Did you know that almost all streets in Japan have no sidewalks? understand why

The streets in Japan are very different from any other street on the planet. You may have already seen pictures of some of the immense intersections that exist across the country where people strictly obey the lighthouse signs for both pedestrians and cars.

However, not all streets are like that. And a good part of the streets across the country are for housing houses. And it is on these streets that there are no sidewalks.


In other words, we can say that most of the streets in Japan do not have a curb and a sidewalk for pedestrians to walk. But why this happen? Does this make pedestrians unable to walk the streets safely?

Learn more about this characteristic of Japan here!


The streets in Japan and the sidewalks

If you are walking down a residential street in Japan there may be a mark on the ground indicating where you should be. As if it were a sidewalk, but without a curb, just a delimiting line.

However, in more uninhabited streets, this demarcation is extremely small and it cannot be said that there is a sidewalk marking. Therefore, people need to walk wherever there is space, which is on the street. But, oddly enough, things work out well that way. After all, we are talking about not very busy streets.

If a street is very busy or in front of a train station, it will certainly have a sidewalk to protect pedestrians passing by.

Also, some of these streets are very narrow. Thus, there is only space for the car to pass and the person must stay right at the corner of the street so as not to be run over. If there was a sidewalk there, it would be impossible for a flow of cars to flow.


On the one hand this can bring some benefits to the residential streets of Japan, cars need to drive calmly to know if someone is not on the street and end up causing an accident.

Read too:

Only the streets of Japan don’t have sidewalks?

If you look at the old parts of European cities, they don’t have sidewalks either. And it is worth remembering that Europe was one of the examples of modernization for Japan.

Only relatively new cities that were designed to work with cars, and those that had wide roads to allow horse carriages, are able to actually put up sidewalks.

Cities in Japan were never built for horse carriages, so there’s no room.

Newer towns do, as do those that were redone and divided again after the war as neighborhoods burned down. However, nowadays this will rarely happen.

In addition, even with this issue of lack of sidewalk and many houses having small or no garages, buying good land in Japan is extremely expensive.

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