Right side or wrong side

Lived close to four years in Kyoto and still not sure which side of the escalators one is supposed to stand on in this city.

To be fair, I don’t think Kyoto natives know either.

Filed under: Japan, Quickies


  1. The day I arrived to Tokyo the guy that received me at Tokyo station explained to me which side was the correct for Tokyo and which one for the west of Japan… but then he proceeded to say that since I was going to be staying at Kyoto it didn’t actually matter, just to follow the people already on the escalator…

  2. Yea, that rarely helps either: half the people you see in Kyoto (especially in places where there are escalators) are not from Kyoto, more often tourists.

    The full official story is that you stand on the left side in Japan, except Kansai where you stand on the right side (cue Samurai vs. Merchants pseudostorical explanation), except in Kyoto where, supposedly due to the influence of the World’s Fair and other international events, people started standing wherever the hell they pleased.

    The result is pretty messy and I doubt even the most native Kyotoite know which side to stand on.

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