Learning the Transit System, Tokyo, Japan

August 30, 2017

Tokyo Train

While the Tokyo interlocking network of trains and subway lines may feel overwhelming at first, the system is not difficult figure out. There are plenty of maps and signs in English as well as electronic diagrams on-board the cars that indicate the stops in both English and Japanese. With a little persistence and the help of a good app, Google Maps works quite well, you can negotiate the system fairly easily.

I did make a mistake on my first attempt to find the language school using Google. It had me transfer at a station that was only connected by a rapid train which skipped the station nearest the school. My heart skipped a few beats when I realized the mistake, but, descending at the next station I was able to take a local train back to the station I needed.

Buying Tickets

Many of the ticket machines are in both Japanese and English. Because I was staying a month a Japanese friend suggested I buy a commuter pass which gives you unlimited trips along a selected route. You can then add money to the Suica card for trips outside your chosen route. You can also buy Suica cards for general use on the train and subway lines instead of buying individual tickets every time you board.

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