Getting Around, Tokyo

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  • kdoc13's Profile Photo

    Finding an Address in Tokyo

    by kdoc13 Written May 24, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Finding 19324 Hatchibori St isn't easy.

    Favorite thing: This is not my favorite thing about Tokyo, in fact it is my least favorite thing. When I work in Tokyo, I often find myself having to go to a building in some remote part of town. Often, since the company had to pay, I would take a taxi. Taxi's are great, but sometimes they don't even know where they are going.

    Case in point, if you ever get the urge to stay at the Best Western in Ikebukuro, don't give the taxi driver the address for the hotel. He won't be able to find it either. Instead, get plenty of landmarks from the hotel before you get there. This is true of many places.

    The reason for this is this, Roads are easy to find, although they may be twenty miles long. The buildings aren't numbered in order, instead, they are numbered in the order they are built. So building 2112 can be twenty miles away from 2113 on the same street.

    The landmark suggestion works well, as long as they are unique. If someone tells you to keep going until you see a McDonalds, or a Mos Burger, you may be in trouble, as they are probably on every block. Best bet, get detailed instructions with a lot of landmarks, and when in doubt, ask a local. If you can find a police officer that speaks english... well you are just plain lucky, but if you do, they will often be the best person to ask for directions.

    Fondest memory: The other way to find a building is to find the local mail agent. This is harder than it looks too. I was made the mail agent for my building. Basically, I got to distribute the mail after it arrived separated, but in bulk from the mail man. It is a worthless and evil job, but is has the one perk of knowing where everything around you is. If you can find the person with the mail, you can get anywhere in that area.

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    Dedicated to my VTFriend andal13 (erased by HQ)

    by manuelEB Updated Sep 26, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Doing science is rewarding...After many years of intense work I've learnt how to travel in time. My interest in plastic arts, and Andrea's suggestion decided my first destination. I wanted to see the Sistina Chapel before Mr. Buonarotti started his marvelous "decoration". Figure 1 shows the naked ceiling where few hours later Michelangelo would start to work. The picture was taken by one of his associate in April 1508. Few moments later I went back to Tokyo Station Marunouchi North Exit because I had a train to catch.

    Fondest memory: The Sistine's affair made me lost a bullet train but no problems, there is a train departing every 15 minutes with a precision that could help to set one's watch.

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  • cheesecake17's Profile Photo

    Beating rush hour hell...

    by cheesecake17 Updated Feb 14, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    rush hour train

    Favorite thing:
    First dont get caught in rush hour on a Tokyo train.....avoid this as much as you can..:)...

    But if you do get on....well here are a few tips to get a sit......

    Stand near seated junior high or high school students, whose uniforms are a clear signal they will be only on for a short distance and likely to vacate their seats soon...

    Look at people who are sleeping, specially those who sit upright with their eyes lightly close are more likely to get off early...

    Also women who touch up their makeup are preapring to get off.....

    TOKYO METRO

    TOKYO METRO GUIDE

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  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    Funny street names

    by sourbugger Updated Jul 30, 2003

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    Takeshita - but not here in the road.

    Favorite thing: The Japanese language throws up some unfortunate translations at times.

    A good example of this is the Tokyo equilvalent of London's Carnaby Street - Takeshita street.

    It is virtually impossible to see a sign to such a place without trying surpress a silly schoolboy-like smile.

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  • manuelEB's Profile Photo

    Think twice (provided you 've the capacity)

    by manuelEB Updated Sep 30, 2003

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    Taxi!!!!!

    Favorite thing: Tokyo, as every big city in Japan, enjoyes a very well developed public transportation system. Why then have we this colorful carnaval of taxies around stations? Good question!!! My guess is that the Japanes society see in punctuality an important matter. Sometimes you get into the taxi to get on time. One just rides for few blocks. When time and weather permited it, people prefers to walk. But do not get upset for the price!!!!

    Fondest memory: 650 yen for just few blocks could be a high price but that day your punctuality (your sense of responsability) wins at least 3000 ratings, from at least three different IP adress. Click. Click.

    The sense of discipline is also important. see how those taxies just queue waiting for customers. This world is not for the agressive drivers but for the patientes. Patience will turn into agrresivity once they get their customer. Like in every country and big city, taxi drivers are SOBber when they drive.

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    Use a backpack not a wheelie bag

    by joiwatani Written Aug 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The shinkansen/train underground map
    4 more images

    Favorite thing: These are the things that we have to consider in this question:
    1. wheelie bags vs. back pack in Japan - remember, it's Japan- not other places.
    2. staircases
    3. crowded trains
    4. airport and around the country of Japan

    Japan has many staircases. If you look at the tunnel routes of the shinkansen, it is crazy. You get lost inside the tunnel just figuring out where to exit! You don't read and write in Japanese. That's even adding to your challenge of carrying a wheelie! Because of those staircases, you will end up carrying your wheelie because you can't wheel anyway because of those staircases!

    Having a backpack is easier! The train stations are always crowded in Tokyo! The people move fast and if you have a wheelie, you will be dragging it through the crowd!!!

    Check out the pictures I took how the train station look like in Tokyo. It has so many branches under the tunnel. To get out from the tunnel, you have to go through stairs! Just imagine wheeling through the stairs! By the time you have snaked in through the crowd to get out, you will be catching your breath once you see the light coming from that shinkansen/train!

    Fondest memory: I just love the food and shopping in Tokyo!

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  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Backpack is more convenient than a wheeler luggage

    by joiwatani Written Jul 13, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Backpack is better. There are many stairs in Japan because the train in Tokyo are underground - so you have to climb the stairs to get up to the level of the roads. Also, once you are in the shinkansen or train, it is more convenient for a traveller to have a backpack -easier to get in and out of the train. You have to be quick and fast in catching trains so to have a wheelie bag is not even an option - for me.

