Tourist Travel guide

Local Transport in Tokyo

tokyo station

Public transport can be confusing as many trains, metros and buses are owned by several private companies so you have to pay when transferring. Therefore when using the bus or Subway frequently, it is best to buy a ticket card in advance. There are several different kind of cards available including “Tokyo Free Kippu”, which provides Unlimited use of all subway lines and JR trains and certain buses; and “Toei and Tokyo Metro One-Day Economy Pass” Unlimited use of all subway lines.

Train
Tokyo has a vast and complex rail network, with major terminals including Tokyo and Shinjuku, where local and national trains can be boarded.

Trains are fast, efficient, frequent, safe, and clean

The Shinkansen ‘bullet train’ departs from Tokyo Station.

Shinjuku Station is said to be the busiest train station in the world by passenger throughput.

The Yamanote Line (an above-ground commuter line) is a popular train that circles central Tokyo stopping at many popular areas and important rail/metro hubs. It takes about an hour to complete a loop.

English is written on all signs at train stations.

Bus
There is a good network of buses, but frankly you may get confused as usually there are few English displays and announcements and the driver probably does not speak English and knowing how much to pay can be complicated (unless you have a pass), particularly as you pay when leaving the bus!!

Buses stop running around 10pm.

Metro
Tokyo has private & public subway lines – “Tokyo Metro” and “Toei”. If you change from one to the other you will have to pay for another ticket, unless you have a prepaid pass that covers both lines.

The Metro stations & trains are fast, efficient, frequent, safe, and clean

Metro runs until around 12 midnight

English is written on all signs at metro stations.

External Link: Tokyo Metro

Taxi
You can hail taxis or find them at taxi stands at train stations and on certain streets.

Taxis are generally expensive in Tokyo.

Most drivers do not speak or understand English so it is best to have your destination written down in Japanese.

Note: Do not open or close the taxi door yourself, as this is done by an automatic mechanism controlled by the driver!

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