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commuter passes 2008/4/18 15:41
I know that commuter passes in Japan are not "standard" unlike, for example, London and Paris where passes for zone 1-2 cost X, zone 1-4 cost Y etc. Could anyone tell me the average monthly price of passes in Osaka and Tokyo for short distances (5km?) medium ones(10km?) long ones(25km?) or whatever distance You commute. Thanking you heartily in advance
by JL and B  

Not an easy answer. 2008/4/18 16:18
There are no zones, just lentgh of trip

For simple trips the Metro range from 160 (2 or 3 stations) to 300 for the other side of the network
The JR lines and other provate railroad companies (Odakyu, Tobu, Seibu, a lot more) ranges from 120-130 to a few thousand yen depending on the length...
If you change between lines, you may have to add the prices, if they are two different companies.
it is not rare to pay from 500 to 1000 to go from sowhere in the vicinity of Tokyo to the other side of the capital.

You can use the website http://www.jorudan .co.jp to find out different way and prices from different places in japan.

For the commuter passes, the math is (in my opinion) Quite simple.
First, you have a pass ONLY for the part you will be taking, if you go anywhere else, you pay like anybody else.
For example a JR pass from Ikebukuro to Shibuya lets you get off freely in Shinjuku and other station in between, but get off anywhere else and you pay the price from the nearest station on your pass.

For the price, it is roughly 30 times your normal trip, meaning, that if you take the way 10 times or more a week (morning and evening 5 days), it's a good deal, if less, you're better off paying each time.
this is for one month pass, the three or 6 months passes are a little more advantageous but, not a lot, for my pass I pay 12500 for one month and 36000 for 3...

One thing to be aware of : There is now a IC card for almost every train/metro company. (suica for JR, Pasmo for the metro and other private companies) they are compatible between network (even if you have to pay if you use two companies) and you can have your pass on it. in that case, you can take whichever way you want, using long ways, a lot of different companies, and you will pay on arrival the lowest price from the departure point to the goal... and sometimes you can spare a few hundred yens this way.

Hope that helps.
by Julienk rate this post as useful

commuter passes 2008/4/18 17:28
Thank you for such a prompt and detailed answer! It is really helpful. I was told that there is a site in Japanese that allows one to find out the price of a commuter pass for a specific route. As a comparison with Tokyo (if one can compare rice and bread?) a monthly pass good for all the lines of the Paris Subway (zones 1 to 6) cost about 16 000 yen but many commuters must also buy trains passes in addition. In London the most expensive monthly pass (zones 1 to 9)cost 50 000 yen! I find the Japanese system(to pay only for the route used everyday) more fair.
by JL and B rate this post as useful

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