Looking closely at the second photo you will notice a "Hello Kitty" scare crow. "Hello Kitty" is huge in Japan and can be found everywhere, from key-rings, to t-shirts and now even scare crows! A clever marketing industry worth millions.
What may be more note worthy are the hedges on the side of the road. Looking closely they look like camellias that have been pruned into shape. i dare say they would look beautiful come spring.
Both pics were taken through car windows