Tokyo Transit: Navigating Public Transport in tokyo

First time to visit Tokyo? This metropolitan city is known as one of the best in the world. Do you know why? There are many factors of course, and you can’t forget about its affordable and convenient public transportation. You can spend less when getting around Tokyo by bus or train.

But travel between places for the first time is not always easy. You can easily get lost if you do not know which transportation mode to take. Do you know? There are even 11 companies operating trains in Tokyo and each of them sells their own tickets. You can’t use the same tickets when transferring trains from different companies.

Does it sound complicated? Here are things you need.

Japan Rail Pass

Public Transportation - Japan Rail Pass

This pass is all you need to travel through Japan for several days. You can take the JR trains and explore Tokyo within the inner-city network. But this pass is expensive and you may need to extend its due. If you want to get the cheaper one, you can buy a Tokyo Subway pass.

Read also: Choosing Haneda Airport Transportation to Tokyo

Tokyo Subway Pass

Public Transportation - Tokyo Subway Pass

Not only the inner-city network but Tokyo also still has a metro network with 13 trains operated by 2 different companies, Toei and Tokyo Metro. You can also get on them for sightseeing. Buy the pass based on your itinerary plan, whether it is for one, two or three days. You can use it to transfer between lines of those two companies. The most recommended ticket is 3-day Tokyo Subway pass which can cover your travel around Tokyo.

However, the Tokyo Subway pass is only provided for tourists. You can’t buy it at an automatic ticket machine. You have to go to the nearest manned counter or book it online for your ease.

Regional Pass

Public Transportation - Regional Pass

The regional pass is another alternative to Japan Rail pass that you can take one-day trip getting around Tokyo.

JR Tokyo Wide Pass

Public Transportation - JR Tokyo Wide Pass

If you want to go further, there is JR Tokyo Wide Pass which offers unlimited use of their trains in Tokyo and surrounding areas for 3 days. Not only getting around the city, but you will also able to take the train to go to Mount Fuji, Disneyland or Nikko. Of course, it is much more expensive than the subway ticket. Get the ticket in advance online or buy it at the counter available at airports or major train stations in Tokyo.

The Tokunai Pass

Public Transportation - The Tokunai Pass

Another way to take JR Trains in Tokyo is by using Tokunai Pass that you can take advantage for unlimited use for one day.

IC Cards

Public Transportation - IC Cards

Do not want to buy separate tickets every time taking the trains? You can make use of IC Cards. These prepared cards can be reloaded and used for all public transportations including the metro, bus and JR Trains. It is a good way to save time because you do not need to stand in line when purchasing the tickets.

There are some different IC cards offered, depending on which city you are at. In Tokyo, you will get SUIC card form JR East. If you take the local metro or bus, you need a Pasmo card.

IC Cards can also be used outside Tokyo. However, there are several things to consider:

Different IC Cards are offered by each region. take for example ICOCA Card in Osaka and Kyoto, Toica card in Nagoya, and Sugoco card in Fukuoka and Nagasaki. There are at least 24 kinds of them that are compatible with each other.

Before using an IC card, you have to register to an app or website to link it to your credit card. It means that the ticket prices will be deducted directly from your credit card. Then, you can return the IC card in the region where you buy it at the end of vacation.

Read also: Tokyo, Green Metropolitan City

Always plan your vacation in advance. Travelling alone with public transportation modes for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Make sure you buy a complete Japan travel guide. You can use it to make the most of your trip as well as when you take the advantage of Airpaz website to book the flight tickets online at reasonable prices.


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