Taking The Train

TriansTaking the train in Japan is something that you will do many times if you come to Japan. The Japanese word for train is densha. Trains can be found all around Japan and they are very convent for travelling or commuting to work. There are many different kinds of trains that run in Japan. There are the regular trains called futsu 普通  that will stop at all stops. There are tokkyu 特急 which are special express trains and cost more but stop at only a few stops. Perhaps the most well known trains in Japan are the shinkansen 新幹線 the bullet trains. They are great for travelling to farther parts of Japan.

SchedualWhen you first take a train in Japan it can be a bit scary the first time if you can’t speak or read Japanese. I will try to give you a basic explaination of how to use the train in Japan. Once you do it once or twice you will be fine! First you must find out what train you want to take and how much it will cost. Trains stations “eki” 駅 will have a big schedule near the ticket machines that show the trains route and how much it will cost. Also close by there will be a time chart showing you the time of the trains. The picture on the left is an example of the route schedule that shows you the prices.

Once you know the price you now have to buy the ticket. You will buy the ticket form the ticket Ticket Machinemachine. You can put in Japanese bills or coins. Once you put the money in, the buttons will light up and all you have to do is press the button for your destination or price to your final destination. Your ticket and change will come out and you are set. If you need to buy a bullet train ticket or have trouble with the machine you can go to the “Green Window”. You can ask them for help and buy tickets from them as Green Windowwell. On the left is a picture of a green window Sign.

Once you have your ticket you will go through the gate. In bigger cities such as Tokyo and Osaka they have machine that you will put your ticket it. Once you do that the gate will open and you can walk through. Your ticket will pop out on the other side. Don’t for get to take it! In smaller cities they have a person at the gate what will stamp you ticket and let you though. Once you are in you will have to lookNoriba and Time Display for which track your train will be on. In Japanese this is called the noriba. There are electronic signs that show you which noriba to go on. Then you just have to wait for your train. Once you arrive at your destination you get off. In a big city when you leave the station the same machine will be at the gate to put your ticket in and it will let you out. But this time you ticket does not come back out. At smaller stations a person will take your ticket.

RampPath for people with sight impairmentsMany of the trains station particularly the JR (Japan Rail) Stations are very good and are very useful for people with special needs such as a wheel chair or seeing impaired . On the roads and in the stations of Japan you will see these yellow bumps on the road. There are the paths for the seeing impaired to use to get around easily.The trains station also Ramphave brail train schedules and brain on some of the ticket machines. If you use a wheelchair they have elevators and these ramps to help you get on the train.

If you visit Japan the chances are very high you will take the train right form the fist day. So relax and make use of the great transportation service in Japan!