Central Tokyo has a superb network of public transportation that uses multi-language signage to make the experience a relatively stress free one. By using a JR Rail Pass or travel card you can travel through the city using the metro or hop on and off buses relatively easily. On the city streets there are lots of taxis, many with English signage while buses cross the city center in all directions.

Tips on Getting Around

The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) is the largest of Japan’s rail companies and is responsible for trains covering the east of Japan, including Tokyo. They have several options for you to take advantage of that will give you cheaper travel while in Tokyo.

The Japan Rail Pass is available to tourists and has a relatively easy signing-up process, you can then use it on any train on the JR network and is ideal if you are traveling beyond the city after your visit to Tokyo.

If your visit is only centered in Tokyo then the JR Tokyo Wide Pass may be your best option. It gives you unlimited travel in the city as well as into nearby Kanto region.

The Suica Travel Card can be purchased from a ticket machine at any JR station for a deposit of 500 yen. Once you have charged your card up you are free to go all over the city. This card is accepted on buses, some taxis, convenience stores and vending machines. At the end of your stay you can return your card to redeem your deposit.

Pasmo is another card that is very similar to the Suica card and can be bought at Haneda and Narita airports as well as some railway and subway stations. It can be used in most of the places described above.

Other Train Networks

In addition to the JR East network there are dozens of other companies operating trains into and throughout Tokyo. If you change from one train network to another you have to buy a new ticket, these train companies do not work together in their ticketing and services.

Other useful services are:

The Tama Toshi Monorail that runs north/south through the western suburbs of Tokyo.

The Tokyo Monorail connects Haneda Airport to central Tokyo.

Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit operates on the Rinkai Line to Odaiba along Tokyo’s waterfront. The same area is also served by the Yurikamome People Mover.

The Disney Resort Line connects Tokyo Disney Resort with Maihama Station by monorail.

Tokyo Metro

Tokyo Metro and Toei Transportation are the two networks that operate the extensive underground railway system beneath the streets of Tokyo. The whole city is covered by the network. It is quick and clean with multilingual signs in the stations and on the trains.

The Oedo Line

The Oedo line is famous for its depth below ground and without the time it takes to get your ticket it can still take five minutes to get from street level to the train. Of the 38 stations on the Oedo line the Roppongi station is probably the worst example with train platforms running at 32.8m and 42.3m below ground level.

Discounted Ticket Options

There are some good options for discounted tickets designed for tourists to use on the metro and elsewhere, these include:

Toei One-day Pass

This gives you unlimited use on the Toei Subway, Toei Bus, Tokyo Sakura Tram and Nippori-Toneri Liner. It can be bought at automatic machines at Toei Subway and Bus stops as well as tram stops and is available on the day of issue costing 700 yen or 350 for a child’s ticket.

here is link for the toei one day pass: https://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/subway/fare/otoku_metro.html

Tokyo Subway Ticket (for tourists only)

This ticket gives you unlimited access across all the subway lines and is available for 24, 48 or 72 hours. They can be bought at Haneda or Narita airports, subway stations or from some hotels. You need to show your passport to buy the tickets. A 24 hour ticket costs 800 yen, 48 hours is 1,200 yen and 72 hours 1,500 yen. Children’s tickets are half the price shown.

here is link for the tokyo subway ticket: https://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/subway/fare/otoku_subway_oneday.html

Common One-day Ticket for Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro

This ticket gives you unlimited travel for one day across Tokyo’s metro system and is available at the same places as the tourist ticket. It costs 900 yen or 450 for children.

here is link for the common one day ticket for toei subway and tokyo metro: https://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/subway/fare/otoku_metro_1day.html

Taxis

Wherever you are in Tokyo you are never far from a cab as there are thousands of Taxis in the city. They are easy to spot, colored yellow, green or black and can be flagged down whenever you need to use one. Taxis are clean, drivers trustworthy and dedicated to a good customer service. Most drivers do not speak English so a good idea is to have your destination written down in Japanese, or if traveling back to your hotel show the driver the hotel card. Fares are usually based on the meter although some places such as from the airport will have a fixed price.

Buses in Tokyo

Taking a bus in Tokyo can be a good alternative to the train. Buses are generally not as frequent as the train and take longer to get to a destination. They are often a good option if you are travelling to somewhere a little out of the way that is not covered by train or subway services. Most buses are equipped with WiFi and are not as crowded as the subway. Toei Bus covers most areas of the city and connects with other transportation services such as train and subway stations. The general fare is 210 yen for an adult and 110 yen for a child. A good way to see the city sights for the first time is on a sightseeing bus, these services run every 30 minutes departing from Tokyo Station. Other more expensive sightseeing options include open top buses, sky hop bus and skyduck. There are free shuttle buses-Tokyo Bay Shuttle, which can be used by anyone and operates about every 20 minutes from 11.30am until 7.30pm. The Marunouchi free shuttle connects the areas of Otemachi and Yurakucho via Marunouchi between 8am and 8pm. There are many other buses that are too numerous to mention here including loop services, community buses etc.

Toei Bus One-day Pass

You can buy this ticket for unlimited use on Toei Buses across the city on the day of purchase. Tickets cost 500 yen or 250 for children and can be bought on the bus or at ticket offices of Toei Bus.

here is link for toei bus one day pass : https://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/bus/fare/otoku_bus_oneday.html

The public transportation within Tokyo is designed to make your stay and getting around an enjoyable experience.