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How to get to Tokyo

By air - Tokyo has two airports: Narita Airport handles the majority of international flights and only a small number of domestic flights. It is located 60 kilometers outside of central Tokyo. The more centrally located Haneda Airport handles a smaller number of international flights and the majority of domestic flights.

By shinkansen - Most shinkansen lines lead to Tokyo. The trip from Osaka/Kyoto takes about three hours. There are also direct trains to/from Kyushu, Kanazawa, Niigata and various destinations in the Tohoku Region and Hokkaido.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Tokyo is covered by a dense network of train, subway and bus lines, which are operated by about a dozen different companies. The train lines operated by JR East and the subway lines are most convenient for moving around central Tokyo.

Tokyo's most prominent train line is the JR Yamanote Line, a loop line which connects Tokyo's multiple city centers. The city's 13 subway lines are operated by two companies and run largely inside the Yamanote circle and the areas around Ginza and the area east of the loop line. Most of the many suburban train lines commence at one of the six major stations of the Yamanote Line (Tokyo, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa).

Major JR train lines in central Tokyo

The map shows Tokyo's major railway stations and the five JR lines that are most relevant to people who travel within central Tokyo.

Subways

Tokyo's subway network is operated by two entities: Toei with four lines, and Tokyo Metro with nine lines. Together, they densely cover central Tokyo, especially the area inside the Yamanote circle and the areas around Ginza and the area east of the loop line.

Note, that at their terminal stations, the trains of some subway lines continue to operate on the tracks of different companies on suburban train lines. For example, the Chiyoda Subway Line is directly connected with the suburban Odakyu Line at Yoyogi-Uehara, and trains on the Fukutoshin Subway Line continue to run on the tracks of the Tokyu Toyoko Line at Shibuya.

Other railway companies

Besides JR East and the two subway companies, most other railway companies connect Tokyo with the metropolis' outer regions and surrounding prefectures. Their lines typically start at one of the stations of the JR Yamanote Line. Many of the private railway companies also operate department stores usually at their train lines' major stations.

Passes and Tickets

A whole variety of day passes is available for the Tokyo area, however, most of them are overpriced and/or not very practical because they do not cover all of Tokyo's train and subway lines. Consequently, single tickets or prepaid cards usually come cheaper, especially if you plan your city sightseeing in a geographically wise way.

Prepaid IC cards are generally the recommended way to get around Tokyo. Prepaid cards don't give you any discounts over single tickets, but they provide convenience as you can ride virtually any train or bus in Greater Tokyo (and many other major cities in Japan) with just a simple swipe over a card reader. They can also be used to make quick purchases at a large number of shops and restaurants across Tokyo and Japan.

Two types of IC cards are available for purchase in Tokyo: Suica cards at JR stations and Pasmo cards at non-JR stations. Furthermore, eight IC cards from other major cities of Japan can also be used on the trains and buses of Tokyo, including Icoca, Kitaca, Toica, Manaca, Pitapa, Sugoca, Nimoca and Hayakaken.

Only on days when you use trains or subways a lot, can it make sense to consider one of Tokyo's day passes:

  • Tokyo Free Kippu (aka Tokyo Tour Ticket) (1600 yen)
    Unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro) and JR trains in the central Tokyo area on one calendar day (i.e. from the first to the last train of the day). It is also valid on buses and streetcars operated by Toei. The pass is overpriced and will unlikely provide any savings over regular tickets or prepaid cards.
  • Tokyo Subway Ticket (24 hours: 800 yen, 48 hours: 1200 yen, 72 hours: 1500 yen)
    Unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro). Not valid on JR trains. The pass is sold at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, ticket offices at some major subway stations, and selected Bic Camera and Yamada Denki electronic stores in central Tokyo to foreign tourists only (passport required). Furthermore, it is sold to both foreign tourists and residents of Japan through selected travel agencies and convenience stores outside of the Kanto Region. It can also be purchased online through Klook.
  • Toei and Tokyo Metro One-Day Economy Pass (900 yen)
    Unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro) on one calendar day. The pass pays off only if you use the subways excessively. The pass is not valid on JR trains. Unlike the lower priced Tokyo Subway Ticket (see above), this pass can be purchased at the subway stations in central Tokyo.
  • Tokyo Metro 24-Hour Ticket (600 yen)
    Unlimited use of the nine Tokyo Metro subway lines, but not the four Toei subway lines and JR trains. The ticket is available through ticket machines at Tokyo Metro stations.
  • Toei One-Day Pass (Toei Marugoto Kippu) (700 yen)
    Unlimited use of the four Toei subway lines, buses and streetcars on one calendar day. It is not valid on the nine Tokyo Metro subway lines and JR trains. The pass is available at ticket machines and ticket counters at Toei stations.
  • Tokunai Pass (760 yen)
    Unlimited use of JR trains in the central Tokyo area on one calendar day. The pass is available at the purple vending machines and ticket counters at JR stations.

