Tokyo has a metropolitan area that sprawls over 5000 square miles. Getting around the region is easy thanks to a good public transport system.

Even if Shinjuku can be a maze for the uninitiated, the train and subway system is easy to navigate thanks to English signs and color-coded lines.

Don't feel like you have to use trains for every trip. In spite of unpredictable traffic patterns, buses are always on time and can be useful for short journeys. Tokyo has a relatively flat topography that makes it easy to cycle and walk and allow you to explore neighborhoods you wouldn't normally go to. One of the best ways to combine your commute and sightseeing is to take a water bus to the river.

All you need to know is where to go.

Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter.
Yamanote Line Train Crosses Over Pedestrians and Traffic at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo has a huge train network, which includes a subway and private commuter lines © B.S.P.I. / Getty Images

Make the most of the world’s greatest train network

Japan Railways lines, a subway system and private commuter lines all leave in every direction for the suburbs like spokes on a wheel. It costs more to use a single operator's lines than it does to use different operators' lines.

The JR Yamanote Line that circles the Imperial Palace is one of the major transit hubs. During rush hours and late night, trains get crowded, but they are generally clean and pleasant. Many trains have women-only carriages for a short time in the morning and evening.

Many bars, clubs, karaoke rooms and izakaya stay open until the wee hours or even 24/7. You should be prepared to find another way to get home.

JR Lines

The shinkansen is included in the JR network. The Yamanote and the Ch–Sbu lines are the most used in Tokyo. Depending on the distance you travel, tickets start at 133 and go up to 20.

Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line station
With more than 3.1 billion rides every year, Tokyo's subway system is the busiest in the world © Tupungato / Shutterstock


Nine of Tokyo's 13 subway lines are operated by Tokyo Metro. Although a transfer ticket is required to change between the two networks, the lines are color-coded, making it easy to navigate. The cost depends on the distance traveled

There is a time when to go to Tokyo.

Grab a transport pass for seamless travel

You can use passes purchased in other regions of Japan, such as the Icoca from western Japan or the Kitaka from Hokkaid, if you purchase a Suica and Pasmo card. Most of the vending machines in Tokyo have an English option, so you can buy these from them. Independent lines and subways sell Suica.

When you return the pass to the window, you have to pay a deposit of 500. Passes can be topped up at any machine that has a touch-screen ticket vending machine.

An unlimited-ride ticket is a good option if you are going to have a lot of people. There are unlimited rides on both Tokyo Metro and Toei subway lines. You will need to decide if the trains you plan to use will be mostly JR or metro in order to get your money's worth.

IC cards are simple to use and can be used at the ticket gates. Pass users have a slightly lower fare than paper- ticket holders.

There are a lot of free things to do in Tokyo.

Buses are useful on some occasions

It is only more convenient than the subway when you are in the outer suburbs or making short inner city jaunts. Three popular cosmopolitan neighborhoods are connected by the number 06 bus.

There are no transfer tickets, but the cost is 210 for adults. Pay by IC pass or deposit your fare into the box as you enter the bus, if your pass is out of credit, you can charge it at the front of the bus A change machine is located by the driver's seat. If you want to listen for your stop, listen for the digital signs that switch between Japanese and English. Push a button near the seats to signal the bus to stop.

Travel sustainably on hydrogen-fuel-cell buses

One of the world's cleanest energy sources, hydrogen energy, is one of the reasons Japan is a global leader. The hydrogen fuel cell buses travel between Tokyo Station and the Tokyo Big Sight convention center in Ariake and through the popular Yurakucho and Tsukiji neighborhoods. The local government wants to have hundreds of hydrogen buses on the road by the year 2030.

 A water bus boat named Hotaluna at Odaiba Seaside Park in Tokyo in front of the Rainbow Bridge in the afternoon before sunset, Tokyo, Japan
Futuristic-looking “water buses” offer another way to get around Tokyo – while taking in the sights of Tokyo Bay © Bankoo / Shutterstock

Explore Tokyo Bay via water bus

Tokyo has water buses that look like robotic beetles. They are a great option for taking in the sights of Tokyo Bay while travelling between Asakusa and Odaiba and Hama-riky Gardens. It costs between 460 and 1720 for a journey, but they are more comfortable than public transportation.

