A must-see for travelers: Etiquette for lining up on escalators


I’m sure there are some rules that people from other countries don’t know about, even though they may be commonplace when you live there.
This time, we will introduce you to the etiquette of lining up on escalators.

It is good manners to line up on the left in Tokyo and on the right in Osaka.

The origin of the escalator dates back to 1914, during the Taisho era, when Japan’s first escalator was unveiled at an exposition. It was originally created in New York in 1896 by inventor Jesse W. Reno. The origin of the escalator was later named and trademarked as “escalator” when it was exhibited at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900.

In Japan, until 1950, when trademarks became universal names, escalators could not be called escalators, and they were sometimes called “automatic stairs.”

■Why are the sides of the line different in Tokyo and Osaka?

The practice of leaving one side of escalators in Japan began in
1967, when Hankyu Corporation announced on the escalators at Umeda Station, “Please leave the left side open,” and in the Kansai region, passengers were asked to leave the escalator on the right. That has become established.

On the other hand, in Tokyo, the custom of lining up on the left became established around the end of the 1980s.
It is said that the practice of “leaving on the right side” began spontaneously, similar to the traffic rules for cars.