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Off in the distance
my journal
May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2007-09-14 12:17
Subject: Notes for Gaijin (外人) #1
Security: Public
In Britain, we drive on the left, and overtake on the right. On escalators, we stand on the right, and overtake on the left.
In Japan, they drive on the left, and overtake on the right. On escalators, they stand on the left, and overtake on the right.
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User: vicarage
Date: 2007-09-14 13:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
With escalators, I guess we stand on the right as its more natural to hold on to the rail with our dominant right hand. I wonder why the Japanese are different?
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2007-09-14 13:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
An interesting hypothesis, but one I'm far from convinced by.
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User: silly_swordsman
Date: 2007-09-14 14:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Obviously, it's to make it harder for a (right-handed) samurai to dishonourably attack an enemy from behind/beside, thus ensuring that you can stand in peace.

Since there has historically been very few samirai in Britain, that was never a consideration when the custom of escalator-standing developed.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
The Magician
User: the_magician
Date: 2007-09-14 15:22 (UTC)
Subject: Not just Osaka either ...
... but local places like Kyoto, Nara etc. ... I can't remember which way it was in Hiroshima, but I think it might have been Osakan ... which leads to fun when you're travelling on trains full of Osakans arriving in Tokyo as you end up having to slalom the escalators!

Oh, and the stairs are clearly marked with "up" and "down" arrows on the stairs (and sometimes arrows overhead) and people *mostly* stick to those, but there are enough that don't (and not just me with my luggage!) that it's annoying :-)
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User: bellinghwoman
Date: 2007-09-14 15:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I seem to recall that they played music before the trains arrived in Kyoto too. What got me was standing on the shinkansen platform in Kyoto and realising that there was either a regular or a nozomi shinkansen to Tokyo every 3-4 minutes.

Last night, the bellinghman worked out that we had been through two thirds of all the shinkansen stations on the entire network, although of course we only stopped at a handful :-)
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