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Which side of the escalator do you stand on?

Which side of the escalator do you stand on?

Old Jul 29, 14, 1:40 am
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Which side of the escalator do you stand on?

Thanks to the concentrated efforts of JR, the answer is rapidly becoming "both", at least inside train stations. Never thought that rushing Japanese would stand for it (heh!), but now more often than not the escalators are packed with standers on both sides.

Or is this just a metro Tokyo phenomena?
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Old Jul 29, 14, 1:44 am
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I am in Tokyo now and haven't seen it that much, maybe I just don't travel enough at rush hour.

My somewhat related question: if people stand on the right in Osaka but are already standing on the left by Kyoto, is there somewhere in between where people stand in the middle?
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Old Jul 29, 14, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
Thanks to the concentrated efforts of JR, the answer is rapidly becoming "both", at least inside train stations. Never thought that rushing Japanese would stand for it (heh!), but now more often than not the escalators are packed with standers on both sides.

Or is this just a metro Tokyo phenomena?
I rarely see this in Tokyo, especially during rush hours -- people continue to stand on the left. OTOH, I see plenty of posters urging people to stand on the escalators. However, like no smoking and no bicycle parking signs, I expect these to go totally unheeded.
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Old Jul 29, 14, 7:10 pm
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And oddly, they seem to stand on the right in Osaka...
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Old Jul 30, 14, 9:50 am
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During exceptionally busy times in London, commuters are often asked to stand on both sides of the escalators. So no, not a Tokyo only phenomenon.
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Old Jul 30, 14, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
During exceptionally busy times in London, commuters are often asked to stand on both sides of the escalators. So no, not a Tokyo only phenomenon.
I've noticed that the advice on how to be considerate differs in the two cities:

In London, posters ask travelers to show consideration by standing on the right. ("A little courtesy won't hurt you" is the godawful slogan on one of those posters, I think). By contrast, in Tokyo, the emphasis is on showing consideration by not racing up the escalator and weaving in and out of the people who are standing.

London Underground etiquette posters have really dropped in quality IMHO. Very badly conceived - I'm not the only one to have noticed:
http://www.mhpbooks.com/london-under...rs-and-poetry/
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Old Jul 30, 14, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
I've noticed that the advice on how to be considerate differs in the two cities:

In London, posters ask travelers to show consideration by standing on the right. ("A little courtesy won't hurt you" is the godawful slogan on one of those posters, I think). By contrast, in Tokyo, the emphasis is on showing consideration by not racing up the escalator and weaving in and out of the people who are standing.

London Underground etiquette posters have really dropped in quality IMHO. Very badly conceived - I'm not the only one to have noticed:
http://www.mhpbooks.com/london-under...rs-and-poetry/
probably offends the main "offenders"!

i do notice the ones in japan tend to be safety motivated.
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Old Jul 31, 14, 5:14 pm
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Taking a closer look this morning, this hasn't caught on nearly as much as I first thought...
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Old Aug 1, 14, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
And oddly, they seem to stand on the right in Osaka...
YEP.

Tokyo Left. Osaka Right.
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Old Aug 2, 14, 4:12 am
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Went out for yakitori last night with a bunch of old timers. They were telling me when the officials decided that Kansai region was to stand on the right, train staff were using loud speakers and crowd control officers to "encourage' people to stand on the right.

Ever since then, everybody just stands to the right.

However in Tokyo, from the days of the samurai, way the swords were tucked away, they did not want anybody to accidently bump into it so they stand on the left.

Don't know how much of this is believable or if it is the sake and yakitori speaking but that is what they told me.
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Old Aug 2, 14, 4:48 pm
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The government stopped the samurai from carrying swords in the 1870s, several decades before the first escalators. It's possible that Kanto escalator etiquette stems from traditions that go back to sword carrying days... but if someone is painting you a picture of warriors on the subway, you should tell him about the time your grandfather hunted the last T-Rex.
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Old Aug 2, 14, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
The government stopped the samurai from carrying swords in the 1870s, several decades before the first escalators. It's possible that Kanto escalator etiquette stems from traditions that go back to sword carrying days... but if someone is painting you a picture of warriors on the subway, you should tell him about the time your grandfather hunted the last T-Rex.
Sorry, scotch on the rocks and typing on FT sometimes obviously don't mix.

Yes, that is what they meant. The tradition of walking on a certain side of the road, etc....
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Old Aug 2, 14, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Taiwaned View Post
Yes, that is what they meant. The tradition of walking on a certain side of the road, etc....
Well that's one of the stories that people use to explain why Japan drives on the "wrong" side of the road (along with 20+ other countries - many of which were British colonies). I hadn't heard it applied to escalators before. But perhaps the escalator thing stems from the road thing.

In London, we stand on the right on the escalators. I have a theory that the people who decided this were thinking that most circulation within the station obeys the UK pattern of staying on the left ... and it might be better if the people closest to people moving in the opposite direction were standing still rather than walking. This first struck me when I started to swim in a pool that didn't alternate the swimming directions in lanes (in Japan). When my hand and the hand of an oncoming swimmer smashed into each other, I thought "Hmm, I must tuck my hand in. And perhaps that's why the London underground has people standing on the right".

So ... perhaps Tokyo subway owes its traffic pattern to a similar history.

That said, my home underground station has its escalators arranged the opposite way round from what I hold to be "typical". So perhaps this is bollox. And perhaps someone can tell me why Japanese swimming pools don't alternate the circulation for each lane? (clockwise in lane 1, counter-clockwise in lane 2 etc.)
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Old Dec 31, 18, 11:53 am
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Should escalators be standing-only?

Some cities think so (in train stations, at least, including at airports supposedly). And so do I, as both lanes will be fully used.

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/1...ortation-tokyo
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Old Dec 31, 18, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by vanillabean View Post
Should escalators be standing-only?

Some cities think so (in train stations, at least, including at airports supposedly). And so do I, as both lanes will be fully used.

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/1...ortation-tokyo
If there is crowding where the escalator begins, then sure, everyone should stand.

If it is quiet enough for there to be no crowding, only one side should be used for standing.
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