Sunday, August 1, 2010

Escalator エスカレーター

Japan is known for proper etiquette but perhaps one area less noticed by visiting foreigners is escalator etiquette. In Japan, every time you ride an escalator, people who are just standing stay to one side, making way for those who may be in a hurry to pass. The Japanese create maximum pedestrian efficiency, in a densely populated landmass, by using the social pressure, enforced by a homogenous society, to maintain “wa” (harmony). Really, without "wa" I don't think this many people could live in such a small place without tearing each other apart. However, for some reason unbeknownst to me, in the Kanto region (i.e. Tokyo), everyone stands to the left while in the Kansai region (i.e Osaka), everyone stands to the right! Pictured is a very cool open-clockwork escalator in a building in Ōsaka.


  1. I also hear that Kyoto-ites stand on the left :0

  2. I can confirm that also, this switching business is very confusing. . . :)

  3. just as confusing as to what side of the sidewalk you should be walking on.