Getting Around in Tokyo
So now, I wanna talk about getting around in Tokyo. I think Tokyo has one of the best and most comprehensive Train transit system of the work. With 10 Million population, if it weren’t the case, there would be long long lines of cars on the road. Instead, except for the Roads coming in and going out of Tokyo, you hardly see any Traffic jams. Even those are not jams persae, rather people patiently waiting for their turn. Anyhow there are 4 main means of getting around in Tokyo.
Walking: I like to walk a lot. Keep me fit and I can see more stuff in more detail when I walk. Usually when I have time, sometimes, I stop at a one train station short then my destination and walk home. I made a routine in Japan to walk after Dinner and get groceries from a store which is a bit off. I will talk more about Where and how to get Groceries at the best prices later.
Train/Bus : Japan has one of most efficient and punctual Train system in the world. It’s privatised and being operated by around 100 different companies. Privatisation means, it’s Quite expensive but not as expensive as getting a Taxi or an Uber. A map of Train system is shown above. It seems intimidating but it’s not actually thanks to Google Maps and other Apps. Google Developers tells you, how to get to a station, which entrance to use, which platform to go to, where to sit for the fastest exit and so much more. Other great sites which were really helpful to me were Hyperdia and Navtime. Hyperdia doesn’t have a good app so I have placed a Chrome extension on my screen. The only problem is that you need to know your departure station and arrival station from Google and then Hyperdia will get you a great response. Navtime also work wonder. An example of Google map Search is shown below:-
Recently, due to Tokyo Olympics (Postponed due to Pandemic), Tokyo has translated everything in English as well as Japanese so it’s super easy to get around.
Buses inside Tokyo also operate but they are mostly used to feed Train stations so they can be convenient if you have to go on a non beaten track. Google also gives bus schedules and locations.
Bike: Biking is very common in Tokyo. A lot of people own their own bikes. If you are coming here long term, you should consider investment in a Bike. I never got one because I am a walker not a biker. Plus for a bike, you must have an Insurance. You can also rent a bike from a number of place, get around and drop off the bike at another location. Luup has recently started their Biking in Tokyo. Very trendy Bikes. One needs a driving license to drive a semi electric bike as well. They are really handy especially when you have to climb a hill. You can also own a Motorcycle but you need a licence to drive one. Every CC of bike has a separate licence.
Car/Taxi/Uber: Maintenance of a car is expensive especially in Tokyo. But it’s a must if you are not in Tokyo. Public transport like buses exist outside Tokyo but not too Good and wait time is quite more. Inside Tokyo, one needs to have a parking space and driving license to buy a car. Police comes and inspects the parking space and issues permission. If you don’t have a parking space in your apartment, then you need to purchase one, Parking lots are very Very expensive. Plus its not like, when you go for groceries or shopping, you can park anywhere. Each and every piece of open real estate and road have parking metres and Sometimes costs quite a lot. So I never thought of buying a car in Tokyo with en excellent transit system in place. I will write a separate post on how to get a driving license in Tokyo and if it’s worth it of not?
I think, it’s quite a lot for now.