Getting Around Tokyo
The best way to get around Tokyo is the subway. This extensive, efficient network will take you anywhere in the city as quickly as possible. The subway also connects to Tokyo's two major airports—Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND). The bus system is even more pervasive than the subway; however, it's subject to traffic delays and usually confuses travelers who don't know Japanese. The city is too massive to be covered on foot, but you should stroll through the individual neighborhoods to enjoy Tokyo's hustle and bustle. Taking a taxi is costly, but necessary when the subway is closed late at night and early in the morning.
||Walking around Tokyo can be a bit overwhelming. The collage of street signs and neon lights induces an exhilarating (and exhausting) feeling that visitors either love or hate. While there are so many distractions, pedestrians also have to stay focused on navigating the streets. Convoluted thoroughfares streak amorphous neighborhoods that repeatedly confuse visitors. If you get lost, the best bet is to find the nearest subway station and situate yourself using a subway map.|
Tokyo's metro system, which includes both subway and train cars, moves at a lightning-fast pace. You won't have to wait long for a train, but once you get into the cars, your trip might seem like an eternity. The metro becomes notoriously crowded during rush hour. (Note the "Women Only" cars used during peak times.) And although looking at a metro map may initially be scary, believe us when we say, this is the simplest map of Tokyo you'll find. We suggest that you buck up, arm yourself with a map and take the metro. Tickets can be purchased from automated kiosks at each station. Fares are based on the distance you travel, and the base rate is 160 JPY (about $2 USD).
Flat out: Tokyo buses are confusing. First, you have to understand there are two different types of buses. If you hop on a "front-boarding" bus (type 1), you'll pay a flat fare as you step on. If you catch a "rear-boarding" bus (type 2), you enter from the rear, receive a ticket and pay once you reach your destination. The fare for your particular ticket will be posted on the electric signboard at the front. You'll insert your ticket and your money into the machine at the front of the bus. But, before reaching these worries, you'll have to figure out which bus to take. Finding a bus map may also prove challenging. Our ultimate suggestion: Don't take a bus unless a locale explicitly tells you to do so. Bus fares for adults start at 200 JPY (about $2.60 USD).
During the day, taxis are not a cost- or time-effective option. They will get caught up in the web of Tokyo traffic, and the meter will run while you sit there getting more and more frustrated. You can flag them on the street or snag one at a hotel. The flag drop rate is 710 JPY (about $9.25 USD) for the first 1.25 miles, and each additional .17 miles costs 80 JPY (about $1 USD). Plus, rates increase by thirty percent between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. That makes for a pricey ride.
|Car||Renting a car in Tokyo should be out of the question. Not only would it be an expensive mistake, but you'll also have a splitting headache from the never-ending streets, ever-present traffic and nonexistent parking. That said, if you absolutely, positively need a vehicle, you'll find rental places at both of Tokyo's major airports.|
Entry & Exit Requirements
Japan requires you to have a valid U.S. passport when you enter the country. You can stay visa-free for 90 days. For more information, check the U.S. Department of State’s website.