One of the main obstacles that many tourists encounter while exploring Tokyo is getting around. There are various railway companies and they all have their own ticket gates at stations – it’s a rather confusing system at first. The most convenient way to conquer Tokyo’s train system is by getting a SUICA. The SUICA is a prepaid card that eliminates the need for buying a ticket every time you take a train. Another great alternative if you don’t want to drop the fee it costs to get your own card is the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass. It lets you visit all of Tokyo’s 23 wards for a mere 750 yen, valid one full day! Let’s take a look at how to make the most out of this ticket and which places you absolutely have to visit!
A 1-Day Tokyo Ticket for 750 Yen
The Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass is available at reserved seat ticket machines, JR ticket offices called “Midori no Madoguchi,” at JR stations within the 23 wards that make up the metropolitan area, and so on. It is valid for all JR lines, so look out for that green JR sign when you want to pass through ticket gates.
Detailed information: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/tokunai_pass.html
The JR Yamanote Line: Plenty of Must-See Sightseeing Spots!
The loop line connects east and west Tokyo. The Yamanote trains running clockwise are called “outbound,” while the counter-clockwise trains are called “inbound.”
・Main Stations: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, etc.
・Color: yellowish green
The Yamanote Line is incredibly convenient to visit some of Tokyo’s major sightseeing spots, such as the Imperial Palace, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Rokugien, Ueno Park, and more. Especially during spring and autumn, when cherry blossoms and autumn leaves enhance the scenery, the Yamanote Line is one of the most popular ways to get around.
■ The Imperial Palace
1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo-to 100-0001
Access: Tokyo Station, 15 minutes on foot from Marunouchi Central Exit
■ Ueno Park
5-20 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to 110-0007
Access: Ueno Station, 3 minutes on foot from Park Exit
6-Chome, Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo-to 113-0021
Access: Komagome Station, 7 minutes on foot from South Exit
■ Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to 160-0014
Access: Shinjuku Station, 10 minutes on foot from Southeast Exit
Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
Ueno Station （Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line）
1 minute on foot
- Phone Number 03-3828-5644
- Address Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
Tokyo also boasts a reputation as a shopping paradise and international tourists even get to make use of sweet tax exemption deals! Akihabara, for example, is known as the paradise of both anime and manga, as well as electrical appliances, games, computer parts, and more. Ginza, on the other hand, is an upscale shopping district with a plethora of high-end brands while also boasting some of Japan’s most long-established and prestigious department stores. For trends and fashion, hot spots such as Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro are just the places to go.
Akihabara, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to 110-0006
Access: Akihabara Station, Akihabara Electric Town Exit
■ Harajuku Meiji Shrine
1-18 Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 150-0001
Access: Harajuku Station, Takeshita-dori Exit / Meiji-jingu Exit
4-Chome Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo-to 104-0061
Access: Yurakucho Station, 10 minutes on foot from Ginza Exit
■ Ikebukuro Sunshine City
3-1-1 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo-to 170-0013
Access: Ikebukuro Station, 10 minutes on foot from East Exit 35
■ Shibuya Crossing
2-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 150-0043
Access: Shibuya Station, 3 minutes on foot from Hachiko Exit
■ Shinjuku Kabukicho
Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to 160-0021
Access: Shinjuku Station, 5 minutes on foot from East Exit
One of the first images that come to mind when thinking about Tokyo is a massive, sprawling metropolis with innumerable high-rise buildings. To experience this unique urban atmosphere, head over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Not only is the view from the free observation platform on the 45th floor breathtaking, the sheer building itself is wonderfully characteristic of Tokyo. Another iconic landmark of the urban metropolis is Tokyo Tower, the symbol of movies, TV dramas, and many an anime!
■ Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
2-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to 160-0023
Access: Shinjuku Station, 10 minutes on foot from West Exit
■ Tokyo Tower
4-Chome Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo-to 105-0011
Access: Hamamatsucho Station, 15 minutes on foot from North Exit
The Chuo-Sobu Line & Chuo Line: Exploring Tokyo from East to West
The Chuo lines are often used by commuters and crosses the Yamanote Line.
・Chuo-Sobu Line: yellow cars, goes to Chiba.
・Chuo Line: orange cars. Has express trains and limited express trains, so check what kind of train you are boarding.
A lot of the stations on the Chuo-Sobu Line are areas that have flourished since the early Edo period and still boast this unique traditional architecture and atmosphere. Ryogoku Station features the Edo-Tokyo Museum that takes visitors hundreds of years back in time to experience a different kind of Tokyo, while Asakusabashi Station is famous for traditional handicraft and its lively Edo atmosphere. Koenji Station is where the famous Koenji Awa-odori is held every year in summer, drawing in crowds from all over the country. Other famous sightseeing spots, including the sports- and concert-centric Tokyo Dome and Hayao Miyazaki’s wonderful Ghibli Museum are on the Chuo-Sobu Line as well.
■ Edo-Tokyo Museum
1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to 130-0015
Access: Ryogoku Station, 3 minutes on foot from West Exit
■ Kappabashi Street
2-2-1 Kinshi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to 130-0013
Access: Asakusabashi Station, East Exit
4-Chome Koenjiminami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo-to 166-0003
Access: Koenji Station
■ Akachanhonpo Arca Kit Kinshicho
2-2-1 Kinshi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to 130-0013
Access: Kinshicho Station, 1 minute on foot from North Exit
■ Tokyo Dome
1-Chome Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo-to 112-0004
Access: Suidobashi Station, 3 minutes on foot from East or West Exit
■ Ghibli Museum
1-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo-to 181-0013
Access: Mitaka Station, 15 minutes on foot from South Exit
* An extra 160 yen ticket fare applies between Ogikubo Station and Mitaka Station if you use the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass.
* The ticket is valid on the day of purchase. The lowest ticket price on JR lines is about 130 yen, so the ticket is worthwhile if you take a train 6 or more times (about 3 sightseeing spots).
* The ticket is restricted to Tokyo’s 23 wards. Should you take a wrong train by mistake, you can get off at the next station and change to the same train back without passing the ticket gates. Should you go beyond the applicable area, you can pay the extra train fare afterward.
* The above information refers to the official website.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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