These are some tips how to ride trains in Tokyo.

There are many railways in Tokyo. So you have to select better trains by where you want to go. Refer “Many Railways in Tokyo”

How to pay fare

You have to buy a ticket at first before you ride a train. When you will go near place by local trains, buy a ticket at an automatic ticket machine. Fare is depends on distance that you will ride. If you make connections of different company trains to reach your destination, normally you have to buy tickets separately for each railway company.

When you go faraway on special express trains like Shinkansen, You have to buy express tickets and railway tickets to ride special express trains. In most case, many seats are reserved seats on special express trains. You can buy their tickets at windows or dedicated ticket machines.

Automatic Ticket Vending Machines and Train Maps at Tokyo Station

Many ticket machines are scattered everywhere at JR Tokyo Station. Blue machines on right side are specialized for express trains like Shinkansen.

How to buy a ticket

an automatic ticket machine of JR East

  1. You can confirm the fare by train maps which are located just above automatic ticket machines.
  2. English is available on almost machines. Push “English” button.
  3. Put money into the machine.
  4. If you are going to buy more than one ticket, push a button to select number to buy. Usually buttons are shown by marks as adults and children.
  5. Touch a button which your fare is shown.
  6. Get ticket(s) and receive change if it is.

*The ticket is valid only a day when you buy.

Suica and PASMO

If you have Suica or PASMO, you do not have to buy any railway tickets. Suica and PASMO are rechargeable electric money cards which are used in Tokyo. They become substitutions for the tickets to ride trains. Many people are using them. You will see people who touch entrance gates with them at stations. Both are very convenient cards.

Normally we buy Suica or PASMO at the automatic ticket vending machine. Minimum pay is 2,000 yen. 1,500 yen is for electric money and 500 yen is for a deposit. You can also charge your money to your Suica or PASMO at the machine in units of 1,000 yen.

When you go through the entrance gate, Suica or PASMO must be charged enough. Suica and PASMO may not be available to ride special express trains. Be careful.

How to ride a train

  1. When you put the ticket into an entrance gate or touch the gate with your Suica or PASMO, the gate will open. The ticket is returned you. You must hold the ticket until you go out an exit gate where you will get off. If something is wrong, the gate will not open and it sounds an alarm. If so, pick up your ticket and ask a station attendant.
  2. After you go into the gate, check direction and a train which you want to go and ride the train.
  3. When you get off at your destination, put the ticket into an entrance gate or touch it with your Suica or PASMO again to exit the gate. When your ticket is not special like a transfer ticket or one day pass, the ticket will not be returned you.

entrance gates

Many entrance gates are scattered everywhere at JR Tokyo Station. This is Marunouchi Underground Central Wicket.

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