How to Travel by Train in Japan

how to travel by train in japan - travel guide

Trains are a quick, convenient, and comfortable way to get around Japan.

The country has an extensive network of railways, making it easy to travel between cities by train. You can easily take a train trip around Japan with a little planning.

Taking the train in Japan will provide you with a very rapid way from getting to point A to point B very conveniently.

This article will give you some tips on traveling by train in Japan. We’ll cover everything from buying tickets and making reservations to what types of trains are available and how to use them. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to start planning your Japanese train adventure.


Japan Train Ticket Travel

How to Purchase Tickets

When traveling by train in Japan, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, you will need to purchase tickets. You can do this at the ticket machines, which are located at the entrances to the station.

If you don’t know how to use them, don’t worry! Just ask one of the station staff for help. Secondly, look at the rail map before you get on the train. This will help you know where you’re going and which stops you need to get off at. 

Lastly, pay attention to announcements and signs at the station. They will help you find your way around and get on the right train.

If you follow these simple tips, you’ll surely have a smooth and enjoyable journey by train in Japan.


Japan Reading train schedule

How to Read the Train Schedule

If you’re planning on traveling by train, it’s important to be able to read the train schedule. While it may look daunting initially, it’s not too difficult with a little practice. Here are some tips to help you get started.

You first need to identify the characters for the following information: station names, arrival and departure times, track numbers, and platform numbers. These should all be listed on the schedule. Once you’ve found this information, you can start filling in the blanks.

Station names are usually written in Japanese and English, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding them. Arrival and departure times will be listed in military time, so if you’re not used to reading it, you may want to brush up on that before you start. Track numbers and platform numbers should also be easy to find.

Once you have this information, you can start piecing together your route. If you’re unsure how to do that, plenty of resources online can help. And if you get lost, don’t worry—the Japanese train system is very efficient, and someone will be able to help you get back on track.


What is a Suica Card - Machine

Use a Suica Card

Suica is a rechargeable card used for public transportation in Japan, including trains, subways, and buses. You can also use it to make payments at certain retail establishments. 

To use Suica, simply touch the card to the reader at the entrance or exit of the train station, or make a payment by touching the card to the reader at a participating store.

There are two ways to get a Suica card:

1. Purchase one at a train station ticket office or vending machine. You will need to provide your name, address, and phone number. The card costs 500 yen, which includes a 200 yen deposit.

2. Apply for a Suica card online. You will need to provide your name, address, phone number, and email address. The card costs 500 yen, which includes a 200 yen deposit.

Once you have a Suica card, you can recharge it at any train station ticket office or vending machine. The minimum amount you can recharge is 1000 yen, and the maximum is 20,000 yen.

You can also learn more about Suica Cards.


Japan Train gates Travel Guide

Using the Ticket Gates

There are a few things you need to know. First, how to use the ticket gates. The gates will have either a green or red light next to the buttons. If it’s green, the gate is open, and you can go through. If it’s red, the gate is closed, and you’ll need to wait for it to turn green.

Second, how to buy tickets. You can do this at the ticket machines located near the ticket gates. To use the machine, first select your language. Then, choose whether you want a single journey ticket or a return ticket. 

Next, select your destination station and the number of tickets you need. Finally, pay with cash or a card and take your ticket from the machine.


Japan Train Platforms Travel Guide

Finding your Platform

When you arrive at the train station, you must first locate your platform. Depending on the train station, this can be easy or difficult. If you are unsure, ask a staff member for help.

Once you have found your platform, it is time to purchase your ticket. You can do this at the ticket counter or a ticket vending machine. If you are unsure how to use the vending machine, ask a staff member for help.

Once you have your ticket, find your seat on the train. Your seat will be assigned a car number and a seat number. If you can’t find your seat, ask a staff member for help. Once you’re seated, it’s time to store your luggage.

If you have large luggage, you will have designated areas to store it. If you have small luggage, you can keep it in your seat.


Change Trains in Japan

Types of Trains

You can take many different types of trains when traveling around Japan. The most common type of train is the bullet train or shinkansen.

These trains are fast, comfortable, and easy to use, making them a great option for long-distance travel.

Other trains include local and regional trains, which are slower but often cheaper than bullet trains.


How to Change Trains

You will need to know how to change trains at a Japanese train station. This can be a bit confusing, but with some careful planning and a little patience, you can easily figure it out. Here are some tips on how to change trains at a Japanese train station:

1. First, look at the train schedule and find out when the next train is due to arrive.

2. Next, locate your platform. This can be done by looking for signs in the station or asking a station attendant.

3. Once you have found your platform, wait for the train to arrive. When it does, follow the other passengers onto the train.

4. If you need to change trains, you must do so at a designated train station. To find out which station you need to change at, consult the train schedule or ask a station attendant.

5. When you arrive at the train station where you need to change trains, follow the signs to the correct platform. Then, wait for the next train and board it when it arrives.

With these tips in mind, changing trains at a Japanese train station should be a breeze.


How to Use the Lavatories on Board

Lavatories on board Japanese trains are usually located at the end of each car. You will need to insert a 200 yen coin into the slot beside the door to use them. The coin will be returned to you when you exit.

There are two types of lavatories on Japanese trains – Western-style and Japanese-style. 

Both types have toilets with Western-style seats and urinals. The main difference is that Japanese-style lavatories also have a small sink where you can wash your hands.

To use a Western-style toilet, lift the seat and do your business. To use a Japanese-style toilet, lift the front part of the seat and squat over the hole in the ground.

After you’re finished, flush the toilet and wash your hands. Use the small sink to wash your hands if you’re in a Japanese-style lavatory. If you’re in a Western-style lavatory, there will be a button on the wall to operate the sink.

There is usually a dispenser beside the toilet if you need toilet paper. In some cases, you may need to bring your toilet paper as not all trains are equipped with dispensers.

Lavatories on Japanese trains are usually clean and well-maintained. However, they can get quite crowded during peak hours. If the lavatory is busy when you need to use it, try waiting for a less crowded train.


Thoughts and Conclusion

Overall, traveling by train in Japan is a safe, efficient, and relatively affordable way to get around the country.

With a little planning and research, travelers can easily navigate the Japanese rail system and make the most of their journey.

If you’re around Tokyo, check out our Tokyo travel guide and the 1 Week in Japan Itinerary

One thought on “How to Travel by Train in Japan

  1. Thank you very much for this valuable detailed post about how to travel to Japan by train. Japan is my favorite country. And the experience of going on this train will be a great experience. Because I love this bullet train. Also, the climate in Japan is very nice. I definitely hope to go. Your post made me even more interested. Keep posting this kind of post.

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