Japan’s transport system is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s so easy to navigate, often using colour coded systems – perfect for when you can’t remember the name of the line you’re supposed to be on!
Although it is easy to use, it is also quite expensive to use. It can cost you what a backpacker like me would describe as a small fortune to get to another city, or even travel around your city sightseeing for the day.
If you’re travelling in Japan here’s a few tips to consider…
Look at all transport options
If you’re travelling from one city to another there’s often a range of ways to do this, which will also offer you a range of prices! If you are not time limited have a look to see if there is a bus you can take instead of the train. Some good bus services to look at are Willer Express and the JR bus.
If you are going to be seeing several sights in the area on the same day, this is the best ticket option for you. Depending on the transport system structure in your city, choosing an all day bus, subway or bus and subway pass will save you money. It is also handy to have as you don’t have to worry about buying a ticket each time. The ticket machines at subways often have an English button, click that and you’ll see the day passes. If not, station staff here are always more than happy to help you.
Stations often close together but will cost an average of ¥230 to get to on subway. If it’s a nice day, and you’re not time restricted, take the 15 minute stroll instead.
And if you’re staying for long time..
Manaca or IC cards are available at the subway stations from a machine. You load the card up with money and swipe it when you enter and exit the subway instead of buying a ticket each time. After you load your card up with a certain amount of money you get points which you can redeem as money put back on your card. You can also use your card at some vending machines.
If you do choose this option, get the card where you can load your contact details onto it. That way, if like me you lose it, you will more than likely get it back again.
Enjoy your time in Japan… and good luck getting around!