One of the greatest things about Tokyo is its extensive network of trains but, the down side of that is how intimidating and confusing it can be when it comes to navigating your way through them. There’s no doubt that many of you have already seen the fake news article about the man who was unable to find his way out of Shinjuku station before. While it is not guaranteed that every station will have workers who speak perfect English (or any other languages), do not hesitate to ask them for help if you find yourself confused as where to go.
With extensive networks of tunnels and passageways all over the urban landscape, picking the correct exit or even car on a train can confuse even those who have lived in Japan’s largest city for years. Here are two tips on moving through some of Tokyo’s busiest lines with minimal effort: stations where you can change trains just by walking across the platform!
The Yamanote and Chuo/Sobu are two of the busiest train lines in Tokyo, if not Japan. The Chuo/Sobu is one of the main transportation arteries in eastern Japan, extending from Chiba to Takao in western Tokyo and the Yamanote is a 34.5km loop line that runs in both directions, stopping at one of its 29 stations at an average of every 2 minutes.
When transferring from the Yamanote (Shibuya/Shinagawa bound from Ikebukuro et al) to the Sobu westbound (Nakano et al), wait one more station and change trains at Yoyogi instead of Shinjuku. It’s one station “out of the way” but, Shinjuku and Yoyogi are so close to each other that the difference is negligible. Why bother wading through a sea of people at the busiest station in the world when you don’t have to?
Changing trains from the Sobu to the Yamanote at Yoyogi also cuts a few minutes off of travel time to Shibuya and Harajuku from Akihabara! Taking the Yamanote the entire way from Akihabara to Shibuya or Harajuku eliminates the need to transfer but, it is one of the most crowded lines in all of Tokyo so it may feel like a much longer journey.
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