Umm…thanks, Gunma Prefecture.
Part of being a good driver is paying attention to road signs. Sure, you can skip the billboards and other ads, but government-installed signs are important sources of crucial information such as the speed limit, advance notice of upcoming intersections and merging lanes, and warnings about steep grades or tight curves.
So, naturally, when Japanese Twitter user @Ssax_s1006s was out and about, they made sure to keep their eyes peeled. It’s debatable as to whether or not that diligence was rewarded or not, though, when @Ssax_s1006s encountered this sign.
▼ “I found a sign in Gunma with no information whatsoever.”
— 漆川夛(ｼﾁｶﾜﾖﾀ)🍙🥐♌🎪🔱✖️ (@Ssax_s1006s) May 6, 2022
As one of Japan’s few landlocked prefectures, Gunma is pretty rural overall, and the town of Agatsuma, where @Ssax_s1006s snapped this photo, is a sleepy place even by those standards. Saying the sign has “no information whatsoever is a bit of an exaggeration,” as Item does tell you you’re on Prefectural Road 375. That’s the one and only piece of information you’re getting though. Want to know where the road is going? Upcoming cross streets? Literally anything other than “This is Prefectural Road 375?” Tough luck. You’re going to have to go bug someone else for those secrets.
▼ Prefectural Road 375 sign close-up
— GAKEPUCHI (@gakepuche) May 7, 2022
Now, on the one hand, it’s not like Agatsuma is at fault for not having more roads, landmarks, and attractions to put on the sign. But on the other hand…if the sign has so little to say, why bother putting it up in the first place?
That’s the question commenters have been trying to figure out, with some of the theories and other reactions including:
“So the road is a road. Gotcha.”
“…just where the heck does this road take you?”
“Hey, just keep going straight. You’ll figure out where it’s going when you get there.”
“Don’t waver! Just keep moving ahead, and everything will become clear!”
“I’ve never seen such a bountiful blue field on a sign.”
“How rare. It’s a sign in its larval stage, before it matures into a full sign.”
“It’s sort of terrifying, because it feels like something happened, and whatever used to be in the area has disappeared.”
As it is, the sign really doesn’t do anything except serve as a reminder of the name of the road drivers are already traveling on, which I guess would be helpful in the case that you somehow forgot. Maybe it’s a compliance thing, like if there’s an ordinance that requires signage with location information every certain number of kilometers, and so they had to put something up around this spot, even if there wasn’t really anything for it to say.
Well, even if the reason for its existence is hard to comprehend, at least what it’s saying is easier to understand than some other signs we’ve seen lately.