Tokyo Subway

Mar 28th, 2006, 01:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 126
Tokyo Subway

since i am not getting a jr pass. please tell me what is more convenient as far as subway goes. in Tokyo, i know there are 2 subway lines, JR and Metro. should i get the daily metro pass or JR subways Pass or the Mixed pass? is it convenient to do one over the other?
spunge411 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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We don't use any subway pass in Tokyo, and just take whatever line is most convenient and gets us from A to B the most efficiently. The price isn't bad, and you aren't limited by a pass. We have found it easy to buy tickets as needed...even before we spoke/read Japanese.

You are, though, trying to cover a lot of ground each day, so it may pay off moneywise, but the subway price isn't high anyway. Also, don't rule out taking taxis between some places...a taxi might be the quickest and easiest way to get from some places to others, costing more than subway (but maybe not more than 4 tickets), saving you time, which could really be a good thing with your hopeful itinerary.

Download the map of the subways (includes all lines, just google for one) and see what would suit your routes best if you want a pass.
KimJapan is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Kim... thank you very much for your " always informative" replies. its very cool.

btw.. are you in japan or the states? you know so much
spunge411 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 01:38 PM
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We are in Japan. American, but Japanese permanent residents (like US green card) since February this year. We've been here almost 11 years, in Kanazawa. Our daughter attends Japanese elementary school, starts grade 3 next week. We've been to Tokyo as tourists and for conferences, never lived there.
KimJapan is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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> Tokyo, i know there are 2 subway lines, JR and Metro.

Just a trivial clarification. Those two subway companies are Eidan (may be called Tokyo Metro today) and Toei. JR runs over-ground lines such as urban lines in Tokyo (Yamanote loop line, Chuo line etc), Shinkansen and other long distance line. So I'm not sure what you call JR subway pass exists. There seems to be a pass good both for JR and subways though (that sounds like the "Mixed Pass"?). I found those passes relatively expensive for my needs so I have not bought them.
kappa is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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Posts: 585

I used the Metro pass which is available in JPY1,000 3,000 and 5,000. These are available at the ticketing machines. The cost of each ride will be deducted on exiting the statioons. Found this easier as it can be used until fully utilised. You can top up the shortfall if it's insufficient for the last ride at the ticketing machine or the fare adjustment machine before exiting. There is no discount though. Benefit is that I didn't have too fumble with the change and won't end up with pocketful of coins. In Japan the coins are worth a lot!
KMLoke is offline  
Apr 10th, 2006, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 29
Dear spunge411,

As kappa mentioned, there are three main train system ;
- JR lines (over-ground),
which consists of urban lines and long-distance lines
- Tokyo Metro,
which has 9 kinds of lines and covers everywhere of centre of Tokyo
- Toei Subways,
which has 4 kinds of lines and covers some parts of centre of Tokyo

You can think 2 subways i.e. Tokyo Metro and Toei are for the inside of Yamanote loop lines.

There are 2 kinds of one-day pass for subways;
- Tokyo Metro only : JPY 710
- Tokyo Metro & Toei : JPY 1,000
If you don't feel necessary for one-day pass, I can recommend you to get Metro pass (JPY 1,000, 3,000, 5,000) as KMLoke suggests. There is no discount for this pass, but is very usefull.

Happy Travels!
cigdem is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 74
my husband and I initially thought of buying the metro pass during our visit, but never did. 1 reason is that it is so easy to buy tickets & there are seldom a queue at the machine. 2nd reason is that we can use the coins (5s & 10s) for the tickets... and gave chance for us to look at the subway map again, in case we got lost...

I personally prefer the metro than the JR because of our experience of being squashed at 10.30am on our 3rd day in Tokyo, and me carrying my 3 yr old! That was really an experience (packed trains back at home pales in comparison!)
lina219 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 09:41 PM
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Posts: 1,546
We used metro pass, and we found it very useful and easier to use than tickets.
valtor is offline  
Apr 11th, 2006, 10:28 PM
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Posts: 263
We also used a Metro pass. As mentioned, it is not a discount card, but simplifies payments while not having to worry about which company's subway line you are using.

We did not use any JR surface train.

When you get off a train, STUDY the exit map carefully. At mega stations, getting out of a wrong exit means lots of back tracking.

Unlike subways in European cities, Tokyo subway is charged by distance. Each segment you travel costs you more (unless you are using a day pass.) There is no such concept as unlimited travel within a zone within certain period of time.

We were able to use a Y1000 Metro pass over two days: got 6 trips.
nickn is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 94
So, in essence, the Metro Pass is really just a 'stored amount' - used like a debit card, right? Is there a way to redeem the unused amount, or is it non-refundable??
daryleann is offline  
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