picture of the day

Escalator girls

58 Comments

"Escalator Girls" pose at Odakyu department store in Shinjuku, as part of its renewal opening ceremony on Wednesday morning. Escalator girls used to be very popular attendants for customers at department stores in the 1960s. The escalator girls will greet customers between 12 noon and 8 p.m. through Sunday.

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Clones! Bring back the Barbie Dolls from a while ago.

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Reminds me of Snow White and the 127 million dwarfs.

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Study hard girls and maybe someday, if you're very, very lucky, some nice company will hire you to stand next to their escalator.

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The escalator girls will greet customers between 12 noon and 8 p.m. through Sunday.

Duly noted.

Ground-based cabin attendant: Going down sir?

Me (not you): Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

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The bubble is about to return....

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With airline attendants it's "Chicken or pork?" With these girls, it's just "Up or Down!"

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Yay, I always love it when staff in stores in Japan yell at me all the time

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With airline attendants it's "Chicken or pork?" With these girls, it's just "Up or Down!"

Well you know the ol' saying - what goes down must come up.

rimshot

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Most department stores nationwide are losing money and this is the best thing the bone-headed managers can come up with? I don't care how much they think sex sells -- and it certainly does, it's still just a gimmick in the end. Do people really need or want someone pointing the way to the escalator these days? Is going back to the '60s the new fad? I may be missing something, but it seems that as long as women in Japan keep acquiescing to jobs like this, no doubt to male bosses, I don't really see how women overall will move anywhere toward improving their lives here vis-a-vis men. Or are these to be for the women-only escalators...?

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In Japan these women serve a vital function, to get people to hold the handrails and not put their toes into the open metal openings, and also not to crowd the escalator with hundreds of okatakus dying to see manga-inspired cosplayers in case the whole thing happens to suddenly stop due to mass otaku overload.

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they are living the dream they have dreamt all their lives, to be an escalator girl.

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This picture is very interesting though if you look at the expressions on their faces. Only the fifth one up looks like she is really buying into the whole, "I'm here to serve you." thing. The rest of them look like they're thinking, "Ok, I'll put in my time at this stupid job until I can save enough to take a long holiday somewhere far away."

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The thing about it is that like is the women in some countries, they are taught to believe in their system of submisison and do not question why they are doing it.

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So why aren't they callled "Escalator Women"?

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So why aren't they callled "Escalator Women"?

This is one of those times when sexism is to be encouraged.

And less importantly, how did these chicks get their jobs when they ride the escalators backwards? I mean this ain't Osaka or anything.

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Hope their not wearing Crocs!!

S

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oops! they're*

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Someone send the non-conformist at the end back to the training room. What you're just standing on the left and the right now? This ain't Kyoto or anything.

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Just goes to show how things can be different in different countries. For I have never heard of women accomidating prospective customers up & down escalators. Also never heard of it in Canada.

Just shows how thing can be different along with interesting.

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I wonder who is highest in the department hierarchy - escalator girls or elevator girls?

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For I have never heard of women accomidating prospective customers up and down escalators.

Will they hold my hand?

Look the fact of the matter is that my relationship with these chicks is going to be a passing fad. They're not going down with me.

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Any wonder why prices are so high here, and Japan has one of the least efficient domestic economies? Clearly just more overhead that we all will pay for in the end.

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Clearly just more overhead that we all will pay for in the end.

Agreed. Not to mention the airhead.

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"The escalator girls will greet customers between 12 noon and 8 p.m. through Sunday."

Now people are reacting as though these girls are here to stay....

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Costumer:but yesterday the prices of this t-shirt was cheaper than today, 8,000 yen now 16,000yen,why ? the seller:blame the scalator girls.....

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Can we stop using the word renewal when we mean refurbish, please?

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why oh why can`t i be an escalator girl??? it is my dream.

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I like being welcomed politely like this when I walk into a store. It sure beats walking into a store in the States and trying to find someone to help me, and when I do manage to grab someome they act like I'm infringing on their break time lol

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Gloobey - Renewal, refurbish, what's the difference? I personally prefer "renewal" - it implies "new," whereas "refurbish" implies rubbish. Tee hee!

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Sarge...Guess we differ. I think I'm adult enough to be able to figure out how to get on and off and escalator without assistance. Besides, please tell me what VALUE they add to the retail experience -- since you are going to pay a portion of their salaries in your purchase? I'll take minimal help and cheap prices any day.

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you are going to pay a portion of their salaries in your purchase

Either you choose to pay slightly inflated prices (don't like it, there are lot of shops that don't have escalator girls) or you get no choice in paying inflated taxes and social insurance premiums to cover welfare payments to unemployed ladies.

If they're going to get the money anyways, I'd rather they 'worked' for it. (It's only until Sunday, though - I wonder, do they go back to the hakengaisha after that?)

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So, if one is greeted by an escalator girl, how does one respond? Possibilities include: This sure is a nice escalator! Thank you so much for your kind welcome! Excuse me, do you know who makes this escalator?

