Public Transportation – Japanese Reporter

25 Aug

André Sato

by Sato

According to wikipedia Tokyo has one of the biggest rail systems in the world. You can literally go to any place in the city by public transport.It is by far the fastest way to reach any destination, and the most reliable one. They have so many lines you can easily get confused when choosing the lines you need to pick up to go from one place to another:

The metro map

The metro map

 

The railway map

The railway map

So how you can find the best route? Piece of cake. There are several mobile apps, or web pages that do that for you. And the best thing is that the arrival time of the trains are very accurate so you can schedule transfers(norikae) between lines very smothly.
You can use this site: http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/
Or this other one if you know how to read Japanese: http://transit.yahoo.co.jp/
There are many other more sophisticated sites/applications that you can even setup your walking pace so it calculates the time from the distance between the stations, and also the distance until your final destination in the map, like in google maps, just search to find one that is most suitable for you.
The public transportation is a very serious business in Japan. They are very strict about the time. One proof of this is the train delay certificates(chien shoumeisho). It is a certificate given by the rail company usually when the train is delayed by more than 5 minutes.
Typical train delay certificate

Typical train delay certificate

Nowadays you can also download from the internet, avoiding paper wasting. This is used to justify arriving late at work or any appointment, and it will be accepted as excuse without any further questions.
Those delays, by the way. in rush hours can cause some the famous scene of the train staff pushing the passengers inside the wagon.

There is always space for one more!
You can go to almost any place in Japan by train, it is very convenient, reliable and in most cases comfortable. If you ever go to Japan, don’t miss the wonderful experience of getting a ride on one of their railroad lines!
Vocabulary:
乗り換え – norikae – transfer
遅延証明書 – chien shomeisho – delay certificate
電車 – densha – train
地下鉄 – chikatetsu – subway/metro
切符 – kippu – ticket
駅 – eki – station
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