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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 companies, the Toei Subways with four lines, and Tokyo Metro (formerly known as Eidan Subways) 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 Station, and trains on the Fukutoshin Subway Line continue to run on the tracks of the Tokyu Toyoko Line at Shibuya Station.

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 constantly increasing number of shops in Tokyo (and across the country).

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 outside of the Kanto Region.
  • 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 only pays off 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

    • Sancoinn Grande Tokyo Hamamatsucho
      Enjoy each room's luxurious furnishings and attached bath/vanity in one of Tokyo's premier hotels. Just 25 minutes from Haneda Airport and also minutes from Tokyo Tower and Odaiba.
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    • Mokkoan
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi and a hot tub, Mokkoan offers accommodation in Kita Ward, Tokyo. Private parking is available on site. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Certain units have a seating area where you can relax. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. You will find a shared kitchen at the property. The guest house also offers free use of bicycles. Yokohama is 37 km from Mokkoan, while Chiba is 41 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 24 km from Mokkoan.
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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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    • SOLA HOTEL
      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, near Kamejimashogakko Memorial Park, Kameido Tenjin Shrine and Umeyashiki Monument, SOLA HOTEL features free WiFi, and guests can enjoy a shared lounge and a terrace. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet, slippers and a hairdryer. Some units include a seating area and/or a balcony. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Olinas Kinshicho Shopping Mall, Tobacco & Salt Museum and Gokinimono Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 30 km from SOLA HOTEL.
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    • The Barn Tokyo
      Mid-range
      Well situated in the Taito district of Tokyo, The Barn Tokyo is set 300 metres from Shikian, 300 metres from Calligraphy Museum and 400 metres from Tokugawa Tsunayoshi Mausoleum Imperial Scroll Gate. With a garden, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The property is close to popular attractions like Kanei-ji Temple, Chosho-ji Temple and Kemmyo-in Temple. 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 Nippori South Park, Tokugawa Ietsuna's Mausoleum Gate Plaque and Kuroda Memorial Hall. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 19 km from The Barn Tokyo.
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    • Sakura Cross Hotel Tokyo Kayabacho
      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, 300 metres from Zuiken Kawamura Former Residence Place Monument, Sakura Cross Hotel Tokyo Kayabacho provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The property is around 500 metres from Oiwa Inari Shrine, 600 metres from Bank of Japan Origin Place Monument and 700 metres from Takao Inari Shrine. Each room is equipped with a balcony. At the hotel, each room includes a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. All units will provide guests with a fridge. Popular points of interest near Sakura Cross Hotel Tokyo Kayabacho include Shinkawa Historic Place Monument, Sailor Education Origin Place Monument and War Disaster Memorial Service Monument. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 27 km from the accommodation.
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    • Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently situated in the Taito district of Tokyo, Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo is located 60 metres from Komagatado, 500 metres from Kaminarimon Gate Senso-ji and 500 metres from Ekimise Asakusa. Featuring a shared lounge, the 1-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. Guest rooms include bed linen. The hostel offers a terrace. Popular points of interest near Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo include Hozomon Gate, Chiisanagarasunohonno Museum and World Bags and Luggage Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 30 km from the accommodation.
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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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    • 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. Crown 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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    • Ascott Marunouchi Tokyo
      Luxury
      Situated in the center of Tokyo, Ascott Marunouchi Tokyo is 800 metres from Tokyo Station. Elegantly furnished rooms located on the upper floors boast city views. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property and an on-site fitness centre is available for guests for free. All rooms are non-smoking, equipped with a flat-screen TV, sofa and safety deposit box. The private kitchen includes a microwave, electric kettle and refrigerator. Wine glasses and coffee machine are also provided. The en suite bathroom has a bath, hairdryer and free toiletries. For guests' comfort, the hotel provides slippers and nightwear. TV programmes for children are available. The 24-hour reception offers luggage storage and concierge services. Dry cleaning services and a drinks vending machine are available as well. The hotel features the business centre and fax/photocopying services. Guests can relax at the on-site garden or shared lounge after a busy day. The on-site restaurant serves buffet-style breakfast. Restaurants, cafes and 24-hour convenience stores are within a 10-minute walk from the property. Japan Imperial Palace is a 15-minute walk away from the property, while Tsukiji Fish Market is a 25-minute train ride away. Haneda Airport is approximately a 50-minute drive from the property.
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    • The Edo Sakura
      Mid-range
      Opened in June 2013, The Edo Sakura offers accommodation in a Japanese-style Machiya townhouse located a 5-minute walk from Iriya Subway Station and a 10-minute walk from JR Uguisudani Train Station. Free Wi-Fi is available at the entire property and guests can enjoy looking out into the traditional garden. Ueno Station is a 15-minute walk away. Guests can choose to stay in rooms with Japanese futon bedding on tatami (woven-straw) floors or in rooms with Western beds on wooden floors. A fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags are included in each room. All rooms come with an en suite bathroom with a toilet and shower, while some rooms have a bathtub. A coin-launderette is available on-site. Dry cleaning services and luggage storage is offered at the front desk. A private reservable bath is available between 15:00 and 23:00 for guests to use. Rooms are all non-smoking, while a smoking area is located at the lobby. Edo Sakura is a 15-minute walk from Ueno Park and a 20-minute walk from Ueno Zoo. Senso-ji Temple is a 15-minute public bus ride away. Haneda Airport is a 50-minute train ride, while Narita International Airport is a 1-hour train ride away.
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