If it’s your first time going through Japan’s busiest train station, this “helpful” sign might not make things much easier.

Real-life Tokyo is pretty different from the way the city is sometimes presented in video games and anime. The city doesn’t get attacked by giant robots, martial artists aren’t waiting to test their skills against any and all challengers on every street corner, and kids don’t regularly miss school because they’re actually part of a color-coded magical girl team that was up late fighting evil by moonlight.

That said, Tokyo does have a few dungeons. Well, at least that’s what some locals call the city’s more labyrinthine rail stations, and many say the most challenging of all is Shinjuku Station.

Shinjuku Station’s corridors are, in some people’s eyes, so hard to navigate that the station’s layout has literally been used as a dungeon floorplan in a role-playing video game, but in a case of fact being even stranger than fiction, Japanese Twitter user @caffeine528 recently shared this photo that he snapped inside the station.

Ordinarily it’s nice to have a sign to guide you, but when the arrow pointing you to the East Exit is theexact same one that’s supposed to be pointing you to the West Exit, reading the sign might leave you more confused than when you started. “A clear example of how abnormal Shinjuku Station is,” @caffeine528 tweeted, and many commenters were equally baffled.

“East and west are the same…?”
“Does it lead to some kind of dimensional warp?”
“Shinjuku Station has so many dungeon traps.”
“Conclusion: Tokyo makes no sense.”
“Guess you’re just supposed to walk all the way around the earth.”

But believe it or not, there actually is an explanation for this. In keeping with its dungeon-like design, Shinjuku Station doesn’t just have a West and East Exit, it’s also got separate Central East and Central West Exits. If you’re in the corridor that connects the Central East and Central West exits, there’s no way to walk directly to the West Exit. That part of the station’s interior is laid out like a U, so if you want to get to the West Exit, you have to walk to the end of the Central East/Central West passage, hang a left, walk past the East Exit, then hang another left and keep walking straight until you get to the West Exit.

For visual reference, take a look at the map below from Shinjuku Station’s official website, with the East Exit circled in red, the West Exit in blue, and the Central East/Central West corridor in green.

▼ Naturally, the website’s map is drawn with north being to the left, because why make things easy?

However, with that mystery solved, other commenters offered their own seemingly inexplicable examples of station layouts, like this one in Shibuya Station, another of Tokyo’s “dungeons.”

Are you supposed to just do your business on the wall? Hmmm…maybe that explains the time part of Shibuya Station got covered in human turds.

Source: Twitter/@caffeine528 via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: JR East (edited by SoraNews24
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