image of a hotel in kyoto

Take a look at the picture to the left.

What’s wrong with this building?


I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it as such, it’s a perfectly fine building.

In fact, this is a hotel near Teramachi street in Kyoto.


Anyway, there is something about this building you’ll only find in Japan.

Take another, closer look.



Found anything?


Do you notice the red triangles on some of the windows? Those stickers can be found on many windows of government or other public buildings, but also large apartment blocks or high buildings like this hotel sport these red triangles. They mark those windows that are emergency entrances. I am not sure if all of them have the same design, but the one I have checked (from the inside) opened in a special manner: by turning around a vertical axis in the centre of the window. Why this is superior to a normal sliding window or one that turns around hinges at the sides, I cannot fathom but I trust the Japanese expertise on this one. I suspect those special windows are meant for firefighters or other rescue workers to enter a building at the right floor in case of fire, maybe even after an earthquake.

I said above emergency entrance and no, this is no mistake. How do I know this? Because, firstly, it says so on the other side of the sticker (I took a picture of this too, but can’t find it at the moment – will upload as soon as I do) but also, secondly, I have seen those triangles on doors in the middle of smooth facades, where a safe exit is not possible, not if you forgot to bring your superman suit, that is.