The Japan Rail Pass and JR Tokyo Wide Pass are valid only on JR trains and the Tokyo Monorail. They cannot be used on subways or any other non-JR train.

Hotels around Tokyo

Top rated in Tokyo
Budget:
    • TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa
      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, near Honryuin Matsuchiyama Shoden, Great Tokyo Air Raid Memorial Monument and Honryuji Temple, TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa features free WiFi. Every unit features a private bathroom and bidet, air conditioning, a TV and a fridge. Some units include a terrace and/or a balcony. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Asakusa Fujiasama Shrine, Sanyabori Park and Imado Shrine. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 23 km from TOE LIBRARY Tokyo Asakusa.
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    • HISAYO'S INN
      Budget-friendly
      Set in the Ota Ward district in Tokyo, 5 km from Tokyo International Airport Terminal No2 Observation Deck, HISAYO'S INN features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room has air conditioning and a safety deposit box. A shared kitchen comes with a refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, toaster and electric kettle. Bathrooms are shared and include free toiletries, towels, hairdryer, mouthwash and toothpaste. You will find a washing machine, tumble dryer and electrical adapter. Guests can try Japanese traditional haori jacket and have their photos taken free of charge. Rental bikes are available, and the staff can assist guests try on a yukata robe for female at a fee. Free luggage storage service is offered. Bike hire is available at this guest house and the area is popular for cycling. Oedo Onsen Monogatari is 8 km from HISAYO'S INN, while Fuji TV Odaiba is 9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 3 km from HISAYO'S INN.
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    • 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 2-star accommodation, 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe is situated in Tokyo, 1.3 km from Furukawa Shinsui Park and 1.5 km from Gyosen Park. The 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is located 700 metres from Subway Museum. The rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. All units will provide guests with a fridge. ? la carte and continental breakfast options are available daily at 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe. Ukita Park is 1.6 km from the accommodation, while Shin Nagashima River Shinsui Park is 1.7 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 22 km from 7 Rooms Hotel & Cafe.
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    • Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
      Luxury
      Boasting chic decor with touches of Japanese traditional aethetics, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. 7 dining options are featured, and free parking is available on site. JR Meguro Station is 6 minutes on foot and Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum is a 12-minute stroll. Free WiFi is provided throughout. All spacious rooms rooms include a satellite TV with cable channels, minibar, a coffee machine and handy smartphone. An en suite bathroom is fitted with a spa bath, free toiletries and hairdryer. For your comfort, some rooms include a sauna. Guests can unwind in a Japanese-style garden or at a library on site The front desk is open for 24 hours a day, and there are a pastry shop and gift shop at the property. Massage services and room services can be arranged. Shunyuki serves signature Chinese delicacies, while Tofutei offers an authentic Japanese kaiseki multi-course meal. Teppanyaki Japanese wagyu beed, American-style grilled dishes and Italian cuisine can be sampled on site. Live piano performance can also be enjoyed at an on-site cafe lounge in the day time. JR Shibuya Station is a 5-minute train ride, while JR Shinagawa Station is 8 minutes by train from Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 10 km away.
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    • Backpacker's Mini House
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 2-star accommodation, Backpacker's Mini House is located in Tokyo, 300 metres from Bellesalle Kanda and 600 metres from Nikkei Hall. The 2-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with a shared bathroom and free WiFi. The property is 3.4 km from the city centre and 400 metres from Kanda Children's Park. Popular points of interest near the hostel include Tokiwa Park, Kotoku Inari Shrine and Taira no Masakado's Grave. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 19 km from Backpacker's Mini House.
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    • The Barn Tokyo
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, The Barn Tokyo is situated in Tokyo, 400 metres from Calligraphy Museum and 500 metres from Nippori South Park. With a garden, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The property is non-smoking and is set 400 metres from Shikian. The units in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. At The Barn Tokyo all rooms are equipped with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Kanei-ji Temple, Kanei-ji Temple Kompon Chudo and Kemmyo-in Temple. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 23 km from The Barn Tokyo.
