How To’s: Public Transportation in Tokyo, Japan

Travel Tips

Subways, Taxis, and Uber

Traveling to Japan is exciting yet completely foreign to first-time visitors. Many choose tours to guide them easily through the cities and countryside. If you prefer to explore the capital independently, here is some advice on how to use Tokyo’s public transportation:

How to Ride a Subway in Japan

The subway system in Tokyo has a reputation for confusing and overwhelming tourists. In recent years, taking the subway has gotten easier and more accessible for English-speaking travelers.

The easiest way to get around is to look up your route via Google Maps. Choose the subway transportation mode, and the app will show you how to walk to the closest station, how much you will pay for the ticket, which subway line to take, and how to exit to arrive in your destination.

The complex web of Tokyo’s subway and train system with new lines expanding as often as the seasons change. One glance at the lines may scare you away from attempting to take the subway. Have no fear! Once you learn how to take it, it is easy, fun, and cheap
Ticket machines are multi-lingual. Choose your language on the top right corner. Then choose the price of your ticket (the price is dictated by your destination, usually 170 yen if it’s nearby). Select how many tickets you need. And then insert your bills and coins to pay
Wait for the change and tickets to dispense which is indicated by the beeping sound of the tickets releasing. Keep your change, and then have your ticket at hand to enter your subway line
Upon entering your appropriate subway line, you will insert your purchased ticket into the yellow receiver. The ticket indicates which way to insert the paper with an arrow. The entrance gate opens up. Be sure to grab your ticket which pops up on the other side. This is also how you will exit at your arrival station
Some subway and train tracks provide safety covers and rails, others are open. In either case, be mindful of the trains and your surroundings. While Japan is a safe country for travel, it is always busy with commuters briskly walking around you

 

Taxi versus Uber in Tokyo

If you choose to stay commute on the roads, you can hop into a taxi or call an Uber. In Tokyo, you can select Black luxury sedans or Vans (for the same estimated price) or call for a metered taxi.

The difference between Uber vehicles and local taxis are in the service and cleanliness. Taxis are already relatively clean for taxi-standards. Ubers are completely clean and with superb attention to detail service as though you hired a five-star luxury hotel car and driver. For that extra taste of luxury, get an Uber.

 


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