Are you going to get in the elevator? Know the social rules of elevators in Japan

Getting into elevators in Japan is not as simple as you might be used to.

First of all, it is necessary to remember that Japan is a country that has many social rules. And these social rules, as much as they change over time, they tend to be maintained and respected. Thus, in order not to be rude in the country, it is essential to know some of them. As much as the Japanese can understand that a foreigner does not have a responsibility to know all the rules of etiquette, they also looked a lot like those who seek to respect their social rules.


So, it doesn’t hurt to make an effort to follow these rules a little, even if you fail, the Japanese will already respect you a lot more just for trying.

The social rules of elevators in Japan

Before entering the elevator, let the people in the elevator go down first. In fact, this should be a social rule to be applied worldwide. After all, this greatly improves the use of elevators.


However, if you are running over someone to get into an elevator in Japan, know that you are sure to receive disapproving looks.

You have to be careful not to get right in front of the elevator because you are in the passageway.

If there is no one in the elevator, you must enter the elevator first and keep the door open for someone who is superior to you to enter. However, if there is already someone in the elevator, you must give priority to the superior or the senpai

Yes, there is hierarchy even for using elevators in Japan.


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Where should I stay on an elevator in Japan?

Just like in the car or in conference rooms, where you stand in the elevator is decided by your status in the company. The basic rule is the younger you are, the closer to the door you should be. The youngest has to control the doors for the others, so you must stand in front of the panel.

Therefore, it is also up to him to press the buttons of the floors where the elders will go.

Sometimes there may be an elevator with two panels, the “shimoza(下座)” is the one on the right and the one on the far left is “kamiza(上座)”. If a customer is in the elevator, let the customer stay in “ kamiza(上座)” is the best. Remember that the customer is considered God in Japan, so you should give priority to him, not your colleagues.

Getting out of the elevator is a little different than getting in the elevator.

When you reach the floor and the door opens, press the open button to keep the door open for superiors or senpai come down. Of course, if customers are also in the elevator, let them down first. And most importantly, put your hand on the side of the door to keep it open for others. This insignificant action will make a good impression on customers.


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