Home Japan Tips Which Side Should You Stand? Rules in Escalator in Japan

Which Side Should You Stand? Rules in Escalator in Japan

by Ryu_C@RakuRakuJP

Which side should I stand on when using an escalator in Japan?

If you are not traveling to Japan for the first time, this question will probably not bother you. As long as you have rich experience in Japan, basically you should be able to adjust the first escalator at the airport.

But if you have only been to Japan once or twice, can you tell me which side you should stand on when taking the escalator in the three popular tourist attractions in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto? How should I stand so as not to make a mistake?

Tokyo to the left, Osaka to the right, and Kyoto Station in the middle?

The Japanese are a nation that pays great attention to the whole, especially in big cities, where everyone emphasizes collective action and a consistent direction. Even if there is room left on one side of the escalator, they will still stand on one side and leave the other side for those in need.
If you stand on the wrong side during busy hours when you travel to Japan, although the Japanese generally will not push you away, they still politely ask you to step aside, but in their eyes, you are a person who does not know how to read the atmosphere. For outsiders, it may be possible to have broken thoughts in your heart.

Although different regions have slightly different places to stand on the escalator, in general, almost the whole of Japan stands on the left side, and then leaves the right side for others to walk around.
On the side of Osaka in the Kansai region, almost all of them stand on the right side. Probably because Osaka once hosted the World Expo and was influenced by foreign culture many years ago, so I changed from standing on the left to standing on the right.

The situation in Kyoto is quite special, perhaps because of the proximity of Kyoto to Osaka, many people from Osaka will go to Kyoto for business trips, so when you travel to Kyoto, you will often find that there are some people on the escalator Some people are on the left, some people are on the right, and some people are standing in the middle!
Perhaps it is because travelers who come to Kyoto find that everyone is not consistent on the left/right, so Ganqu stands in the middle.

But no matter what, it is generally better to stand on the left when taking an escalator in Japan. If you really don’t know the local habits, you can stand aside first, observe what the local Japanese do, and then follow their standing direction, you will definitely not go wrong!

Image: unsplash @ iangvalerio

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