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Japanese public transportation is characterized by its punctuality, its superb service, and the large crowds of people using it. Using the public transportation in Tokyo is easy and efficient, but can be confusing especially for first-timers in Tokyo. They are incredibly clean and well maintained. Although the train can seem complicated it’s actually easy once you get used to it. By the time you finished reading this article, you will have the answer to those questions.

Japan's Public Transportation Benefits

Japan public transportation system is one of the most extensive to be found anywhere on earth, especially within a country of this size. It is not only able to have the freedom to visit sights within reasonable reach of the mass transit system, but it was convenient in that people didn’t have to concern ourselves with traffic, parking, tolls, or fuel.

Besides the convenience, japan public transportation had some money-saving options like passes. Of course, in order to really gain the benefits of such discounts, traveller had to be real strategic in our trip planning to maximize the usage of such passes.

It is found that the mass transit systems in Japan to be very efficient and easy-to-use. Meanwhile, touring the cities were pretty straightforward as the metropolitan cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe (among others) were well-served by subways.

Types of transportation and how to use

Japan's larger cities are serviced by subways or trams, buses and taxis; indeed, many locals rely entirely on public transport.

Trains and Subway

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The train and subway are the major public transport system used to travel around in Tokyo. Tourists opt to use the train or the subway for its convenience and inexpensive price.You just need to go to the nearest train or subway station, buy a ticket and head off to wherever you want to go. They are extremely convenient as it can reach long distances with such a short matter of time compared to other means of transportation.

Rides cost from ¥160 to ¥200. If you plan to zip around a city in a day, an unlimited-travel day ticket is a good deal; most cities offer them and they can be purchased at station windows. If you plan to spend more than a day or two, then getting a prepaid IC card is highly recommended.

The shinkansen trains in Japan are said to be the fastest in the world. Shinkansen tickets can be bought at the Midori-no-Madoguchi or through a ticket machine. It`s not possible to ride a shinkansen using your IC card. You can either enter the area you're traveling to, date, and select your preferred type of seats into the ticket machine or speak to the staff at the green counter and make your purchase.


If you don’t prefer to walk, buses are available to travel within a ward or area. Buses are especially useful for areas that is not reached by trains or located far from the train stations. It’s generally easy. Smaller cities that don't have subway or tram services usually have a tourist bus that does a loop to the main sights starting and ending at the main train station.

All buses have change machines near the front door that can exchange ¥100 and ¥500 coins and ¥1000 notes.

How to get on and off a route bus may vary depending on the route but there are two major ways to board a bus.

1. Get on at the front door, and get off at the rear door. In this case the fixed fare is applied and you pay the fare when you get on the bus.

2. Get on from the rear door, and get off from the front door. In this case, you need take a numbered ticket from the machine near the door when you get on (more on this below).


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Photo: japanvisitor

Taxis can be found in whole big cities, smaller cities and even on tiny islands, too, though usually just at transport hubs. Transit stations and hotels have taxi stands where you are expected to queue.

You can use the JapanTaxi app to book taxis – including fixed fare ones to the airport.

Fares are fairly uniform throughout the country and all cabs run by the meter, around ¥600 for the first 2km, after which it's around ¥100 for each 350m. Payment by credit card is usually accepted.

How to make your Tokyo travel easier?

Purchase a prepaid card

Rather than wasting your travel time to buy tickets every time you want to take the train, opt for a prepaid card. 2 kinds of prepaid/ IC card you can purchase in Tokyo is the Suica and Pasmo card. You can use this card when you take the train or buses and even pay at some vending machines.

You can purchase this at a ticket office or from the ticket machines with PASMO and Suica logo at the train stations. A refundable 500 yen deposit is required to purchase one, and when you’re about to leave Tokyo, you can return the card and get your 500 yen deposit back.

Hire a Private Car Service and a Private Guide!

It is flexible and useful for you to hire a private car service to charter you around Tokyo without having to take public transportation.

If you want even a better experience in Tokyo and easier travel you can always hire a private guide. With private guides, you won’t need to put in so much attention to finding out the details of which train to take, which is easier and faster to reach your destination, which platform to wait at, and other details.

Your private guide will know and tell you what public transport to take to reach your destination more easily and faster. They will guide you and make your trip not only more convenient but also more interesting.

Research ahead and buy a guidebook

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If you want a smooth travel abroad, It is important to proper research and planning before your trip. Be prepared for what you need to do and familiarize yourself with some things about Tokyo through research from the internet or guidebooks.

If you run into any trouble or get lost, you don’t have to worry. At trainstations, there are station workers to help you find your way. There are numerous koban (mini police stations) all over Tokyo to help you and Japanese people are generally very helpful, so ask around for directions or what transportation you should ride to easily reach your destinations.

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