From Chief Editor about How to Travel Smart around in Tokyo

There are some very convenient transit information apps for English speakers in Japan. And the one I recommend is “NAVITIME for Japan Travel.” You can visit the following link to make sure its main features and download iPhone and/or Android versions:

Japan is a country of train traveling, and there are many train companies and systems covering most parts of Japan except for southernmost Okinawa Islands. Your life here will certainly become more comfortable once you “master” those punctual trains and subways.

I bet you’ll find it ideal to manage and pay your train fares with local IC pre-paid transit cards called “IC Suica” of East Japan Railway Company or JR East in short and “PASMO” of other train operators, both available and usable all around Tokyo. You just charge some money to your IC cards and touch them when you go through the ticket gate machines. You can have some discount fares by using these cards.

There are a lot more features to them, and you can check them out by visiting the following links.

Suica of JR East:

You can buy train tickets at vending machines of stations with some Japanese Yen coins and bank notes. You can use credit cards only at very few vending machines in Japan in general.

Where can I buy an IC Suica / PASMO?
Suica / PASMOはどこで買えますか?
Can I buy an IC Suica / PASMO at this vending machine?
この販売機でSuica / PASMOは買えますか?
Which vending machine will issue IC Suica / PASMO Cards?
どの販売機でSuica / PASMOを買えますか?
Can I charge some money to my Suica /  PASMO at this vending machine?
この販売機でSuica / PASMOにチャージできますか?

How to buy an IC Suica Card (for adults / without registering your personal information):

Without speaking much Japanese, you can buy one at one of those vending machines at most of JR East stations.

  1. First change the language to English of your vending machine,
  2. Select “Suica” by touching the screen,
  3. Select Suica without registering personal information,
  4. Choose how much money you wish to charge including the \500 deposit,
  5. Insert the amount you are to charge or more, and
  6. You get your Suica charged with the amount you chose (and changes)

How to buy a PASMO Card (for adults / without registering your personal information):Without speaking much Japanese, the best is to use a vending machine at a subway or train station of train companies other than JR around Tokyo. And the procedures are very similar.

For recharging money to your Suica and/or PASMO, you can use similar vending machines of almost all train companies of the region your cards are usable.

When you get used to such, you can switch to mobile Suica or PASMO com commuter pass.

Perhaps your transit app can tell you some fastest or cheapest ways to travel to your destinations, but you still have to watch out so as not to get on a train going to the opposite direction or get off at wrong stations. If you hold on to some Japanese writings as the address or station name of your final destination, you can show and ask for directions. Good luck!


Which train should I take to go to ◎ Station?
Does this train go to / stop at ◎ Station?
Could you tell me how to go to ◎?
How can I buy a ticket to ◎ Station?
I left behind my ◎ on the train / at the station. Could you tell me how to find it?
Could you tell me which exit to take to go to ◎?
Thank you very much for your kindness!
How can I have my ticket(s) / Suica / PASMO refunded?
切符 / Suica / PASMOの払い戻しを受けるのには、どうしたら良いですか?

If you can ride a train comfortably in Tokyo, there’ll be no problem in most other areas in Japan! Congratulations! Enjoy your life here. (*^^)v