Capturing the mundane to create interesting stories

Keep Left

S-Keep-left-002DSC 3316-martosc

Right lane is for overtaking only…

Did you notice the greenish shoe prints on the left lane?

In Japan, it is customary (or even mandatory?) for people to stand on the left side when using escalator (or in this case, a travelator). By doing this, people who are in a hurry can take space on the right to walk by.

Can you see the green shoe prints?…

I took these photos in Narita Airport, but the same ‘rule’ applies throughout at least Greater Tokyo Area (Kanto), if not whole Japan — except in some area including Kansai (Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka); they are applying “keep right” instead of “keep left”.


I don’t exactly know, but the rumor said it has something to do with samurai in Kanto and merchants in Kansai (source: 1, 2)

Interesting, no? What’s the custom in your country?

*Narita Airport, Chiba, Japan


13 responses

  1. The shoe prints look quite faint on the photos, are they easier to see when you’re actually in front of them?

    (Like the new site design btw!)

    November 22, 2011 at 20:34

    • Yes, it’s quite visible when you are standing there.

      November 22, 2011 at 21:55

  2. Wait, ignore that…For some reason I was viewing the mobile version of your site :-D

    November 22, 2011 at 20:35

    • Hummm… some problem with WordPress? But, to tell you the truth, I was thinking of changing the theme tonight… and it will be white/light theme :D… so, I guess it was a sign :D… *or perhaps you just read my mind :P…

      November 22, 2011 at 21:56

  3. In London it’s the same, in Manchester, we’re chilled out… No one is in a hurry.

    Like the first shot, though I find it a bit confusing: two people walking in opposite direction?

    November 22, 2011 at 20:52

    • In Tokyo, everyone is in a hurry :D… after some time here, I think I’m always in a hurry myself :D…
      Thanks… that’s my wife overtaking the people up front :D…

      November 22, 2011 at 21:58

  4. New look? :) Nice, although I’m more a guy of dark websites with dark colors. :P :)

    In Portugal you stand right to allow people in hurry to run from the left side. :)

    November 22, 2011 at 20:58

    • New look? I think there’s a slight problem with WP, because I haven’t change the theme (I’m going to do it tonight) :D… It’s going to be white, though :D…

      Ah… I see… and the traffic in Portugal is right-hand traffic, right?

      November 22, 2011 at 22:00

  5. I haven’t had time to check up on all my favourite blogs recently, but really enjoyed catching up on your latest posts! It really makes me want to visit the Far East one day!

    November 22, 2011 at 21:14

    • Thanks for the visit and comment, Chris….
      You should… and when you do, don’t forget to also visit South East Asia, especially Indonesia :D…

      I’m also thinking of visiting your country… but really not sure when/how I can get there… beside, the World Cup was last year :D…

      November 22, 2011 at 22:03

  6. @Mike & Helder:
    Ignore my previous comment regarding theme. I change my mind. I changed the theme with a white one just now… but I think this theme is still the best for my preference :D…

    November 22, 2011 at 23:26

  7. Chloe

    thats a really smart idea

    November 23, 2011 at 08:25

    • A great idea, indeed… :-)

      November 23, 2011 at 23:58

Thougths, anyone?

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