said 1 hour, 8 hours or 24 hours it really is not going to change the outcome of which space I am going to get.  This is something I simply do not understand after years of living in Japan.    I thought I would cover this topic here and see if someone can shed some light on this situation.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Now I understand cones at a construction site and I am especially grateful that they have them at night so when I am out for a run I don’t fall into a hole… Arigato!

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

I sort of understand them at these construction sites on major roadways but think its overdone…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

I even understand it as this little construction site but again overdone…also I wonder if this guy realizes that this co-worker is actually a robot?

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

It has bothered me for a while and I figured it must have bothered others and someone must have mentioned something about this before.   I did what I always do when I want to know about a topic.  I went to Google…

I typed in ‘the excessive use of cones in Japan’…and Google found 49,400,000 sites that have mentioned it.  I was so excited to finally get some light shed on this topic that has been bothering me for so long.  Well it seems out of 50 Million pages Google deems me the most relevant authority on this topic.   I’m the guy you turn to.   I’m it.   I’m the world’s foremost authority on this topic.  Go figure.

Now some people might take this lightly but I am not one of those people.   There are people out there that need my thought leadership.   I have a responsibly to them.   Let me share what I have learnt about ‘coning’ in Japan so far so we can open the topic up for discussion, research and debate.

Cone Authority

Cones are very useful to protect visitors to your office building when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake blows one of your front doors off…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to corral Taxi Drivers into a queue…similar to what you might do to ducks, goat or sheep.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can  be used to light up the white lines on the road at night…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to mark a police man standing on the side of the road waiting to give you a ticket…especially at night when their blue uniforms blend into the darkness.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to protect the walls of alleys from people leaning on them…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can protect construction sites and corners from ‘bike parkers’…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

If you have ‘super sized’ cones…you can protect large trucks.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

You can protect vending machines…or mark where they are.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to lead you into the 1000 year old temple…and make sure you don’t step on the little gray stones.   Not everyone immediately understands that the giant gate is the way in and a simple line of a few hundred cones can easily clear up any confusion.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to mark where to illegally park your bike…  The number of available locations is literally limitless so it is very helpful to have the places to best illegally park your bike clearly marked.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to let the pigeons know where to hang out safely…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to know which side of the ramp to drive up…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used to protect a bucket…  Surrounding your bucket with 8 cones or more will insure no one will bother it.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be grouped together to scare people into not parking somewhere…   One I would probably ignore but when five are grouped like that it feels agressive and makes me uneasy.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be grouped in various sizes and shapes to confuse you…  My eyes keep wondering from one to the next not sure where I should focus.  I’m uncomfortable and want to go somewhere else.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

They can be used as bokeh machines…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

While I understand the ‘use cases’ mentioned above I am seeing an increased trend of ‘random coning’…this is a rapidly increasing and disturbing trend.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Cones are literally being left in random places.  What is the purpose?  What is the meaning?  Are they positioning the cones for some sort of future event that I don’t know about?

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

I feel like there are things that are not said but suppose to be understood…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Another alarming trend is the significant increase in ‘cone bullying’.   Bullying is a major topic lately and sadly cones are not able to escape this…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

I know some people simply ignore cones but humiliating them is taking this too far.  Who will listen to them now?   Look at them.  Pathetic…

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

…and then there are the ‘beheadings’.   It is hard to even speak of these.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

I believe this has only begun as the Japanese have begun to build out some fairly sophisticated ‘cone distribution networks’ to continue to proliferate the spread of these cones…  I’m not yet sure what to make of this development but I’ll be watching…and reporting.    If you have been as confused as me…you are not alone anymore.

Excessive use of cones in Tokyo

I hope you found this educational.    Thanks for stopping by today…

 

ShootTokyo Newsletter

Subscribe

Get 100+ of my favorite images digitally to use as wallpaper or screen savers.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest