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Tokyo's Subway System
The best way to get arund Tokyo is the subway system. It's always on time and the cheapest. I usually get a day pass and explore different parts of town. If you decide to buy one way fare, you need to know your destination and the price to get there. Subway map at the station will show all the information you need. Almost every station has English signs and friendly people are always around to help out in case you get lost.
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Getting around Tokyo by train
=GET A MAP=
Get a train system map of Tokyo in Chinese, English, French, German, Korean and Spanish
World Eki Net (by JR East)
KEIHIN KYUKO (KEIKYU)
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Take the Airport Skyliner or...
The Airport Skyliner or the Keisei limited express are your cheapest options from the airport to the City. Transfer at Ueno to the Yamanote line to your local destination in Tokyo.
Do not (repeat do not) take a taxi unless you're prepared to depart with some serious Yen.
Chances are your Japanese is not fantastic, so try and bring with you a copy of your hotel name and destination written in Japanese.
When you're in Tokyo, don't do any of the day or night tours from JTB or any other of the tourist companies. Buy a 1 day open ticket on the subway and enjoy the freedom of getting off the beaten path. Sometimes getting lost on some of the backstreets is half the fun... and I don't say this to be facetious.
Tokyo is so densely populated that there are subway stations and railway stations and bus stops almost every few blocks! And maps of the area are provided in both Japanese and English.
'FROM HERE TO THERE' search
Here is a URL link below. It's a neat tool that helps you to find out how to get to a place from another by trains and airplanes.
You will have the result by the exact names of the stations that depends on when to depart or arrive and also prefer or not taking the expresses.
taxi fares in Tokyo
in travel guides it's written "taxis in Tokyo are shamefully expensive", in general it is..but i dont think it's more expensive than in London, i took a taxi from my hotel located in Shinjuku till Asakusa, the ride took about 1 hour with the traffic, though both locations are considered to be in the center, anyway that cost me 40$, i wouldnt say i was shocked, looked normal.
another thing with short distances, even for 2km ride you will have to pay 6$.
one of the evenings i was supposed to have dinner with friend at Park Hyatt, funny thing i could see Hyatt from my hotel's window and it seemed being not to far and i was planning to have a walk to get there...but things are not that easy as seem sometimes..when i got out i understood i couldnt do it, with all these multileveled roads in Tokyo, Hyatt was like located in another dimension...and i was thinking...common Angela, just pay 10$ for a taxi and forget about it..and i did it, tough taxi driver was quite amazed, pointing to Hyatt ahead of me, but he took me there:)
- Road Trip
Trains and subways - things to know!
Tokyo has a very extensive train and subway network that is fairly well integrated. Coming from a city of over 1 million people with a useless public transport network, I shouldn't knock Tokyo's, but there are a few silly things about Tokyo's train and subway network.
1. The subway closes down at midnight. Tokyo does sleep!
2. There are two subway networks and even though they often share stations, they have seperate ticketing! This caught us out at first and we couldn't understand why the ticket we bought when we entered a subway station wouldn't work when we went through a ticket gate! We learnt that the four Toei lines are the odd ones out (and more expensive). All the other subway lines were called Tokyo Metro lines.
3. Don't buy a JR ticket when you want to take the subway. The machines may be at the entrance to a subway station, but they're for use on the overland JR network. Usually they're green machines, so that makes it easy to remember.
4. Get a handy Tokyo Metro Guide in English as soon as you can and study it carefully. It is very very useful.
5. The first few times you use the rail network will be very confusing. Give yourself plenty of time and take it slowly. Everything is actually pretty well signposted, but it just takes a while to get used to it.
In the end, I loved the Tokyo rail and subway network. It was great fun working out routes and getting around stations!
Getting around Tokyo with a JR pass
If you plan your itinerary right, you can get back with either only the JR train or the Metro subway. Get a day ticket for only 700+yen and you can get around whole day. But for me, I just bought the tickets as and when since it was quite easy buying tickets and I usually spend quite some time in each location I visit.
- Budget Travel
Train, train and train
The easiest way to go arround the city is by train. Most of the trains are operated by JR (Japan Rail) but there are some other companies as well. Fares ared dependent on the distance you make.
