Japan community

Travelling from Narita International Airport to Tokyo

7 days ago

How would I go about getting subway / monorail tickets or passes?
I am interested in how to obtain them, their prices, their validity and zone policies.

37.3 miles
13 replies
Australia
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7 days ago

Just get a Suica card.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

Australia
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7 days ago

I'll buy this at Narita Airport on arrival then. Thank you!

Ireland
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7 days ago

I would highly recommend getting Pasmo (issued by Tokyo private rail operators) or Suica (issued by JR East) when in Narita Airport station. The vending machine takes JPY500 deposit for the smart card when initially topping up. You can get a refund of the remaining credit and the card deposit from a manned desk. If you get a cherry-blossom red design one of Pasmo, it does not take the deposit for the card. The two cards are inter-operable in Tokyo and suburban areas.

You can use Suica/Pasmo in stations, shops, beverage vending machines in streets, etc. very handy, perhaps too handy to spend on small items.
As far as I know, there are not many transport services using the zone fare concept in major cities in Japan. In rural areas, especially bus fares do come zoned. In Tokyo, you will probably be overwhelmed by the train fare boards above ticket vending machines, and correct buttons to press on the machine! Pasmo/Suica makes you free from this daunting task when in a hurry.

There are day/weekly passes for Tokyo and surrounding areas, but I personally often find them too limited to get a great value for money.

Australia
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7 days ago

Thank you, I'll consider the Pasmo as well.
I thought about using the cards in shops, but maybe not. I'd rather have some money set aside just for travel, and if I won't have used up my balance by the end of the trip, only then go spend the leftovers because of the lack of refunds.
We will only be using the cards in the inner metro area, all our plans are centred on the big city as we're only going for a week. Thank you for the advice!

Ireland
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7 days ago

Yes, definitely you should work out a spending plan for the smart card! Note that Japan is a humid country. In Tokyo, it is cold and damp in winter, awfully hot and humid in summer. You can be easily grabbing hot/cold drinks with the smart card and find yourself topping up. Have a nice tip!

Australia
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6 days ago

Is the heat and humidity comparable to Singapore?
I had a brief layover there once and it was unbearable in the airport.

Ireland
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6 days ago

Not sure which month you are going, but if in winter, you definitely need some kind of jacket, but it is really a personal matter. Some do not mind being in a short-sleeve shirt in winter. In public places in Tokyo, air conditioners blast, making it too hot in winter, too cold in summer, the gap in temperature between the inside the building and the outside is so large that you may get a cold. From June to September, you may find yourself sweating all the time doing nothing outside.

Australia
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6 days ago

We're going in June, it's supposed to be the rainiest month.
I guess I'll take a jumper to wear inside if it's going to be cold from the aircon!

Ireland
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6 days ago

Yes, June is the rainy month. When it is not wet, it is humid. A packable light jacket will do for rain and cold air con.

Australia
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7 days ago

If you have an iPhone 8 or later, you can add a virtual Suica to Apple Wallet and top it up with any card you have in Apple Pay.

Australia
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6 days ago

I have an Android. I'll have a peek in the Play Store though.

Australia
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6 days ago

Don’t bother .... Apple-only (unless you have a Japanese osaifu-keitai phone.... which I guess is not likely ....).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaifu-Keitai

Australia
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6 days ago

depend on how many days you will stay in tokyo, you can use skytrain+tokyo 72hours combo which is cheap, buy tokyo 24/48/72 hours metro card which is only for foreign which I think its cheap and easy to use. But it OK to use for short term stay.