"It's actually pretty easy..." Rail - Metro - Subway Tip by sissah
Rail - Metro - Subway, Tokyo: 70 reviews and 85 photos
Before you go, see if you can get a subway map that has the stops in whatever language you dig. Almost all of the subways only have the large maps on the wall in characters, so if you don't read them, you might have major issues with figuring out where you're going. Still, if you do have a translation, the subways are really easy. There are usually two maps on the wall, one with the station names in characters, and one with yen at the stops. All you have to do is look at the stop you are going to, see how much it is, drop your yen into one of the machines below the signs and push the cost of the ticket you are buying on the screen. A side note on the subways, when you are going in, stick your ticket into the gate with the arrow going forward (like any non-idiot would do). If you put it in backwards, these gates will fly out, and you might look like an idiot. Also, if you get to a stop, and you've gone somewhere other than what you bought the ticket for, I hear the gates will fly out again, but they'll trap you inside, and you'll look like an even bigger tool than I did when I put my ticket in backwards. If you know you've gone over the cost of your ticket, just go to a fare adjustment machine (labeled in English) and stick in your ticket. It'll tell you how much more to put in so the gates don't fly out. Point of this, though, was get a subway map without characters, and the subway will be a breeze.
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