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Getting reacquainted with the Tokyo Metro

August 2013
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After almost 5 years since my previous trip to Japan, I was excited to go around Tokyo during our free time after our meetings. With all the information available online now, it is quite easy to do a desk review of public transportation in Tokyo. Since our hotel and meeting venue were near subway stations, it was practical to know about the metro lines near us. Whenever I was in Tokyo, I always took the trains whether it was by subway or by Japan Railways (JR) lines. There are two companies operating the subways in Tokyo. One is Toei and the other is Tokyo Metro. I seldom, if ever, used the bus or taxi preferring to walk between train stations to/from my meetings or appointments.

routemap_enTokyo subway map downloadable from the internet

IMG06552-20130729-2020One can purchase tickets at the station using these machines. These have bilingual features so you only need to press the button to have the interface in English. Maps overhead provide guidance about stations and fares.

IMG06553-20130729-2020Subway turnstiles where passengers enter and exit for the platforms

2013-07-31 17.29.02Information on transfer stations and the cars nearest the stairs. This information is helpful so passengers can easily position themselves in the car to minimize transfer time from one train to another.

2013-07-30 22.05.23“Manner mode” sticker on the subway train near the door advises passengers to refrain from making calls while on the train. This is considered rude and annoying to fellow passengers.

IMG06561-20130730-1913Metro line information overhead at the train doors include a line map and a message board announcing the next station in Japanese and English.

One can also purchase special tickets or passes from the stations. Ticket vending machines may also have the capability to issue the popular Pasmo or Suica IC cards that can be used in almost all transport modes in Tokyo and other cities. Information on these cards are easily found in the internet. There are also online route or travel planners that people can use to plan their trips. One such tool, which I recommend, is Hyperdia, which provides information on lines, transfers, travel time and fares.-

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