Wasabi Stories vol.182: “The Difference Between Japanese and Swedish Elevators”


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“The Difference Between Japanese and Swedish Elevators”

Today’s story-teller is natural life specialist Noriko Sakoh.

Her previous story was about Sweden, and today’s story is another story about Sweden.

It is about an elevator.

One of the things she was surprised about Sweden when she went there last year was the elevator.

She was surprised to notice that there was no close button in the elevator. You would never find an elevator without it in Japan.


She asked the local person why there is no close button in the elevator. The person replied, “It is only a matter of a few seconds. Why can’t you just wait till it closes?”

She couldn’t forget the words the person said even after she went back to Japan. Then one day, she found out a surprising thing in a public elevator.

There was an instruction next to floor buttons: “The door will close in 6 seconds.” She never noticed that the elevators close in 6 seconds. She was surprised about it. She actually took the time. It did close in 6 seconds.

She realized it was only 6 seconds that she had been irritated. It is only a short time, but she wishes the time would get shorter.

She told her friend that she is frustrated for getting irritated with the 6 seconds of waiting time. Her friend told her it could not be helped because Japanese people believe earliness is important.


Surely Sakoh understands that. Still, she yearns for time-rich lifestyle like Swedish.


The NIKKEI 01/13/2010 by Noriko Sakoh (natural life specialist)




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