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Jaywalking in Japan...

Discussion in 'Japan Practical' started by Emoni, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. Emoni

    Emoni 先輩

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    I've wondered about this a long time.

    What are the general rules about J walking in Japan? Does such a law or rule even exist?

    There is a cross walk across a long street out in front of my dorms. The light is absolutely horribly designed and often brings traffic to a halt randomly, while never turning green if there is no cars. Many people, including myself, just don't even press the button and cross the street. Checking for cars of course.

    There is a police box nearby... and while I've never seen anyone get caught or in trouble for J walking, I'm very curious as to the rules here.

    Although most of all I want to take a hammer to this stupid crosswalk light...! :D
     
  2. Glenski

    Glenski Just me

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    J people walk all the time. There is no law about how .... OH! You mean jaywalking!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Despite the myth that Japanese people wait obediently at stop lights, cross only on the green and only in crosswalks, many don't. Police don't really seem to consider it much to deal with.
     
  3. epigene

    epigene 相変わらず不束者です

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    There are quite a few places where the traffic signals and mirrors for view of oncoming traffic are all wrong, due to lack of foresight on the part of the city planners. Even if they know it's wrong, they can't deal with them right away because of either lack of funds or issues in traffic flow that must be resolved with innovative design or planning. The police probably know and are turning a blind eye.

    Seriously, it takes a traffic fatality or two for the changes to come. My husband almost got killed at one.
     
  4. Emoni

    Emoni 先輩

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    lol I'm sorry, jay walking, yes. I feel silly, but I never even spelled it before, so I didn't even think twice about it. :D

    Thanks for the information guys. It seems to be the case so far. Is there any official law against it though?
     
  5. Glenski

    Glenski Just me

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    yes, there is a law. You may never get caught, but then again, who can say whether the cops in the koban aren't keeping tabs on you, and if something happens later down the road, they may hold it against you?
     
  6. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth 先輩

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    I learned from this thread: everyone apparently has a different view of pedestrian right-of-ways depending on where they are from. As I understand it, jaywalking in the US means if you want to cross in the middle of the block look left and right. If both directions have lights or a traffic officer, you can’t cross unless at a marked place. If there is an “uncontrolled” intersection one direction or another, that is, a stop sign, yield sign, or no sign, you are free to cross.


    You're safe by me. Unlike in Tokyo, Americans don't even wait until both lights turn red to cross. But the cars also don't stop here until absolutely necessary, either. :D
     
  7. tigermilk

    tigermilk 先輩

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    Visiting Nagoya I'd fit in with the locals who did a fair amount of J-walking. In Tokyo, I'd go out for a run in the summer at 5 in the morning, with the sun already up. Hardly a soul out there. A couple of cars and a few pedestrians. The locals would stand patiently at the red light waiting for it to turn despite there not being a car in sight. It kind of freaked me out.

    A Japanese friend of mine came to the US to visit. My wife started to walk through the intersection on red (no cars coming). Our friend flipped out. We had to assure her it was the thing to do here.

    I've definitely seen more J-walking once you get away from Tokyo. The farther away you get, the more relaxed the folks seem to be.
     
  8. Emoni

    Emoni 先輩

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    Tiger that sounds very similar to the sort of thing I was mentioning. There are people waiting at a red light, there are NO CARS AT ALL, but pressing the button does turn the light and stops all cars when they are there. There seems to be no sense or forethought at all.
     
  9. Glenski

    Glenski Just me

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    What others do at various locations is one thing, but you are talking about jaywalking right in front of a police station, right? Think about it.
     
  10. RoninDave

    RoninDave RoninDave

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    I've always found it rather cute the ones who patiently wait for the light to come on even when there isn't a car in sight. Some of them I think do it out of the being in auto-pilot mode because I've caught myself, an unabashed Jaywalker, waiting at a light on the corner of some deserted street.

    When I jaywalk in this kind of situation I notice sometimes the other person(s) will do it too either following me on auto-pilot thinking the light has indeed changed or switching off auto-pilot when they realize there are no cars around.
     

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