The playground by our crashpad in Tokyo has a huge jungle gym made of logs. Granted, the suspended log bridge does have a net below it, but there are slick wooden ramps and steep dropoffs; the gaps between levels could easily swallow a first grader.
Roppongi Hills, the giant theme park for and by real estate developers, is landscaped with sharp, thorny bushes, all at knee-- and toddler-- level.
Every elementary school we've seen has a nearly identical course of old-school steel jungle gyms and hanging bars on either asphalt or packed earth.
Yesterday, we went with my wife's work colleagues to Hakone, Tokyo's weekend destination [combine one part Yellowstone, one part Lake Geneva, and two parts Adirondacks, add a million people, bake for 12 hours at 89 degrees]. Since the one disguised as a Mississippi riverboat had already left, we rode a boat disguised as a Spanish galleon. The gaps in the railings were big enough to let an entire preschoolful of kids plunge overboard. Or down the winding staircases. Or onto the deck below.
It might not be until you have a kid running around, always one misstep away from disaster, that you realize how much personal injury litigation--both the threat and the reality of it--defines the culture and the landscape in America. And how its absence defines most of the rest of the world.