How do you feel when you see an unknown queue? graph of japanese statistics

I thought it was us British that were a nation of queuers, but the Japanese do take the same pride in their ability to stand in a line, so this survey from Research Plus took a look at queueing.


Between the 13th and 18th of January 2016 760 members of the Research Plus monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54.7% of the sample were female, 2.5% in their twenties, 5.7% in their thirties, 17.5% in their forties, 30.3% in their fifties, and 44.1% aged sixty or older. The sample was also split 50:50 between residents of Kanto (Tokyo area) and Kansai (Osaka area), although not too much difference was to be seen in the answers.

Queues in Japan, outside of the obvious places like Disneyland, are often found when foreign chains open their first branch in Japan, and last days if not weeks until the novelty wears off. Ramen restaurants are another favourite, but I avoid both these kinds of places as my stomach tells me waiting a couple of hours is not worth it! Thirty minutes is the most I’m prepared to wait for food.

Research results

Q1 was about how long people were prepared to queue for different kinds of things, but for some reason it was not published. Over an hour was acceptable to 11.4% for theme parks, and 5.1% for concerts. Overall, the most popular maximum wait was 30 minutes or less, with 28.8% selecting that time.

Q2: What is the longest you have ever queued for something? (Sample size=760)

Less than five minutes 2.0%
Less than ten minutes 1.3%
Less than 30 minutes 6.7%
Less than one hour 22.4%
Less than one and a half hours 27.2%
Less than two hours 14.5%
Less than two and a half hours 17.5%
Less than three hours 3.7%
Less than four hours 5.1%
More than four hours 3.2%

Q3: After your longest queueing, how satisfying was the outcome? (Sample size=760)

Very satisfying 2.4%
Satisfying 29.0%
Just OK 50.7%
Dissatisfying 13.8%
Very dissatisfying 4.2%

Q4: What do you do while queueing? (Sample size=760, multiple answer)

Chat 62.8%
Fiddle with smartphone, etc 21.3%
Read book 14.9%
Listen to music 9.3%
Sleep 3.0%
Play portable game machine 2.2%
Fiddle with laptop, tablet 1.6%
Revise vocabulary, text books 0.0%
Eat, drink 5.8%
Other 0.7%
Nothing in particular 23.0%

Q5: Other than the length of time queueing, what annoys you about queueing? (Sample size=760, multiple answer)

Queue-jumping 58.3%
People not bunching up 43.8%
Sloppy queueing 42.5%
Reserving a spot 38.3%
People talking loudly 35.5%
People bunching up too tightly 23.8%
Leaky headphones 12.0%
People moaning about the length of the queue 10.5%
People eating, drinking 4.3%
Other 0.4%
Nothing in particular 9.9%

Q6: How do you most often feel after queueing? (Sample size=760)

Glad I queued, and would queue again 12.1%
Glad I queued, but wouldn’t queue again 59.9%
Don’t want to queue again 28.0%

Q7: How do you feel when you see people queueing for some unknown reason? (Sample size=760)

Curious, and queue up myself 2.8%
Curious, and ask someone queueing what it’s for 20.7%
Curious, and have a look round to see what it’s for 17.2%
Curious, and stop to watch for a little 23.2%
Curious, but don’t stop 24.6%
Not curious 11.6%

Q8: If there is a reservation system (eg Fast Pass at theme parks), do you use it? (Sample size=760)

Yes, often 15.8%
Yes, sometimes 49.9%
No, rarely 19.9%
No, not at all 14.5%

1 Comment

3. Reputation and word of mouth-What you should know about Japan marketing | Japan Marketing Strategy · June 15, 2021 at 18:55

[…] even extend to product or store launches. Japanese consumers are incredibly “queue-rious”. When asked for their reaction when they see that a queue has formed, 88% said they’d be interested in what’s going on. […]

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