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    • Palace Hotel Tokyo
      Luxury
      Situated right in the heart of Marunouchi business district, Palace Hotel Tokyo is 5-star luxury accommodation boasting 7 restaurants, a spa and a free-access fitness centre and indoor swimming pool. It is directly connected to Otemachi Subway Station and an 8-minute walk from JR Tokyo Station. Free WiFi is provided in the entire area. Offering elegant and chic ambience, each spacious room comes with a large LCD TV, a blu-ray/DVD player and a safety box. A fridge and an electric kettle are also provided. The en suite bathroom includes a small TV, a bath tub and toiletries. While staying at Tokyo Palace Hotel, guests can enjoy a workout at the fitness gym, or receive rejuvenating treatments at the on-site Evian Spa Tokyo. The concierge desk can arrange various services for guests including mobile phone rentals. Tablet rentals, copy and fax services are available for an extra charge upon request at the front desk or club lounge. Guests can enjoy authentic Japanese culinary experiences in Wadakura restaurant, Tatsumi tempura restaurant and Kanesaka sushi restaurant. Esterre offers exquisite French cuisine and the city views, while Grand Kitchen serves international dishes throughout the day. Located right next to the Imperial Palace, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from Ginza shopping area, and a 5-minute train ride from Akihabara electric town. Popular Tsukiji Fish Market can be reached within a 10-minute taxi ride. Airport limousine buses are available to/from Narita and Haneda airports at an extra charge.
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    • The Okura Tokyo
      Luxury
      Composed of 2 buildings, The Okura Tokyo boasts a garden and bar. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi. The accommodation features a concierge, ticket service and currency exchange for guests. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a fridge, kettle and flat-screen TV with satellite channels. All guest rooms have a private bathroom with a bath, hairdryer, bidet and free toiletries. Located on 28-40 floors, Prestige Tower offers rooms with cityscape views. Guests staying in Heritage Wing can enjoy free access to the Club Lounge. Spacious rooms in Heritage Wing include complimentary welcome drink, steam sauna and spa bath. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The Okura Tokyo also provides a business centre and guests can check the newspapers or use the on-site ATM machine at the accommodation. Popular points of interest near The Okura Tokyo include Iino Hall and Conference Centre, National Diet Building and Space FS Shiodome. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International, 22 km from the hotel, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
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    • 328 Hostel & Lounge
      Budget-friendly
      Located just a 5-minute train ride from Haneda Airport, 328 Hostel & Lounge offers cosy accommodation fitted with free WiFi and a shared kitchen. Anamori Inari Train Station is a 5-minute walk away. The hostel offers modern dormitory rooms with air conditioning. Shared bathrooms come with a hairdryer. Guests at the 328 Hostel can unwind at the common lounge, or prepare their own meals at the kitchen. The hotel is a 15-minute train ride from Shinagawa Train Station.
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    • The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel
      Luxury
      Situated a minutesf walk away from Akasaka-Mitsuke Station of the Tokyo Metro Ginza and Marunouchi Line, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho boasts free WiFi throughout the entire property. There is a sake bar, a sushi restaurant and a teppanyaki restaurant on site, as well as a fitness centre and a 24-hour front desk. The hotel is directly linked to Nagatacho Station of the Nanboku Line. It is a 10-minute drive from Tokyo Station, and a 30-minute drive from Haneda Airport. Narita International Airport is a 100-minute drive away. The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho features a spa and wellness centre and a sauna facility, and the front desk offers currency exchange. Laundry services are offered at an extra cost. All rooms are air-conditioned/heated and feature a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Rooms come with a desk, minibar, electric kettle, a coffee machine, personal locker and a refrigerator. The en suite bathroom comes equipped with a bathtub and shower. Hairdryers, free toiletries, slippers and bathrobes provided. Guests can enjoy a variety of Japanese cuisine on site, and there are several restaurants within a 3-minute walk from Akasaka Mitsuke Station.
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