Ignore these pop-up signs at your own peril!

Back in 2019, before the pandemic closed the country off to tourists, Keikyu railway’s Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Station in Tokyo became the first station in Japan to have three-dimensional signs installed inside the station.

▼ Haneda Airport International Terminal Station was renamed Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Station in mid-March 2020.

▼ Similarly, Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal Station (pictured below, in 2019, was renamed as Haneda Airport Terminal 1·2 Station at the same time.

While the names of the stations may have changed since 2019, the 3-D signs are still there at Haneda Airport Terminal 3, guiding people through the thoroughfare just past the ticket gates at the station.

Our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was passing through the airport recently, so he went to take a look at the 3-D signs that have been attracting attention for the past three years.

While the two signs looked flat from a distance, as he approached them they sprang up like magic, immediately catching his eye.

▼ There’s no way to miss the 3-D signs, especially when they look so real you feel as if you might fall into and over them.

Masanuki had heard that the 3-D effect on signs like these can diminish over time as they fade, so he figured they may have been even more impressive three years ago. Still, they had plenty of mileage in them yet as they really tricked the eye into believing they were jutting out from and into the floor.

Signs that stop you in your tracks must play an important role at the station, and these certainly do, as they guide people towards the elevators for the underground station platform.

It’s said that these “high-impact information signs” have been set up especially for people with large luggage like suitcases to notice them. But Masanuki had always wondered why the signs were aimed at this subset of customers so he decided to ignore the signs and see what would happen if he stepped over them and headed straight down the corridor instead.

▼ That’s when he discovered the real reason the signs were there for luggage bearers was so they could avoid…

▼ …this escalator.

The escalator to the underground platform should definitely not be the first choice for travellers, especially those with cumbersome suitcases, as it’s long and steep, posing a real danger of accident or injury should a suitcase fall.

So next time you see these pop-up 3-D signs, don’t ignore them! You could step past them, just to snap a photo at this photo spot a few feet away, which displays more awesome trick art imagery, but after that, you’ll want to do a U-turn and head over to the elevators.

Using the elevators will save you a wealth of time and stress, and it’ll also help you start your trip to Japan off right. Because with so many escalator accidents occurring in Japan each year, it doesn’t hurt to be too careful.

Related: Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Station
Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]