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  • rikoriko's Profile Photo

    Yanaka5 Nezu Capel

    by rikoriko Written Jan 2, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Nezu Capel

    Favorite thing: Japanese Old town still you can see in Tokyo!!

    If you have a time, pls try to visit Japanese old town, Yanaka where you can go there by subway, senndagi or nezu or you can also go there by JR, "Nippori station".

    It is very good for a walk.

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  • Rebecca_jp's Profile Photo

    Sumida River Line

    by Rebecca_jp Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Take the Sumida River Line and cruise from Odaiba to Asakusa, you'll see its 12 unique bridges. To get Odaiba you must get first Shimbashi Station, by JR lines(Yamanote line,Tokaido line, Yokosuka line, Keihin Tohoku line) and subways(Ginza line, Asakusa line). Once in Shimbashi transfer to Yurikamome line and get Daiba Station.

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  • joiwatani's Profile Photo

    Use a backpack not a wheelie bag

    by joiwatani Written Aug 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The shinkansen/train underground map
    4 more images

    Favorite thing: These are the things that we have to consider in this question:
    1. wheelie bags vs. back pack in Japan - remember, it's Japan- not other places.
    2. staircases
    3. crowded trains
    4. airport and around the country of Japan

    Japan has many staircases. If you look at the tunnel routes of the shinkansen, it is crazy. You get lost inside the tunnel just figuring out where to exit! You don't read and write in Japanese. That's even adding to your challenge of carrying a wheelie! Because of those staircases, you will end up carrying your wheelie because you can't wheel anyway because of those staircases!

    Having a backpack is easier! The train stations are always crowded in Tokyo! The people move fast and if you have a wheelie, you will be dragging it through the crowd!!!

    Check out the pictures I took how the train station look like in Tokyo. It has so many branches under the tunnel. To get out from the tunnel, you have to go through stairs! Just imagine wheeling through the stairs! By the time you have snaked in through the crowd to get out, you will be catching your breath once you see the light coming from that shinkansen/train!

    Fondest memory: I just love the food and shopping in Tokyo!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • salisbury3933's Profile Photo

    The rush

    by salisbury3933 Written Nov 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Rush time can be notoriously crowded, but much more so in the morning.

    What you'll find is that the commute home tends to be a lot more spaced out, in fact the last train home at night is often quite full.

    It may be best to avoid the morning rush, if you don't like such things, but the evening rush is much more manageable.

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  • saracen's Profile Photo

    Takeshita Street

    by saracen Updated Oct 13, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Takeshita Street

    Favorite thing: I have been racking my brains, trying to work out how to include Takeshita Street into a tip - I could describe the bustling street of vendors, but all I can remember are the psychedelic clothes and tie-dye.

    I could write about the sheer number of bodies moving around, but that could be anywhere in Tokyo.

    In the end, I simply need to admit that the name appeals to my peurile, juvenile Scottish sense of humour.

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  • SfumatoPants's Profile Photo

    Walking in Tokyo

    by SfumatoPants Written Sep 15, 2008

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    Favorite thing: I am a walker. That is my bias. I love to get out on foot and explore the everyday things that a city offers, urban orienteering. Whenever I go to a new city I always look for a central location from which I can walk to many of the popular tourist spots, limiting my need for train or taxi travel.
    I have walked many times from Ueno down to Shinbashi station on the Yamanote line, the Eastern side of "downtown" Tokyo. This area has the greatest concentration of tourist spots in the city so walking is fairly easy, if you feel comfortbale walking in a 5K radius.
    If you like to explore by walking then I would suggest you stay on the East side of the Yamanote, somewhere around Tokyo Station (I personaly like Shinabshi/Shiodome, because it offers me easy connections to wherever I want to go).
    The Western side of the Yamanote has it's charms, but they are further apart and better explored by train or taxi. I use the Eastern side as a base and make day trips over to the Western side as I need to.
    By the way, one of my favorite walks, is around the Yanaka Cemetary at Nippori station. When you leave the cemetary and walk West, into the Yamanote ring you enter the really old parts of Tokyo. Here you can find such obscure historical sights as the tomb of the 47 Ronin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty-seven_Ronin).

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  • vincentf's Profile Photo

    New trains along Yamanote Line

    by vincentf Written Jul 6, 2004

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    Yamanote Line

    Favorite thing: If you encounter the new sleek trains (E231 series) on the JR Yamanote Line, you'll be informed by both Japanese and English announcements. On top of each door, these LCD displays show you the entire loop and how long it takes to reach the destination.

    The LCD screen will also display the local weather, news and best of all, baseball box scores!

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  • vincentf's Profile Photo

    Taking the trains in Tokyo

    by vincentf Updated Jun 23, 2003

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    Ticket Dispenser on JR

    Favorite thing: Tokyo is a very convenient place to travel by taking their efficient train systems. Many tourists will use the famed Yamanote Line, as it encircles the city environs. Purchasing tickets are simple as the ticket dispensers allow money changes. However, there is a new Suica Card that is a cashless swipe card introduced in Tokyo (similar to Hong Kong's Octopus card system).

    Fondest memory: Japanese are very detailed in everything they do. I noted that at every train station, there is a departure chime telling passengers that the train is about to leave the platform. But, the interesting fact is that every chime is different for each individual direction! Yes, even north/south and east/west bounded trains have different tunes. If you are fortunate to board these trains, please note once you get on/off the train. The melodies are quite nice and soothing.

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