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Escalator etiquette


A poster on the wall at a Tokyo subway station asks commuters not to walk or hurry on the escalator.

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Or how about stand on the left only while people who want to move faster walk on the right?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

This is nonsense.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

I’ve been noticing these kind of posters/warnings lately; but I don’t understand what they’re trying to achieve with this; people walk on the escalators all the time; everyone knows that if you’re in a hurry, you can walk on the escalator using the right side (if you’re in Tokyo); it’s more than fair to be able to have two options; I mean, this is like eating with a fork and knife, it’s just the way it is; why not tell people to be careful and put one of those あぶない(?)

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I've seen no walking signs in front of those horizontal escalators near train stations, which is perhaps the most ridiculous of them all. Isn't the point of these things to be able to get through a long corridor faster? That becomes pointless when you're just standing moving at half the speed of someone who is plainly walking not on the escalator.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

so why are we not being allowed to walk on the right side? If your train was delayed and I am late for work or home because of that, I have a right to rush.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Japanese have long time to practice how to use escalator. They divided two sides. One for who want to stand still and another one for whom they are in hurry. This rule was adopted in my country beyond of my knowledge that some times I was told to move to left side to let other who want to walk for getting faster.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Commuting takes so much time. Why waste more? Most of us need the exercise anyway. Sometimes the escalators are so long. Do we have to stand still after sitting or standing still for so long? Our bodies need to move.

Think about the people who have connections to make especially those who are going to the countryside where there may be only one train an hour.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If you want to walk - take the stairs.


-6 ( +5 / -11 )

It would help if the escalators were faster. Japan's are the slowest ones I've ever seen. Check the ones in Singapore, that absolutely fly.

The steps are metal. They may be slippery. 

Avoid walking on sidewalks as well. They are concrete or tile. The tile ones are usually slippery when it rains. Residents are advised to never go outside or hire a private chauffeur.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

2024 will be 1984.

Masks, monitoring, no walking on escalators.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

OK, mom.

Jeez talk about a nanny state.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Getting off a train at busy stations, there usually forms a massive line waiting towards the left of an escalator while the right side is either fully empty or some folks walk up. If all the people split and went up in 2 lines, to the full capacity of the escalator, the total throughput would increase. Yes, a few people might be held back for a bit but the majority of people lining up for quite a while would be better off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That picture is inaccurate. There should be at least a dozen more people on that escalator. The one side standing/one side walking seems to be something most of the Japanese people are quite happy with - those who want to stand, can. Those who want to walk, can. If they are serious about this, they will have to start posting police at the escalators and fining people. That's the tried and trusted way for a minority to manipulate and control the majority.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And why don't any of those pictured have masks on?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One of my local supermarkets has the slowest escalator possibly imaginable, I mean, they must have gone out of their way to make it super slower than slow - [ ...@/' type of slow ] Sadly, it's also single-file.... anyway that's just an annoyance - will continue to look for the Stairs - which they must surely have.

And as @Farmboy points out, I too have encountered people of late, who just at out of the blue, stop at the top of upwardly moving escalators simply to check their mobile phone... that's really a daft thing to do...... though I've also seen the same happening at the bottom, and on stairways too - not sure what's the etiquette for dealing with such people, especially if they have earphones plugged into their ears ?

As for Subway stations, etc. Yes, that's really annoying when people pair up side by side to stop you from walking up (or down) the escalators - I've never seen an accident caused by someone on an escalator, in all my time here in Japan.

I have a suspicion, that here in Japan, some people just simply like to block others, as a Power-trip type of thing, perhaps they've had a bad day or something. (It happens in other situations too - but that's another story). I guess these signs on Escalators will simply give empowerment to those seeking a "power trip"... to feel, that they have the right to accost you, perhaps even trip you up as you go down the stairway - and then accuse you of breaking the rules, perhaps even calling the Police... though I don't know what Law would have been broken by not following the guidelines on these posters... maybe you'd get banned from using the Station ?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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