Using the train in Japan

Writer: Kurooto B.
Editor: Prashan J.

Many students use the train to commute to TIU. This is evident by the fact that Kasumigaseki station is full of TIU students in the morning and evening of weekdays. Some international students routinely use the Tobu Tojo line. We will give the perfect guide for using the train in Japan and specifically the Tobu Tojo Line, which many TIU students use daily.

1. What You Should Know About the Train in Japan.

1.1. How Do You Pay for the Train?

You can take the train in Japan by purchasing either a ticket or a prepaid card. You have to make a purchase at the ticket machine each time you take the train, if you choose to use a ticket. The price of a ticket depends on how far you will go. For example, the ticket price from Kasumigaseki Station to Kawagoe Station costs 170 yen. In contrast, Kasumigaseki Station to Kamifukuoka Station costs 200yen because Kamifukuoka Station is a little bit farther from Kasumigaseki Station than Kawagoe Station. 

You can also use a prepaid card, such as Suica and Pasmo. The prepaid cards are collectively called IC cards, and Pasmo and Suica are the most popular IC cards which are mainly used in Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures. IC card allows you to go through the ticket gate smoothly. Also, you don’t even have to buy a ticket, which requires checking the price, putting coins into the ticket machine, and sometimes waiting in line to use the machine.

If you take the train to TIU and have classes every weekday, a student commuter pass will help you save the transportation fee. For example, a student from Kamifukuoka Station who has classes every weekday needs to pay 8,000 yen a month when buying tickets. However, you will only pay 3,220 yen a month when using a student commuter pass

1.2. Manners and Rules When You Take the Train.

There are some manners and rules that you should follow when taking the train. You may find some of these unwritten rules to be strange and even wonder why you need to follow them. Here, we will explain some of the manners and rules and why you have to be careful of them when taking the train.

1) Do Not Use Mobile Phone around a Priority Seat.

The Priority Seat is intended for people who need to sit down, such as people with disabilities, elderly people, and pregnant women. So why should you not use the mobile phone around a priority seat? It is because a person sitting on the Priority Seat might have a pacemaker. Because a pacemaker is easily affected by the cellular radio waves, you should think twice before using your mobile phone around a Priority Seat

2) Why Do People Not Sit Next to You?

You may realize something weird when you are on the train. Some people stand instead of sitting on the seat even if some seats are available. This is because some people don’t want to be too close to each other. Japanese people tend to like a relatively larger personal space, often avoiding situations where they are close to each other.

3) Women Only Car

Japan has the Women Only Car, which only women can ride. For example, in TobuTojo Line, one out of 10 or 8 cars is designated for only women from 7:20 to 9:30 A.M. on weekdays. 

2. What You Should Know About the Tobu Tojo Line.

There are a lot of students taking the train to TIU. Many students use the Tobu Tojo Line. So, we will give you some helpful tips on using the TobuTojo Line here.

2.1. Which Train Should You Take; Local or Express?

One of the most confusing things about the train in Japan may be the train category. Even though you choose the correct Line, you may not be able to reach your destination unless you choose the right train category. In TobuTojo Line, there are four main train categories; Local, Semi Express, Express, and Rapid.

Local

Local trains stop at every station on the line. One benefit of taking a Local train is that these trains are always less crowded. People who commute to their workplace usually take an Express train, so fewer people are on the Local one. 

Semi Express

Semi Express trains are faster than the Local train because they skip some stations. The Semi Express train is an appropriate choice when you go to a station which Express trains skip.

Express

Express trains are faster than Semi Express trains because they skip more stations. Because it doesn’t stop at many stations, always make sure to confirm if the Express train stops at the station you want to get to before taking the train. On TobuTojo Line, the Express train makes it possible to go to Ikebukuro Station from Kasumigaseki Station in less than 40 minutes.

Rapid

Rapid trains are the fastest. It stops at a very few stations. Be cautious of the fact that these trains do not stop at Kasumigaseki station! So when you need to get off at Kasumigaseki station, always make sure to change to one of the other types of trains beforehand.

In Japan, the train is essential transportation. It allows you to go everywhere at a reasonable cost. Understanding the train system in Japan will allow you to get around without much hassle. We hope this article helps you navigate your way through Japan better!

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