How to buy a train ticket in Japan

I guess Tokyo train map is the most complicated one in the world.

Even the citizen in Tokyo don’t know the best way to get somewhere. We only know how to get to my office, how to get to my favorite place and how to go back to my house. When I go somewhere else, I use app first but it’s still complicated to understand.




click to show large size map


How to buy a correct train ticket is really difficult for travelers.
So, I show you the easiest 2 ways to buy a train ticket in Japan.



 Pay After You Get Off The Train

This is the easiest way to buy a train ticket in Japan.


First, find the ticket machine and change to English mode. Language change button is normally located upper left part of the screen.


Second, buy the cheapest ticket and get on the train.
Basic fare fee is around 120-200 yen and it’s depends on the railway.
Don’t forget to pick up the ticket when you walk through the gate.


And when you get off the train, find the Fare Adjustment Machine (Norikoshi-Seisanki in Japanese) which is normally located near the gate.


fareadjustment Fare_adjustment


Insert your ticket to Fare Adjustment Machine. (English mode is available)
Machine will show you the price you need to add to get off at this station.
Insert money to add it.


Finally, you will get the new ticket which you can walk through the gate out.





Use IC Card

If you stay in Japan more than 3 days, especially in big city, you should buy a IC card to buy tickets.
There are two IC cards called “Pasmo” and “Suica”.
There are no differences between them. You can chose whichever you want.
I’m using Pasmo just because I like pink.




You can buy these IC cards at ticket booth or train ticket vending machine.
It cost 500 yen as the deposit, and the deposit will be refund when you return the card.

You can charge the card at ticket vending machine and also at convenience stores.
Maximum charge is 50000 yen. But, don’t charge too much. These cards don’t have compensation when you lost them.

With these cards, you don’ need to worry about which ticket to buy!
And also, you can use these cards for

Vending Machine of drinks

Convenience Stores and Supermarkets

Coin Lockers and Parking lot

Bus fee including Airport shuttle bus

and so on…  if they have this sign.


Read more details at PASMO official homepage. (English)

NOTE: Even if the sign only indicate PASMO logo, you can also use SUICA card. And vice versa.




Are you still playing with boring game apps?

This will change your life!















Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *