Tokyo by Subway – Part 4

Tokyo by Subway - a Guide for your Business and Leisure Trip

Part 4: Getting out of the station

Welcome to Tokyo by Subway Series. In this post we will talk about how you can find your way out of the station when travelling on Tokyo Subway.

OK, so you planned your trip, bought your ticket, found your way through the station, did well transferring between lines and finally arrived at your station of destination. You feel so proud of yourself. You made it! And there comes the easiest part: getting out of the station. Well, let’s hold that thought for a minute.

In my first time ever in the metro everything was fine until I got to the destination. However, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that some stations in Tokyo are so huge that you will find dozens of exits, each one taking you to different areas or opposite sides. But there are ways to prepare and make it easier for you to navigate. Let’s take a look at some tips.

 

Busy station in Tokyo with indication of several train lines and exits
Busy station in Tokyo with indication of several train lines and exits

The first thing that you can try is to get help from the company you are visiting. As we discussed in a few posts ago (Part 1), it is OK to ask your contact person for some instructions. When doing that, make sure to confirm which one is the best exit to easily reach their location. They will give you an ‘exit number’. Some companies will even give you a detailed explanation on how to get to their office, mentioning directions you have to turn, stores and restaurants you will pass by, all to help you find your way easier. Remember that the street names are all in Japanese and not many people on the street can communicate in English when asking for help.

When you arrive at the station of destination, you will find on the platforms some maps indicating the exits and their respective numbers. You will also be able to find some yellow-colored information boards indicating the most important buildings and attractions in each exit (those could be at the platform or along the way to the respective exits).

Information Board with indication of exits and main buildings
Information Board with indication of exits and main buildings

All you have to do is to locate the direction of the exit you are looking for and follow the path. You can orient yourself by the signs you will find along the way.

Information Board indicating exits 5 to 8 in a station
Information Board indicating exits 5 to 8 in a station

Once you are out of the station, try to follow the instruction that the company gave you or the maps that you have compiled.

You will see that with patience you will find the place. In the worst case scenario, if you feel really lost, try to ask for help on the street. It can be hard to find somebody able to speak English, but don’t give up. I usually look for stores, restaurants or hotels (more likely to find support in English). And don’t forget to bring with you their telephone number and some coins. You can call them from public phones. Use JPY 10 coins for quick calls or JPY 50 – JPY 100 coins for longer calls.

You might be able to find a Public Phone inside a station or even in the platform
You might be able to find a Public Phone inside a station or even in the platform

It’s always important to allow extra time between meetings in your first trip, just in case you get lost or need more time to find the place. You want to make a good impression and arriving late in your appointments is not polite. As you start getting familiar with their location it becomes easier. And if you happen to get lost, relax and have fun. Start it over. A couple of times I found myself going back to the station and re-doing the walk to finally find the place. Dah!

Well, we got to the end of this series. I hope that the tips shared in this series will be useful in your trip to Japan. If you want to explore a particular topic on the ‘journey’, feel free to contact me. I will be more than happy to help you.

Below you will find some emergency numbers and other tips. Enjoy your trip. Japan is an amazing country and I am sure you will be surprise by its beauty, people and culture.

Emergency Numbers:

– If you are involved in a car accident, call 110
– If you are robbed, call 110
– If you are injured and need immediate medical assistance, call 119
– In case of fire, call 119
– In case of earthquake, hide under a table and try to protect yourself from falling objects. Try to gather information through TV or radio before rushing out of the building. Follow instructions of local or emergency crew. In case of power outage, hotels have little flashlights in every room.
– If you are lost or lose something, look for the 24 hours police stations. Look for KOBAN signs.

KOBAN are Police Stations that you can find in several areas in Tokyo
KOBAN are Police Stations that you can find in several areas in Tokyo

– Police (calls answered in English): 03-3501-0110
– Lost and Found: Tokyo Metro: 03-3834-5577 / Taxi: 03-3648-0300 / Toei: 03-3812-2011 / Tokyo Metropolitan Police: 03-3814-4151 / Haneda Airport: 03-5757-8107 / Narita International Airport: Terminal 1 – 0476-32-2105 and Terminal 2 – 0476-34-5220
– Making International Calls: dial 010 + country code without ‘0’ followed by city code and number.
– Banks and Postal Offices are closed on weekends and national holidays.

Related Posts

Doing Business in Tokyo by Subway
Tokyo by Subway – Part 1
Tokyo by Subway – Part 2
Tokyo by Subway – Part 3

2 thoughts on “Tokyo by Subway – Part 4

  1. Great series! Wish I had been able to read this before my solo trip to Tokyo. I actually found the way-finding signage in Tokyo pretty good. I am completely directionally challenged and still found my way around. 🙂

    1. Hi, Deborah. Thanks for your comment and I ma glad you found it useful. You are right, they did a pretty good job with the signage. I got lost a few times in the beginning, but then it becomes easier as you get used to it. When I met a friend for a dinner last time, I was happy to know that a few people who were meeting us could not make it because they got lost (and they had been living there for more than 6 months). 🙂

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