Navigating Japan: Part 1
Using the Railway System
Before my trip, my super amazing manager Kent made sure to explain the basics of the train/subway system. But, at first, I didn’t have to worry about this because I always traveled with other people who knew who to get where we needed to go. However, I eventually had to fend for myself.
Here are my step by step instructions:
1. Download Google Maps and make sure to set it to Japan/ let it update when you arrive.
2. Figure out where you are going and buy the necessary ticket or charge the right amount on your Passmo or Suica card.
3. Check the station map to make sure you get on the right train for your destination.
4. Pay attention to the announcements and signs so that you get off at the right place.
5. Then, successfully arrive at your destination.
While it might sound easy, it is often a struggle for me. During my first week of classes, I got on the wrong train and could only watch in horror as I passed by intended destination. After switching to the right train at the next stop, I narrowly made it to class on time.
Also, I love my Passmo! Whenever I go on a trip, I only need to charge money to the card which is a lot easier than having to buy and keep up with a small ticket. It is also great because many stations allow for you to recharge it to leave the gate if you don’t have enough money already on it. However, with the wrong ticket, you would have to speak with the station attendant for help.
But, if all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask for help.