Google Maps released a number of improvements to the look & feel for the Japan map, and is intended to provide users with an easier to read and more beautiful map, and to help them find the geographic information they want more quickly.
"We've given a lot of thought to visuals used to present the multi-faceted information on the Japanese maps, and have arrived at a refined set of style updates for the typography, iconography, colors and line styles. Unlike western countries, most Japanese roads don't have names. Instead, cities are organized with a hierarchical block system. In this design, the more legible font treatment helps the user to distinguish localities, points of interest and transit stations:
As there're limited street names, landmarks are also an important element for street navigation. The traffic lights, points of interest and prominent local businesses can now be read and found more easily thanks to newly designed icons, explains Google: