Escalators in Japan

Like vending machines and convenience stores, escalators seem to be ubiquitous in modern Japan.

This is especially true in Tokyo, with its many multi-storied buildings with basements, and if you take public transportation, as you descend (and ascend) into the deep underground to ride on the many subway trains.  Pictured below is one of the many escalators in Shinjuku station in Tokyo.

Escalator Shinjuku Station

Another observation is that escalators never seem to break – or at least, if they break, they are fixed very quickly.  For the high number of escalators in use, I rarely see an escalator not working.  Also, I have seen a few escalators which stop running when no one is using them – energy efficient.

Unlike in North America, you should stand on the left and walk on the right side while riding an escalator in Tokyo and some areas in Japan.

And finally, the world’s shortest escalator can be found in Japan at the Kawasaki More’s department, certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1989 as having the shortest vertical height of 834 mm.  According to the video description on YouTube, “the best part is, there are normal stairs after you get off the escalator” – now that’s funny!

Do you like taking escalators?  Or do you prefer walking or taking the elevator?


9 thoughts on “Escalators in Japan

  1. Ah. i remember the long ones in Shinjuku.
    Also, there are these in thsi station I forget – Shinkiba maybe or Toyosu. on the way to tokyo disney land. You have to go down deep an walk a lot and those flat escalators etc – that I guess was one of the deepest stations. You can recall the name n help me?

    Please keep writing. I love remembering all that from my short visit and the way you bring it back – I love it absolutely!

  2. I never ride an elevator. The wait is usually too long.

    You should mention that, in Tokyo, if you want to stand and rideand escalator…you stand on the left-side. The right side is for people who want to walk up (or down) it.

  3. >Unlike in North America, you should stand on the left and walk on the right side while riding an escalator in Japan.

    Not to nitpick…

    but that rule’s not for “Japan“. It’s like that here in 関東地方 (Kantou (Tokyo) area)…in 関西地方 (Kansai (Western Japan) area), it’s the other-way-around.

    • I didn’t know that – I guess we didn’t take too many elevators during our visit to Kyoto (or maybe I wasn’t very observant!).

      Anyway, I have update my post to … “in Tokyo and some parts of Japan”.

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