If you don't know how much you're ticket will cost than just go to the wending machine and get the cheapest ticket available. When you arrived to your destination all you have to do is look for a fare adjustment machine where you can find out how much more you have to pay. This is not just convenient but it's sometimes even faster then looking for the fare on the Japanese map.
Trains are very clean and very punctual! But don't be upset if you missed your train ... the next one should be there in max. 10 minutes or even less depending on your route!
Japan Rail is also offering rail passes which are really good deal especially if you want to try out the Shinkanzen (Bullet Train). Actually if you make a return trip from Tokyo to Kyoto than you are allready back to your money and the rest is your extra ;-).
Note: You must purchase a so called EXCHANGE ORDER back in your home country! This exchange order you can change to a JR Pass when you're in Japan! You can have a JR Pass just if you are visiting Japan and not if you are a resident or registered alien.
You may find further info on JR Pass and JR services on the bellow web page!
- Budget Travel
Tokyo has an efficient metro and train system
Here are 2 useful sites to help you find your way around...
The 1st site is useful to find the cost and time to a destination, the 2nd gives information on different lines and stops
- Budget Travel
JR's Suica Card
The Suica Card is a pre-paid e-cash smartcard that comes in very handy when travelling on JR lines in Greater Tokyo. It can be bought at every station at a special ticktet machines and costs initially 2000 ¥ of which 500 ¥ are kept as a deposit. Inside this card is a special chip that whenever it touches the special Suica area at the automatic toll gate the the lowest fare is substracted. You are now free to go anywhere on the JR network and when you leave you simply touch the toll-gate and it opens. It helps saving time and it can also be placed on the toll-gate when its still in the wallet. When not enough money is left you can recharge it at ticket machines inside the toll-gate area or outside.
Starting now more and more shops throughout Tokyo take or will take the Suica card for purchasing goods with only one touch.
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Train Lines in Tokyo
At first glance of the Tokyo train system, most can be forgiven for wanting to turn around and go home. The train lines are an intricit and and at first, highly confusing, logistic system. However, once over the initial shock it is not so bad.
All train lines are colour-coded which links the maps, signs in the stations and on the train platforms, and, in most cases, the actual trains themselves.
For example, the Yamanote line, which does a big loop around Tokyo (great for tourists), is green; the signs for the Yamonote line are green, and the the train carriages have a green stripe on both sides.
It may take a little getting used to, but it gets quite easy quite quickly (unless of course you are colour-blind like me).
If you're not sure you are on the right train then just ask a stranger, "sumimasen, kono densha wa, (station) madde desu ka"? (Excuse me, does this train stop at -----?) And you'll be fine. :)
"Eki" is Japanese for "train station".
Walk, Bike or Train
The best way to get around is my private helicopter. If you are poor and don't have one, maybe you should walk. If you walk you might run into a large group of walkers who are going to watch fireworks (hanabi). If you find yourself at a fireworks festival, don't expect to pay for it- they're free in japan, and regular in the summer. And very good.
The best way to tour around...
The best way to tour around the city is by train or by foot if you have that gut's, LOL. Japanese trains are very fast and accurate about their time schedule and you can also have taxi but it's too expensive or either bus but the best one is by train.
The most practical way to get...
The most practical way to get around in Tokyo is to use the subway. The Yamanote Line is a circle line of the JR East that connects all the large satellite downtown of Tokyo. The lines leading to the outer regions of the city and the suburbs are owned by private railway companies. Some of these companies belong to a department store chain like Tobu, Seibu or Tokyu. A subway map with Roman letters (see picture) is very helpful. Carry it always with you if you don't know Japanese! There are still quite a few stations in Tokyo that show maps in Kanji signs only.
UNDERGROUNDIt isn't that...
It isn't that expensive compared to tother things to do in Japan/Tokyo, it is one of the fastest way to move around in Down Town of Tokyo!
Be carefull you don't catch the wrong train at the station :-)
Trains you should catch when you want to go to Yokohama, Kamakura, Hakkone, Nikko or other places around Tokyo. The are not that cheap, so watch out.
I only tried them at Kyoto, but it isn't as easy to move around by bus if you don't speak or can read Japanese...
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