10 April, 2012

Helpful tips : How to take a train

  As the first in the series of “helpful tips,” let me introduce how to get on a train in Japan. Hyogo, especially Kobe, has excellent public transport connections and the railway system plays a significant role. JR and some other railways offer you easy access to a lot of tourist attractions in Hyogo. This time, I’ll also teach you about manners for when you are on the train. Please enjoy your trip by train!

How to purchase a ticket
        You need to buy a ticket from a ticket vending machine before you get on the train. Usually, cash is needed to buy tickets from a machine. Insert notes or coins and push the button that matches the price of your fare. The fare depends upon where you would like to travel to. If you are a tourist, a one-day pass or pass with admission tickets for tourist spots is always a great deal. These tickets are available at the local station office or travel agencies.

Kobe de Kiyomori 2012 one-day pass  
with entrance for both the drama and history museums and a souvenir voucher.

Railways throughout the country are operated exactly on time and you can fully trust train timetables. If a train get delayed due to accidents and so on, they will let you know on electric boards or make announcements at the station. Subway trains in Kobe stop at every station. However, some express trains on the JR, Hankyu and Hanshin lines only stop at major stations. Please make sure that you get on the right train.

 Sign at a station

Stay in the queue
You need to form a line on the platform before getting on the train. Don’t cut the queue.
Put your mobile phone on silent
Turn your mobile phone to silent or “manner” mode. It is considered rude to speak on your mobile phones on public transport in Japan, so it’s a good idea to avoid talking on your phone on the train.
No food, No drink
In general, it is inappropriate to eat or drink on trains (except express trains). Please keep trains clean.
Ladies-only cars
There are some railways in Hyogo which have introduced ladies-only cars in part of the train. Please be aware that some trains operate these ladies-only cars all day long while others do so only during rush hour.

Shinkansen, Bullet train

 Some people might be surprised at how quiet it is on trains in Japan. You won’t see many people speak on mobile phones and no one sells things or dances/performs on the train, unlike in some other countries. Japanese train cars are equipped with air-conditioning which makes your journey comfortable at any time of the year. If you need any assistance at stations, station staff are happy to help you.

Useful Links in English

★Special tickets for tourists from abroad

This series of helpful tips will be continued with “helpful information around stations”.
Don't miss it!