Japanese people are well-mannered, and they respect the rules, that is known throughout the world. And just as the saying goes "When in Rome, do as the romans." so when you're in Japan, let's try not to be rude and follow all of the local rules and regulations! In this article, we are going to introduce a very simple method for queuing in Japan. Once you've read this article, you'll be able to rest at ease knowing you know the ins and outs of queuing in Japan.

Where do you Queue From?

What? I can't stand directly behind the person in front of me when queuing in Japan? This may seem like the norm where you're from, but in Japan it is quite the bad manner! In Japan, in places such as convenience stores or super markets, you should ensure you don't stand too close to the person in front of you, and try to follow the signs and stickers on the floor where available. Using these, people can pass between queues and it won't cause issues for the store in question. Also, ensuring you don't get too close to other people is a typical manner within Japan.

Search for the Stickers on the Floor when Queuing

If you're wondering where to queue from when shopping, first look for the stickers on the floor! There should be a "wait here" sticker somewhere near the register. Follow the distance of these stickers.

Examples of Queuing

In Japan, queuing is typically split into 2 different groups. There is a "straight line" and a "fork line". Furthermore, there is one where you can be called by the register staff when lined up regardless of where the register is. When lining up, even if the line is long, never cut in line!

2020 - A Changing World

In 2020, the "Coronavirus" spread through the world, changing queuing on a global scale. Up until now, following the guides on the ground has been normal in Japan, but this is now spreading to all other countries around the globe. This is to help prevent the spread of the virus through ensuring the distance between 2 people is enough, also known as "Social distancing". With this, it may be that this type of queuing is not only something found in Japan!