Going to Japan
Which airline is the cheapest ?
This obviously depends on where you come from. From Europe, the best deals can be found from London or Paris. The airline
itself is not very important. Some, such as Lufthansa, offer youth/student discounts. From the US, the cheapest flights are
Where can I find discouted tickets ?
The Internet is a good place to start looking.
Is there any alternative to air travel ?
If you can't stand planes, it will unfortunately be very difficult for you to reach Japan. Sea Travel is long, tedious
and expensive, unless from Korea, China or Russia. Coming from Europe, you could take the train across Russia, then a ship
to Japan from Vladivostok or from China. However, this requires you to get a proper visa for Russia/China, and therefore apply
before you leave (visas to Russia are particularily hard to get outside organised tours).
Transportation inside Tokyo/Japan
In central Tokyo, there are 2 main subway/underground companies : Eidan
. There are numerous other private companies deserving the suburbs (Seibu, Tobu, Tokyu, Keikyu, Keio, Keisei, Odakyu...).
Japan Railway (JR)
has train lines nationwide, but usually not where private companies are already present.
You can check train timetables (time schedules) for all Japan on Yahoo Japan Transit
, though both sites are entirely in Japanese.
How to buy a commuter ticket ?
Commuter tickets are useful if you often travel between 2 determined stations, for instance, between your home and your
work or school. Season tickets valid on all subway/underground lines are rather expensive and not common in Japan. Each train
company has different tickets, however there should be a possibility to combine commuter tickets.
To buy one, you will
have to find a station that has a commuter ticket office (usually big stations). Once you are there, you will have to fill
an application with your name, age, address, telephone, and most importantly, the 2 stations between which you want to commute
and the length of validity of the ticket (usually 1, 3 or 6 months). Your ticket will enable you to use any station on the
same line between the 2 stations selected, but no other. If your journey involves several changes, you might be able to use
different lines to reach your destination. For example, an Eidan Chikatetsu commuter ticket from Nihombashi to Shibuya should
be valid in all Eidan lines and stations between these 2 (i.e. Ginza-line, Tozai-line till Kudanshita, Hanzomon-line from
Kudanshita, Marunouchi-line between Otemachi and Akasaka-Mitsuke).
Teikiken = commuter ticket
Chikatetsu = Subway, Underground, Metro