How to Take Public Transportation in Tokyo?

by Fidelia - TripleLights travel specialist

I think we could all agree that as efficient as it is, Tokyo’s transport system is a hard thing to master.

 

On the other hand, once you understood it you would be able to go anywhere you want easily!

 

In this article, I will discuss how to get around Tokyo using public transport system, and some tips on riding them. Check it out!

How to Take Public Transportation in Tokyo?

Public Transportations in Tokyo

Tokyo has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. Sure, it could get a little bit difficult to handle, but it can get you anywhere you want to. That is how efficient it is.

 

Basically, Tokyo’s public transportation system could be divided into three sections: the trains, the subway, and the bus.

 

Here is a simple explanation about them:



The trains are divided between the JR trains which are owned by the government and the private railways. You can also find more information about the train system in Tokyo in here.

 

The subway or the metro trains are those that mostly run underground. They cover more detailed areas that are not reachable via JR trains. You can click this link to find more details about the subway system in Tokyo

 

The bus system might be a little bit harder to understand since some people might not be used to it. However, you can still navigate your way around Tokyo with using only the trains and the subway.

How to Take Public Transportation in Tokyo?

How to ride public transports in Tokyo

Look:

Although I did say it was difficult, I didn’t say it was impossible to master.

 

You just need to know the basic differences between your options on riding the public transports to get around in Tokyo.

 

Below is an explanation of the 3 ways you can use to ride public transports to get around Tokyo

 

  • JR PASS is a pass ticket that you can buy outside Japan (it is not available to buy in Japan). Using this pass, you do not need to pay more to ride all JR operated transportation in Japan. This pass includes free shinkansen reservation (except a few special shinkansen), limited express trains, and all the basic JR transports.



  • IC Card (SUICA or PASMO) is a cash card that you can buy from ticket machines at both train and subway stations in Tokyo. You can recharge them when your deposit runs low. You can save time by using this card since you only need to tap it at the ticket gate scanner in any station. You can also use it when you want to ride buses.



  • Buying a ticket. You can get a ticket at the ticket machine. You just need to look at the train map and buy the ticket according to the fare needed to get you to your desired destination. However, sometimes this system might be more annoying since, at some spots, there are no English signs to the fare guides.

How to Take Public Transportation in Tokyo?

Public Transportation Costs in Tokyo

Look:

We all want to get the cheapest, yet most effective and comfortable way possible to navigate our way around Tokyo.

 

The costs for the transportations in Tokyo varies differently between the distance covered, and the time it needs to get you there. You can simply choose the most efficient option that suits your preferences more!

How to Take Public Transportation in Tokyo?

Other ways to travel in Tokyo

At this point, you must have a sturdier grasp on how to get around in Tokyo.



...Or do you?



For those of you who are still not sure, don’t panic! You can still enjoy your holiday in Tokyo. In fact, here’s another option that might fit your bills:

 

Hire a private guide!

 

By hiring a private guide, you don’t need to worry about getting on the wrong trains, or losing your way in the middle of Tokyo’s concrete forest!

 

Moreover, you would have no language barrier problems. You will have someone to help you get around Tokyo easily and make your Tokyo trip the best journey you’ve ever had.

 

However, here’s another question:



Where can you get a private tour guide that you can trust?



For those of you who want to find the perfect private guide to accompany you on your Tokyo trips, I recommend you to get one from Triplelights. Not only that they have a list of recommended tour guides, but they also other activities that you can do during your stay in Tokyo!



So, we’ve covered all the basic things you need to know about riding the public transportation in Tokyo and the different options that they are available. I hope that this article has been useful for you to make plans for your holiday in Tokyo!

Need help planning your trip to Tokyo ?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Tokyo, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Tokyo


02 Mar 2018

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Hospitality was amazing! ”

Excellent
16 hours ago Traveler: Gayle -   Tour Guide: Chiaki

Chiaki made our Tokyo experience the best! She was very accommodating to our interests and making the most out of our time. We had a great day with her! Thank you Chiaki, we had so much fun spending time with you!
read more

“ Overall very satisfactory ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Daniel -   Tour Guide: EFG CARS Service

Booked a van for 7 people from hotel in downtown Tokyo to Narita. The booking process was confusing in that the website does not clearly identify the booking. The buttons for selecting from Narita and to Narita didn't work so the initial order recited a Narita pickup rather than from hotel. Email response time was timely and the matter was clarified satisfactorily. Apart from booking, the serv...
read more

“ Great tour of Tokyo ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Vimal -   Tour Guide: Toshihiro

We had a good time in Tokyo with Toshi. He met us at our hotel in Shinjuku right on time. He got us the day pass for subway and off we went. He has good command of English and was able to explain Japanese culture and history to us in detail. We travelled mostly by sub-ways and he selected main sights in Tokyo like Imperial Palace, the fish market, Sensoji Temple and Asukasa park etc. It was a ver...
read more

“ Cancelled tour? typhoon! ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Sue -   Tour Guide: AKIRA

He cancelled tour due to typhoon. Promised full refund. Waiting to hear from you. I’ve also emailed. Cannot pay for no tour!
read more

“ The best tour guide ever! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Shauna -   Tour Guide: Yasuro

Yasuro is simply the best tour guide we’ve ever had. We were in Tokyo for a very short time and wanted to book a guide. Yasuro responded to my message right away and was so polite and pleasant. He helped me plan the itinerary and also respected what we wanted to see. He kept us updated about everything (including the scary typhoon!) and made everything so easy for us. We had such an amazing time t...
read more

“ Great guide, knowledgeable and fun! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Lesley -   Tour Guide: Arnold

Arnold was very professional corresponding with me several times to organise our time together and was prompt at arriving at our hotel. He provided several suggestions about places to visit and and was knowledgeable about the tourist spots we wanted to visit. He went above and beyond in helping to find a suitable pub to watch the rugby on a VERY busy Saturday afternoon too! He was instrumental ...
read more

“ Walking tour ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Simon -   Tour Guide: Nobuko

We had a fantastic tour with Nobu. From the very start of the booking Nobu was extremely responsive via messages, giving a great option for our itinerary. We were a group of four siblings and highlights were fish market and Meiji shrine. In addition, Nobu was extremely helpful navigating us around the metro line which we could then use for other days of our stay. The best part of the day w...
read more

“ Typhoon couldn’t stop him. ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Alan -   Tour Guide: Dai

In spite of a typhoon the day before, he was always in contact with up dates on the possibility of doing the tour. When the storm was over and as soon a public transport was again running he not only showed at the assigned meeting point (our hotel), but he got there early. He gave us a great tour. A lot of walking with all the sites we had wanted to see. Would without reservation recommend to ...
read more

“ 1 day tour ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Elizabeth -   Tour Guide: Dai

Had a great day with Dai. We had a full 8 hour day and saw so much with him. We would have never been able to see as much as we did without him. Very knowledgeable about Japanese history. He even helped us with our JR passes and figuring out what trains we should be using for the remainder of our trip. Would highly recommend.
read more

“ 2 days, 23 miles, Top Tokyo Sites with Tom ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Grant -   Tour Guide: Tsutomu

We spent two days exploring the many sites that Tokyo has to offer with Tom. We covered 23 miles over these days, utilized public transportation, and experienced things of historical, religious, and cultural importance to the city of Tokyo during this time. From the Shibuya Crossing to the Meiji Shrine, Asakusa, Tokyo Skytree, Ginza, The Imperial Palace, and so much more, we greatly enjoyed our to...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started