Japan is a mountainous country and you must have realized that there are plenty of slopes wherever you go. In fact, places like Shibuya, Kagurazaka in Tokyo are characteristically known for their many slopes. Have you noticed that sloping roads have circular indentations that look like doughnuts?
Apparently, these are seen only in Japan although we are not absolutely sure about this! Called O-gata suberidome (O型滑り止め), literally O-shaped antislip grooves, the only purpose of these is to improve traction on slopes. These are particularly useful to prevent cars from skidding when the road surface gets wet either in rain or snow.
Now you might wonder how much these indentations help to prevent accidents, right? According to the Japan Times, “Japanese law requires some kind of antislip surface on roads built on grades of 7 percent or steeper.” Accidents have declined 80% since these were introduced.
Today, you see these grooves in parking lots as well as steep garages. If you’re wearing heels tread carefully!
For slopes that are not very steep, you often see colored asphalt. On your next trip to Japan, don’t forget to check out these measures that make roads safer!