Transportation in Tokyo, Japan

Transportation in Tokyo, Japan


The Tokyo subway card can frighten especially impressionable travelers: under 300 stations, 13 main multi-colored lines from two owners, JR lines, a number of private branches, various tickets from a private carrier and a state-owned company, as well as a bonus in the form of almost 9 million passengers a day and specially trained Osio employees pushing people into overcrowded train cars.

But it’s too early to panic and abandon the metro. First, you can take the JR Yamate circular branch as a basis, ringing the central part of the city and having docking stations with almost all important lines. A full circle will take about an hour, which means that getting to any area is not so long and difficult. Secondly, modern navigators and maps, the same Google Maps, do an excellent job of calculating the route, step by step suggesting the road, numbers, letters and colors of transport and indicating the time of arrival of trains. In addition, half of the Tokyo subway stations have free Wi-Fi. On the website of the metro, you can lay out the route in advance, calculate the fare and find out the timetable. The metro is usually open from 6:00 to 23:30-24:00.

According to cachedhealth, Tokyo subway cars (as well as public transport in many Asian cities) are air-conditioned very, very aggressively, to the point of real cold. Even if the trip took place during the warm season, it is better to carry a light windbreaker with you.

There are also several monorail lines, but it has nothing to do with the metro, other companies operate it, and each line has its own tickets. The minimum fare starts from 150 JPY.


A quick way to get to the suburbs of Tokyo is the Shinkansen Bullet Train. The cars are color-coded to match the metro lines to which the train runs.


The Tokyo taxi has two big minuses and one plus. Let’s start with the good – you can take a taxi to anywhere in the city at any time of the day, this is especially true at night, when the amount of public transport is minimized and the roads become freer. Cons: significant distances and frequent traffic jams, which result in low travel speed and high travel costs – landing and the first 2 km from 650 JPY, each next km of the journey is about 300 JPY. At night, rates increase by 30%. But the overwhelming majority of taxi drivers are honest and will not try to fool a tourist crazy from Tokyo. Not nice.

  • Map of Tokyo


The main purpose of most bus routes is to link different metro stations or run around the block, delivering passengers all to the same metro, so that you cannot go from one end of the city to the other at once. But there are also exceptions. The fare costs 200 JPY, the day pass will cost 500 JPY.


Trams in Tokyo appeared at the beginning of the last century and quickly entangled the entire city with a network. Approximately 50 years ago, they decided to abandon them, preferring buses and the metro, but the residents still defended one branch. Now the Arakawa line is a real attraction and a time machine, the tram runs 12.5 km through the old quarters in about 50 minutes, passing at arm’s length from the homes of ordinary Tokyo residents. The ticket costs 170 JPY.

Bike rent

The network of cycle paths in Tokyo is well developed, but a lot of fans of two-wheeled transport are a consequence of this. Beginners with minimal experience in maneuvering in a dense stream of cyclists are not recommended to ride. In addition, Tokyo is not located on a flat plain, but on a hilly area, so a bike ride will only be a joy in a beautiful park. Often hostels and mini-hotels offer bicycles for rent to their guests, the issue price is 500-800 JPY per day. In tourist rental points it is 2-3 times more expensive.

Travel cards

Foreigners are already offered to buy a One-day Travel Pass for the Toei network at the airport, which allows for 700 JPY a day without restrictions to use the tram, buses and subway of the state company Toei. The private Tokyo Metro has a day pass for tourists on its subway line that costs 800 JPY, for two days – 1200 JPY, they are also sold at the airport.

In general, there are travel cards for every type of transport, the only problem is that there is a lot of transport and, for example, a Toei bus pass will not be accepted on the JR bus. Save on nerves and time will help electronic transport card PASMO. This system works in any public transport not only in Tokyo, but throughout Japan, which eliminates the need to figure out which ticket office to buy a ticket for a bus, train or subway. PASMO cards are sold at ticket machines, where you can top up your account. By the way, some stores also accept these cards for payment, sometimes it is very convenient.

Rent a Car

The happy owners of IDL certificates will be disappointed: Japan adheres to the Geneva Convention, not the Vienna Convention, in matters of traffic, so Russian international rights are not quoted in Tokyo. In principle, you can make them legitimate: you need to translate the certificate into Japanese, then pass an exam in traffic rules, driving and do an eye test. Even taking into account the possibility to go through all these procedures in Russian, is the hypothetical freedom of transport worth such tricks?

This could be put an end to, but to consolidate the material, we add that parking in the capital is a scarce phenomenon, an hour of parking costs 400-1000 JPY. But toll roads and road sections are common, for example, you will have to pay 2900 JPY for travel from the airport to the city center, and another 19,000 JPY must be added to the budget for an independent trip to Osaka or Kyoto. Plus left-hand traffic, overly convoluted interchanges, complex urban zoning, about 150 JPY per liter of gasoline, signs in Japanese, fines for speeding and illegal parking of 100,000 JPY, up to 15 years in prison for drunk driving and from 7000-9000 JPYper day for renting a modest car. In a word, it is easier to master the Tokyo subway.

Transportation in Tokyo, Japan

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