Taxis driving in Tokyo, Japan
Taxis in Tokyo are best used for short distances or larger groups © fotoVoyager / Getty Images

Only use taxis if you must

Unless you are stranded during the lull in train operations, getting a taxi in Tokyo is not a good idea. Taxis start at 410 and go up by 80 for every 237m you travel or for every 90 seconds you spend in traffic. This adds up at a rather alarming rate when traveling long distances, especially when you factor in the nighttime surcharge and potential highway tolls.

Most taxis have navigation systems. It's a good idea to have your destination written down in Japanese on your business card. Since the beginning of the Pandemic, many taxis have introduced automated payment systems on the back of the main passenger seat.

Taxis can be found at train stations and hotels. In the absence of a stand, you can hail a cab from the street by standing on the curb and sticking your arm out.

There are few benefits to using Uber

The boutique chauffeur service, Uber Black, was launched in Tokyo in May of last year. In Tokyo, the ride-share company has partnerships with three local taxi operators. JapanTaxi, the city's premier taxi app, is entering the market even though it isn't particularly tourist-friendly. There aren't many times when using the app is worth it because of the unpredictable availability and pricing structure.

Pro tips for using cabs and finding addresses

After years of living in the city, many foreigners find it hard to open self- opening cab doors. It's a good idea to exercise patience.

Even for locals, Tokyo's streets are hard to navigate. The biggest streets don't have addresses. Blocks and building numbers are used to derive addresses. Central Tokyo is divided into two parts, the first of which is called ku and the second of which is called machi and the third of which is called chme. Blocks within the chme are referred to in subsequent numbers.

Since it is nearly impossible to find your destination using the address alone, it has been a real boon to have a navigation app on your phone. Maps can be found on the websites of many restaurants and venues. Police officers at kban have maps and can help if you get lost. They should be able to get you to the nearest train station if you want to try again. The What3words app divides the world into 3m- square grids to help users find a specific location.

People riding bicycles in Tokyo, Japan
Many Tokyoites cycle through the city, but it can be daunting for first-time riders © Yasuhito Shigaki / EyeEm / Getty Images

Don’t be afraid to set off on two wheels

At first glance, Tokyo doesn't seem like a bike-friendly city: dedicated lanes are almost absent on major thoroughfares, cyclists come up against pedestrian overpasses that need to be scaled, and you'll see no-

You will also see a lot of people pedaling. If you ride a bike through the city parks, residential neighborhoods, along the river promenades or around the maze of backstreets, you will be more bike-friendly. The city has a bike-sharing system called Cogi Cogi. In order to use the system, you will need to download an app, register a credit card and have a wi-fi connection.

Traffic in Tokyo, Japan
Because of heavy traffic and the price of parking, renting a car in Tokyo isn't usually worth it © Jerry Driendl / Getty Images

Avoid cars unless going on day trips

Considering the traffic, the confusing and often excruciatingly narrow roads, and the ridiculous cost of parking, it's best not to use a car for getting around Tokyo. Renting a car will allow you to explore regions that are not visited by the touring mass.

You will need an International Driving Permit, which must be arranged in your own country before you leave, if you want to rent. There are two rental companies in the city, Toyota Rent-a-car and Nippon Rent-a- Car.

Pro tips for car rentals

Rental cars are cheap when the cost is split among passengers and economical when gas mileage is taken into account. If you want to skip the bullet train in Japan, you can save money by driving to Osaka and back and paying toll fees.

The fee for damage insurance needs to be paid. If you are involved in an accident, you must first call the police to record it, or you will be in danger of being fined. Rental operators don't like people who don't follow the rules, so it's a good idea to bring a translator to help.

Trips from Tokyo.

Accessible transportation is improving in Tokyo

Universal access is being improved in Tokyo. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics gave it a boost. Almost all of Tokyo's train stations and buses have non-step facilities and accessible toilets.

Wheelchair-access ramps, elevators, and yellow lines can be found in newer buildings, as well as in subway stations that have them. Wheelchair-using passengers on and off trains will be helped by train station staff.

You can find barrier-free rooms at a fair number of hotels from the higher end of the range. It's important to note that what constitutesbarrier-free is not always consistent. Wheelchair accessible restrooms are usually found at larger attractions and shopping malls. Hotel staff can help you rent a wheelchair.

Japan is the most accessible country. An ebook with a lot of detail is produced.

The free accessible travel guide is available here.

About 2 hours ago, this article was updated.