|Like this, but with escalators|
From the outside, Japan might seem the same wherever in the country you go, but there are cultural differences across the different regions in Japan.One of the more well known is the straightforward and direct to the point Kansai culture (compared to the more vague and avoidance of getting to any point at all costs Tokyo-culture). Back in the good 'ol days the emperor and/or shogunate nested in Tokyo with the court, entertaining themselves with Nou theatre and other boring stuff, poor as dirt, but enjoying being the highest social class. Meanwhile, back in Kansai, the merchants reigned, lowest on the social ladder but loaded with cash and access to Kabuki theatre, booze and women of ill repute. I guess I don't have to mention that I prefer the Kansai style...When getting off the shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka, the first sign that things are not completely right is the escalators... For some reason, Osaka and Kyoto people have taken to standing on the right side of the escalator with walkers passing by on the left while the opposite goes for Tokyo and the rest of civilised Japan. On the shinkansen Shin-Osaka station chaos reigns supreme on the escalators though as the Tokyoites are coming in to try and bargain with the sly business savvy Osaka merchants. The people coming from Tokyo and the people returning home can easily be identified by which side on the escalator they stand on.Sometimes I take some minor pleasure in standing the right side in Osaka knowing that I adapt to the odd local customs and melt in more than most Tokyoites.At one point I tried to find out why Osaka people chose to stand on the right side of escalators and the answer I got was that they hold their valuables in their right hand and are afraid that people might steal it or bump into it and accidentally ruin it. But as this was told to me by a Tokyoite I have some doubt about the truth fullness of this. Still, now you know on which side of the escalator you should stand on, great, huh?