Have you got used to Japanese metro?
For those who have not experienced Japanese metro, that’s probably one of the most complicated and biggest subway systems in the world.
The leading railway company in Japan is JR (Japan Railways Group) which has most of the operations across the country.
It’s rather overwhelming figure out where to go or how to change the trains in Japan. Especially if you are visiting Japan and don’t have the app. You still can ask the staff but what if he doesn’t speak English?
Almost every foreigner has experienced taking the wrong train and ended up on the different side of the city or other prefecture. Still, you had to figure out the way back.
Here are some tips on how to use Japanese subway and not to get lost.
If you live and work in Japan you probably have an app which helps you to check the timetables. The most popular apps are Yahoo, Norikae Annai, Jorudan and Google Maps, depending on which language you speak and which interface you prefer.
The apps show the time, names of railways, stations for train change and platforms. You may even set up the arrival time to check the train time you should time or the last and first trains. The app also shows different options for train changes and additionally “the time spend in the train only”. It even shows the weather on the location of your departure, arrival and expected train delays.
If you are visiting Japan the best option would be Google Maps, just connect to the Metro WI-FI. Recently many stations and trains have Free Wi-FI in Japan.
In case if you don’t have a smartphone for some reason, just ask the station staff or another foreigner if you don’t speak Japanese. By the way, you can always use Google Translate for the situations like that.
Modern trains in Japan have a TV inside which shows news, weather, and commercial. There is also an additional main screen with the information about train changes, delays announcements, every next station map, which car you are in and how long it would take to each station, the information updates after every stop.
Station names in Tokyo are in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.
Nowadays, trains in Japan also announce every station and English which follows Japanese. Unfortunately, the information about the emergency situations and sudden train stops are still in Japanese only.
Tokyo is getting ready for the Olympics 2020, therefore we can expect more improvements in the Japanese subway.