If you’re thinking of traveling to Tokyo, there are many things you need to consider: where to stay, where to visit, what to eat, how to get around, etc.
And it’s the last point here that I want to focus on in this post.
Tokyo is a large metropolis with more than 12 million people and numerous downtown centers.
And as there are large public transportation companies vying for development of the next new major commercial districts, there is an extensive network of train/subway lines that connect every corner of the city.
So where do you buy the tickets? As you might expect, you can get them from the ticket machines at each station.
The minimum price (i.e. if you’re getting off at the next train station) varies depending on which train line you’re using.
But to buy a ticket each time you get on the train, you’ll need to look up the price every time, since the amount depends on how far you need to go, and whether or not you need to transfer between different lines.
Although this info is easily available on station maps or Google Maps, it can get a bit cumbersome.
It’s much simpler to use chargeable plastic pass called PASMO or Suica.
They’re basically the same, and you can you either one to use any of the trains in Tokyo and the surrounding areas.
The only difference being the company that issued the card.
There is a 500 yen initial deposit, but you can get it back anytime by returning your card.
Once you get it, you can charge it increments of 500 yen or 1000 yen.
And you simply swipe it at the ticket gate to enter or exit train stations.
Ticket cost will be deducted from the total charge you have on your card.
A nice perk of using this card is that they’re also accepted at shops and restaurants within train stations, and at all convenience stores.
If you don’t like dealing with small change, this is definitely the way to go.
And just a quick tip if you decide to use trains to get around in Tokyo.
Whatever you do, do try to avoid rush hour trains.
This is typically around 7-9 AM and 5-7 PM on weekdays, and early afternoons on weekends.
It’s quite the spectacle to see how many people can actually fit into these trains, but it isn’t really worth braving the chaos.
If you absolutely have to use the train during the aforementioned times, DO try to go as far into the aisle as possible.
DO NOT stand near the door area, as dozens of people will leave the train and dozens more will get on.
On second thought, if you’re visiting Tokyo, try it once.
It’ll be a good character-building experience…!