How to ride on a train



In Japan there are a lot of public vehicles as same as your country, taxi, train, bus, rental cycle, rental moter bike, rental car and so on. In this article, we tell you how to ride on a train.



There are a lot of railway companies in Tokyo, Japan Railway (JR), Tokyo Metro, Tokyo Monorail and so on. Basically the scheme how to ride on the train is the same when we use which one. A series of flow is below, how to purchase the ticket, how to ride on and how to reach our destination.

  1.  Purchase the ticket
  2.  Gate
  3.  Platform
  4.  On the Train
  5.  Go out the ticket gate


1. Purchase the ticket

At first, when we ride on the train, we have to purchase the ticket. (In Japan, there is the deposit card such as electronic money card. we explain it in other article. Please check it. ) We introduce the ticket vending machine, please watch the figure below.




Can you understand the difference of vending machine? As described above, in Tokyo, there are a lot of railway companies. This is the first hurdle for you. Please check other article about the selection method, which railway company you should use. (Japan Transit Planner:

If so, let us suppose that you can chose the train you should ride on. OK, at first, you should purchase the ticket. For example, at above figure, there are the vending machine of JR and Keio Line. When you want to ride on the JR Line, please go to front of the JR vending machine, basically, green color machine.

You came to the front of the JR vending machine. However when you have seen that at the first time, maybe, you think that "What's up? Which ticket should I buy? There is only numeric character!!!"


Please don't hurry and worry. As there are a lot of station in Tokyo, the vending machine displays only the numerical numbers (fee only). On the other hand,  where is the price list? It is on top of your head basically.

On the price board, there is your current position and the destination charges. Let's practice! If you want to go to Shinjuku Station, which ticket do you have to purchase?

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Yes. 190 Yen ticket, you have to buy. When you purchase the ticket, you input the money at first and put the ticket on the display.If you input the money, the tickets you can buy change the color to green. And then, if you want to purchase two tickets, please put this button and it is convince, you can buy together. If the display is written by only Japanese, we recommend you use the translate google application. (Android:, iPhone:

This flow is how to purchase the ticket. If you have any question, please let us know from our contact form.


2. Gate

Let us suppose that you have purchased the ticket. Next, you have chose the "Best Gate" and through it. What is the "Best Gate"? The gate is difference between railway company and company. If you ride on the JR train, you have to through the JR gate, not other companies. The company name is written on the gate machine, please check it. If you go to other company's gate, the gate doesn't open.

We explain one more how to chose the gate. In Japan, it has spread the use of the deposit card ( electronic money card). We cannot insert the paper ticket into one vending machine. For example, the below figure is this.




This is the only deposit card. You use this vending machine and insert your ticket into it. And then, the your ticket will come out from this position. You have to get the ticket and hold it until you get off the train. If you lost it, perhaps, you cannot go out from the station. ( If you lost, you have to explain the reason and where you ride on and so on. But, maybe it's a bother)


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3. Platform

The hurdle for you still continue. After you through the gate, you chose the platform you have to go. For example, The Shinjuku station is labyrinth, the Shinjuku station has about 14 platform. It is crazy and difficult for also Japanese. However, don't worry. There is the electric bulletin board at the each station like this.

Please check them and understand the platform you have to go. When you arrived on the platform you would be surprised, Japanese are lined. This is the one of Japanese culture. On the platform, usually, we are lined. So please cut in the line and go back to the end of the line. When the train arrives Japanese move by the door, because people who get off is the preferred. When that finished, we can get on.

4. On the train

In Japan there are a lot of the priority seats you maybe know. Maybe I think the priority seats in Japan is as same as your country. Of course, we can sit down on them but if you see the aged and people of handicap, please hand over the seat for them. On the other hand, you refrain from talking on the phone on the train as talking on the phone is prohibited Japan.
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When the train arrive at your destination, let's ride off the train. You can check the  present location and how long time you need to arrive at your destination on the electric bulletin board.

The red area is your present location now and the numerical number is the time you need to arrive there  from your present location. We think you use them as a guide, it is good idea.

5. Go out the gate

You have to through the gate, maybe you know, when you arrive your destination. If you use the paper ticket, you insert your ticket into the vending machine again. When we go out from station, the ticket inset into doesn't come out, goodbye the ticket. ( If you want the ticket, please go to manned window and tell a station employee about you want a ticket.) OK, you have done all flow.

We explain the flow how to purchase the ticket, through the gate and so one. However, We think that it is very hard to use the paper ticket. If possible, we recommend you use the deposit card. By using the deposit card and the website for transit, you can make your trip in Japan better and better.

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Japan Transit Planner (
Japan Transit Planner (
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Hi, I'm SATORU from JAPAN. Since I was born, I live in Japan for about 30 years. I tell you various information of JAPAN on my website. If you are interested in Japan, please check our website. hobby is skiing. So, in Winter, I go skiing to the mountain for almost every week. If you need winter information of Japan, let me know. I will tell you.