Have you ever had this moment when you are traveling and you are determined to use local transportations like a pro but completely are overwhelmed? Whenever I am traveling, domestic or internationally, I am constantly worried if I will be able to get to the destination without ending up in other side of the world. Tokyo is one of the busiest cities in the world and I am sure a lot of you are overwhelmed, especially if it is your first time. Today I am sharing a few tips that might help you out whilst you are in Japan.
There are two main train transportations in Tokyo/Japan. JR line and metro (local trains). If you land in Narita airport or Haneda airport, you can take metro to get to your destinations. Metro is very useful to get around, visit bigger cities and also local places that you cannot reach with JR line.
There are so many different metro lines that you can use depending on which area you are going. You can transfer trains and can go pretty much anywhere. Each metro has colored sign so if you cannot read Japanese, English or if you cannot be bothered to remember japanese names, you can tell by the colors.
Hanzomon Line: purple
Asakusa Line: red
Shinjyuku Line: light green
Hibiya Line: gray
And the lists go on. Whenever I try to help lost travelers, I always tell them colors so that it is easier for them to remember and to find the signs.
If you are from foreigners traveling to Japan, you can get JR Rail Pass in prior which allows you to use any JR lines in Japan unlimited. Many of my friends used it before and it seems like an amazing deal! Also, JR lines run till late night so if you are out in town, you can stay longer until like 1am and catch the last train. Metro finished relatively early in that sense.
If you are traveling around Japan for more than 2 or 3 weeks, I highly recommend to buy one of the prepaid train pass. If you have that, you don’t have to buy tickets every time and it is so convenient. You can simply charge it at any stations when you run out of money.
Ask us! Japanese people are shy but people are willing to help you. However, I have to say that many people in Tokyo are in hurry all the time that it may make you feel like you can’t stop them to ask something. I am from Osaka and people are much more easy going there so I always found it easy to just ask people around me but I am hesitant to do so in Tokyo. Well, if you see me, I would love to help you for sure. Quite a lot of people can understand or speak English so maybe start with “sumimasen” which means “excuse me” and just ask what you want to know. People may understand english but it’s always nice and polite to try to talk to them in Japanese first because as the saying goes “when in Rome…” 😉 But to be honest, I think that our world is getting more blended each day that whichever languages you speak will work if you do it with kindness and respect. I, for sure, enjoy local languages when I am abroad. It just excites me more and helps me interact with local people.
I hope you found my tips helpful. Even as a Japanese, it took sometime to get used to the Tokyo trains mainly because there are usually so many people and I was not used to that. If you have any questions about Tokyo, or Japan in general, please ask me in the comment section and I hope I can help you out 🙂
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Thank you for stopping by, you made me happy.
I will see you next time.