Tokyo is Waiting for You
by Daisuke Miyamoto
Japanese people are pleased that a lot of foreign people have been visiting Japan recently. The number of visitors from overseas has been increasing year by year, and was numbered at about 31 million in 2018. Furthermore, the Japanese government is promoting a variety of policies to achieve targets of 40 million visitors in 2020 and 60 million in 2030. Japan has been working on developing infrastructure and services in order to accommodate for the influx of foreign visitors, and to alleviate the stress of traveling around Japan.
In this report, I will narrow the scope of these accommodations to those made in Tokyo, which is one of biggest cities in the world, and in particular will introduce some practices of Tokyo Metro, which is one of the biggest subway operators in the world.
2. TRAIN STATION NAVIGATORS
Tokyo Metro has arranged for station navigators, called service managers, to assist you with finding fares, buying tickets, instructing you on the best routes to get to your destination, and informing you of the facilities around the station. They will also do their best to answer any other inquiries you may have, and can even communicate in English, Chinese, and Korean with the help of a tablet. Service managers can be found at 16 major stations like Ueno Station, Akihabara Station and Ginza Station.
In stations without station managers, other station staff will be able to help assist you with help of a tablet as well. What’s more, there are interpreters who can speak English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese over the phone.
A Service Manager is Responding to a Visitor’s Inquiry
3. TICKETS TO RIDE
Tokyo Metro offers various discount tickets to suit your style of travel. I’ll introduce three kinds of tickets.
Tokyo Subway Ticket: The three kinds of Tokyo Subway tickets are the 24-hour ticket, the 48-hour ticket, and the 72-hour ticket. These tickets are valid with an unlimited use on any Tokyo Metro line and Toei Subway within the hours you select. These tickets are suitable for those people who would like to travel around Tokyo.
Greater Tokyo Pass: It might surprise you, but there are a lot of private train operators in Japan, and of course in Tokyo too. It means that you might sometimes need to buy tickets at each transfer point along your route to get to your destination. However, you don’t need to worry about it. This Greater Tokyo Pass gives you unlimited usage on 12 kinds of train operators and 51 kinds of bus systems in the Kanto-area for 3 days. There are lots of suburban destinations around Tokyo such as Takao-mountain and Enoshima. This ticket is suitable for those people who would like to go around suburban area of Tokyo.
Airport-Downtown Tokyo Routes and Ticket: The biggest international airport, Narita Airport, is about 35 miles in distance from the Tokyo downtown area, but that is not a problem. There are many convenient ways like the Keisei Skyliner to get to downtown Tokyo. The Airport-Downtown Tokyo Routes and Ticket is a joint pass with both the Keisei Skyliner airport transport ticket and the Tokyo Subway Ticket. You can get to your destination in Tokyo, travel around the city, and go to and from Narita Airport with a single payment.
Some of the tickets
4. TOKYO IS WAITING FOR YOU!!
Tokyo has not only attractive places to visit, but also has efficient infrastructure and attentive services that allow you to get around easily. Why don’t you visit Tokyo?