Your suggestion here:

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Escalator girls in Japan is no different from working in Kentucky fry or a promotion girl at a car show. It is not always a career choice but more a way to finance themselves in the interim while they aspire for something else. For those who have made it a career choice it is no different from being a concierge at a hotel. To say that these woman are an indictment of Japanese society and the role of women is just nonsense.

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Way cool retro!

Hope they are a success!!!!

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Another aspect of the Japanese consumer-driven service. I have no problem with it or with women wanting to work in this field if they so desire.

I'm more interested in how long it will be before the Otakus fetishise them and start devoting photo-websites in their honour.

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Presumably "Elevator Boy" is not a career path option for aspiring salarymen?

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"The escalator girls will greet customers between 12 noon and 8 p.m. through Sunday."

... on the escalator?! Elevator girls I get. Counter girls, floor walkers, etc..., fine. But escalator girls?

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how many years of school to end up pointing all day?

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how many years of school to end up pointing all day?

Not everyone has the privilege of wealthy parents and/or a university education. As with so many other things in Japan it all about service and keeping up appearences. Would you rather these women stay at home?

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no, I would rather they did something useful

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I'd much rather have a well-dressed, well-mannered human being superfluously pointing the way to an escalator than have to listen to the cacophony of recorded voices that seem to be implemented on every unmanned escalator these days. Ever get on an escalator when it's othewise totally quiet? Every ten seconds or so, you're subjected to adminitions to keep your feet off the yelow lines, and if you have children, make sure that they hold the handrail. And then this repeats again and again. Folks, if you ened to be instructed on how to stand on a walkway without even moving, maybe the adult world is too much for you. Stay at home, telecommute using your computer, and order in pizza or something.

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you start by saying you like the idea, then go on to say that anyone who needs to be told how to use an escalator should stay at home...

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I believe I'll be swinging by Odakyu Deppato more often, just to say hello to the nice Escalator Girls.

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I believe I'll be swinging by Odakyu Deppato more often, just to say hello to the nice Escalator Girls

Indeed. Just makes the day that bit more pleasant.

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I notice that the photographer has put the - erm - 'less beauty-enhanced' gals as far in the back as possible.

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So, if one is greeted by an escalator girl, how does one respond?

If you want to be more Japanese, I suggest you ignore them completely. You're better than them.

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Lieutenant, Thank you for your kind teaching. Actually I saw an escalator girl in training once. She stood at the top of the escalator and did full, deep bows at nobody in particular at the top of the escalator. I have no idea if this is part of an overall training program or not...maybe it teaches people to bow formally. You would get plenty of practice, I imagine.

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Lieutenant, Thank you for your kind teaching

Yeah no problem. It's why I go shopping, so I can be a big man and treat the staff like the dirt they are. There's no need to talk let alone acknowledge them at all. However upon leaving the store, make sure that your bag is acknowledged by complete strangers.

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Great idea! I love the uniforms.

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I have an idea, farmboy: "I've never ridden an elevator before, how do I ..." Followed by a scream as the noob is taken under. ThonTaddeo has it right, "Folks, if you ened to be instructed on how to stand on a walkway without even moving, maybe the adult world is too much for you." Seriously, just say hi to them, wish them a nice day and be thankful you have a regular job.

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They should lose the hats, and let their hair flow freely...

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Black Flag, I like the idea given that there's either going to be human beings or a recording telling people how to use the escalator.

Humans at least can be interacted with, and you can actually inform them that you know where the handrails are, etc., and that peace and quiet would suit you just fine. Try doing that with the ubiquitous talking escalators and elevators that are in every Japanese building and station.

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I agree with Blue_Tiger...these girls need to loose the hats (looks like something from the late 1950's) and let the hair flow freely.

Am also sure that they are good at giving directions too. I just hope their not there to push/stuff people unto the Escalator like those guys do at the train stations.

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Siouxgirl,

Complicated devices, escalators...we'd better watch our steps. Yes, it wouldn't be one of my career choices. Of course, I wouldn't make it through the first screening either...not a job I can aspire to....

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I don't really care for thier fashion. It might be designed to turn guys off to keep from chatting with the ladies. I have seen nicer uniforms like Evergreen airline stewardess, in my opinion. As for whether people need them. There has been alot of people getting thier toes caught in the stairs. Some poeple still need to be reminded of safty.

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PLEASE PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE HANDRAIL WHILE YOU ARE USING THE ESCALATOR. PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE HANDRAIL WHILE YOU ARE USING THE ESCALATOR. HOLD ON TO THE HANDRAIL WHILE YOU ARE USING THE ESCALATOR. AHHH!!! Someone kill me and make these voices stop.

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again....waste of money...cant the japanese do anything for themselves??? why do they need someone to tell you when to go...what is one the floor while riding an elevator...coming out of a parking lot...TRAVELING christ!!!!!

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With airline attendants it's "Chicken or pork?" With these girls, it's just "Up or Down!"

or TOP OR BTTM hahahaha

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