Some Tasteful Japanese Aesthetic….

Tokyo’s kitschy English signs, like the ones I linked to yesterday, are purely for the consumption of the young wannabe urbanite.

The signage in smaller towns, particularly in the well preserved old towns, adhere to the spare, subtle norms of Japanese aesthetic. Elegant and beautiful, quite like the artful plating of their food or the simplicity of their gardens.

I found these creative signs enchanting. The last one (in the header gallery) outside a restaurant had a mechanised figure holding a menu card.

SabiΒ or the appeal of natural patina and aging, is an integral component of Japanese design, and is evident in these beautifully textured signboards.

Until next time…..happy travels, no matter where life takes you!

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

98 thoughts on “Some Tasteful Japanese Aesthetic….

  1. Such lovely photos and the beautiful narration does full justice to Japan’s rich culture.

    Many thanks Madhu

    1. I wish Jo! Have been bogged down by a whole load of personal issues. Trying to arrive at a balance. Appreciate the concern my friend πŸ™‚

  2. Hello Madhu. I’m Nick.

    I would like to publish a sponsored post (with one link) on your great blog – Could you please give me the price for the placement of it?

    Also i would like to show you some examples of my work:

    Thank you and I look forward to your reply.

    Have a nice day.

    1. Appreciate the offer Nick. I don’t think allows advertising or sponsored links. Shall keep this in mind if/when I decide to self host my blog. Thank you so much πŸ™‚

    1. Soon I hope Lisa. My tagline on Facebook reads: “To those that can dream, there is no such place as faraway” πŸ™‚

  3. The Japanese are always able to find more peculiar ways to everything. πŸ™‚ Some are cute, some are just too bizarre. But we do love them, don’t we?

    1. Arent they lovely? I love weathered wood even in interiors. Thanks for taking the tie to read Imelda. I know how busy you have been πŸ™‚

    1. Honoured and touched by your gesture Naresh! Thank you so much. I apologise for the late response.

  4. These are quite charming! I sure enjoyed Japan.
    They sure take pride in a lot of their presentations and displays, including signs.

    1. Yes! I love how they put in so much effort to make the mundane look beautiful πŸ™‚

  5. Japan is a beautiful country country where people are proud of who they are,this makes all the difference…I wish we all learn from them..
    beautiful shots Madhu

    1. Do you see that happening here anytime soon Soma? Thank you for the compliment πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Isadora. I am increasingly drawn to ‘less is more’ in every aspect of life πŸ™‚

  6. I love your header, Madhu. Beautiful signs you’ve shared. I feel I’ve really missed out, never having visited japan. πŸ™‚

  7. Such an intriguing culture, Madhu. I love the little coolie hat sign. I’m sure we could find a space for that in our garden. πŸ™‚

  8. Love the shops and signs Madhu! Must be quite a treat to walk around there. πŸ™‚
    Great selection and lovely shots. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚ *hugs*

  9. Some of the japanese signs remind me (excluding letters) in a way a bit about signs from the austrian and swiss Alps – very well captured… πŸ™‚

    1. They do! in fact the Ogimachi villages that I chronicled earlier, could have been transported straight from the Swiss Alps!

  10. I’m sorry, Madhu, but what the buttery fellow in the last picture is selling is as much a mystery to me as the beautiful old signboards with their patina and graceful symbols. Is it late, or have I turned into a cranky old pumpkin? πŸ™‚

    1. Oh you are far too lovely to turn into a cranky old pumpkin Meredith πŸ˜€ Perhaps I should have captioned that shot better. That last sign was on the roof of a donut shop!

  11. Japan is such a graceful country – and so delicate … even the signs – maybe not in Tokyo with all their neon lights *smile. Love you choice for the challenge.

    1. I loved the neons too! Had never seen as many together as in Shunjuku πŸ™‚ Thanks Viveka.

  12. I adore this post. I lived in the Tokyo area for 3 years back in the 1990s and I still enjoy seeing things and places from Japan.

    1. Pleasure to see you here Lydia! Delighted that you enjoyed this post. Thank you for the reblog.

      1. You are very welcome, Madhu. Japanese culture is something that I find very appealing. Your post fit perfectly with my blog, Mysteries of the Orient. Thank you for such a wonderful post.

  13. Sabi or the appeal of natural patina and aging, is an integral component of Japanese design… – we call it “shabby chic” = like all the furnitures in our apartment πŸ™‚

      1. ashamed to present it to a professional designer – but let me try nevertheless, Madhu:
        P.S.: thank you for following on twitter!

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