Why do the Japanese walk on the wrong side?

Meaning walking against all the arrows telling them to be on the other side.

This surprised me when I first came to Japan because I pictured the Japanese as law abiding, but I quickly found that they weren’t following the rules, they were following each other – one of many reasons why the Japanese are nothing like as similiar to the Germans as they think they are.

That pattern explains a whole lot of other stuff as well:

– The yakuza

– How the trains to Kanagawa change from a commuter train where eating is scowled at to a tourist train full of food at some invisible transition point

– A lack of certain crimes rather than a lack of crime, e.g. lost wallets being returned but bikes stolen

– Some local roads where all pedestrians disregard the lights and others where everyone patiently wait to cross an empty road with no cars for miles

– Complete disregard for the law and safety while on a bicycle

– Demos, riots and or looting in some periods and total peace in others


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