Tokyo's mass transit system is baffling at first. Please refer to the following helpful tips for using public transportation in Tokyo.
You will soon appreciate the efficiency of public transportation in Tokyo.
The easiest way to use trains in Japan is to purchase a swipe-able, rechargeable transit card at the station closest to you. In Tokyo, there are two such cards - Suica (through JR - Japan Rail) and Pasmo (through the metro subway train system). These cards are invaluable to simplifying your travel experience. Use the machine to purchase one (500 yen refundable deposit), and charge it with some cash and you are set to go. The cards are also valid for use on travel on buses.
Suica Card Information
Pasmo Card Information
You need to purchase your train tickets from ticket vending machines located at station entrances.
The price of your ticket depends on the distance you travel. Above these machines, you see a map of train stations with the station names shown in Japanese Kanji
Together with the station name is also shown the fare for a ticket to that station from your current station.
If you are unsure of the fare,
buy a ticket for the lowest fare available and present your ticket at the fare adjustment window or machine which should be inside the ticket gate
before you exit at your destination. The attendants or machines inform you of how much you must pay to make up the difference of your trip.
Insert your ticket at the ticket gates. The ticket will come out a slot at the other end of the gate. Make sure to collect it
as you proceed through the gate. You need your ticket again to exit at your destination. When you reach your destination,
insert the ticket again into the slot in the gate, but you will not receive the ticket back.
JR-East Japan Railway Company
JR-West Japan Railway Company
In Tokyo, you can use your swipe-able, chargeable transit card for buses as well. If you are unsure, either look for the transit card logo on the bus window, or ask the bus driver.
If you are paying in cash, most buses in Tokyo require a flat fare of 220 yen. Pay this fare when you enter the bus. Passengers board the bus at the front where there is a coin machine beside the driver. If you have correct change, drop it in the coin box. If you do not have correct change,
there is a slot beside the coin box where you can get change for 1,000 yen. The drivers help you if you can not figure it out.
When you want to get off the bus, push the purple buzzer closest to you (unless it is already lit) and exit from the center of the bus.
Passengers are expected to enter and exit taxis from the back passenger-side door.
This door opens and closes automatically. You should not try to open or close this door yourself.
Drivers start the meter at the beginning of the trip and the fare is displayed. It is not a custom to tip drivers in Japan.