WHAT MAKES TRANSPORTATION IN JAPAN ABSOLUTELY HASSLE-FREE!
What Makes Transportation in Japan Absolutely Hassle-Free!
One of the continuously recurring problems that students have to face abroad as well as in native megacities pertains to mediocre transportation facilities and commuting conditions. May it be a presentation that you need to submit on time or a quiz at the class that you cannot miss quality transportation is required to reach your destination without getting delayed. Sadly, more often than not, students cannot rely on public transportation in this matter and have to hire a cab or auto for the same. Those who have no choice but to opt for public transportations either have to go out of home much earlier or cope with the aftermath of being late. Such hazards have become so commonplace that most don’t even bother about them anymore, considering the inconvenience of transportation to be a customary nuisance of student life. Many times students find accommodations in remoter parts from where booking cabs are their only way of commuting to university and other places.
Transportation is the backbone of Japan’s modern culture. When you are in Japan worries about daily commutation hazards can very well be a thing of the past. Japan’s transportation system is highly developed and thrives on a continuously evolving transport infrastructure. The country which believes in the saying “Hayai mono gachi” or “The early one wins” spares no expense in keeping its high functioning public transportation system up-to-the-minute. As a result, everyone, from office goers to students reach their respective destinations early but never late. The fact that the phenomenal Japanese bullet trains are only 0.6 seconds late if ever vouches for the superior accuracy of transportation times they maintain. Here is what makes commutation so easy-breezy for those planning to study and work in Japan.
- Travel Unfailingly On Time with Bullet Trains
The Japanese Shinkansen, colloquially called the bullet train for its excellent speed, operates through a vast and efficient railway network across Japan. There are five Japan Railway Groups in this niche transport segment. The highest functioning speed of the Shinkansen is 320 km per hour. There are different types of bullet trains or Shinkansen available to meet different traveling requirement effectively like the Kodama, Hikari, Sakura, Nozomi, and Mizuho. Kodama is similar to the local trains we have in India and they stop at all the stations of the route. These are ideal for everyday commutes. The Hikari and Sakura are express trains that stop selectively at none other than the main stations. If you are traveling from one city to another you can take either a Nozomi or a Mizuho Super Express train which only stops at the bigger cities. The trains are seldom delayed by a fraction of a minute and that too if there is some serious issue like a natural disaster. Otherwise, trains are always at the station on the dot, reducing the waiting time of passengers down to blinking seconds. In more than fifty years of its operating history, bullet trains have caused no fatalities owing to collisions or derailments. Undoubtedly, the Shinkansen is one of the safest modes of public transport for students.
- Travel Cost-Effectively in Subways
Japan’s amazing subway system is an affordable choice of commute for international students. Several Japanese cities have subway networks like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Sendai, Yokohama, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Fukuoka. Many times, the subway networks are connected with other Japanese railway networks for greater efficiency. For example, the Tokyo Subway is connected to JR Yamanote Line and the Osaka Subway is connected to JR Loop Line in Osaka. Since subways in Japan operate from 5 am till midnight, students find them convenient for traveling late at night after watching a concert or working in the lab. There are also women-only carriages available during rush hours in subways. In the 13 line strong Tokyo Metro area you will find station names written in English as an added advantage. Do you want to trip around the city all day long and soak in the local flavour? Is the thought of transport costs stopping you? The unlimited-travel day ticket or ichi-nichi-josha-ken would be the perfect cost-effective solution. You will get them at the station window at a price that is half the cost of traveling with separate tickets all day.
- Travel Conveniently in Buses
Planning a day trip or simply want to get around the city? Local and Long distance buses in Japan can be your best choice for traveling in comfort. Not only the big cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka but also the National Parks and smaller towns are serviced by regular buses. Often bus-service providers pick passengers from supermarkets and other popular places frequented by young people. Thus, finding a convenient bus is not a problem for international students in Japan. Generally, the back doors are designated for entering the bus. On entering you will find a machine from which you have to take out a numbered ticket. These tickets are used to determine the fare when a passenger gets down at a stop. The sensor-enabled machines also read special cards students carry for traveling in buses. Just above the driver’s place, there is a display that shows the name of the next stop and the fare for it. By pressing the buttons on the wall passengers signal that they will now be getting down. It is also not a problem if you don’t have the exact fare at hand. Every bus has a changing machine that offers change for 100, 500 and 1,000 yen. Hand over the fare when you get off the bus. In some places, buses have a flat fare which means you have to pay the same fare irrespective of the distance traveled. This can be an economical option for those who have to travel a long distance daily.
- Travel Swiftly in Trams
When you are in a smaller city or town, trams can be a commendable public transportation choice for traveling around. Japanese cities like Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Hakodate, Matsuyama, and Kochi are some of the towns which have expansive tram systems. Just like the subways they too offer the convenient unlimited all day tickets. Travel, get down, see, eat, enjoy and travel again with one ticket throughout the day at half the usual price.
- Travel with Special Transportation Facilities
Having student visa in Japan requires one to keep a close and careful tab on daily expenses. When it comes to transportation in Japan there are some viable methods through which you can considerably cut down travel expenses. You can get coupon tickets for your daily commutes which allow you to purchase train tickets of a certain route at a discounted price. Among rechargeable cards, one popular option is the IC cards which work in subways, trams, and buses. Suica and Icoca are the two major types of IC cards that students usually avail. Bicycle rental outlets outside train stations can also be a good choice for commuting if you want to explore a smaller locality over a day. Rents can vary from 500 to 1000 yen which is good for occasional traveling but not for day to day basis. Another incredible invention for curbing traveling costs effectively is the Bus Pass. Students can get one while traveling long distances in buses. Apart from saving money the special pre-rechargeable transportation cards also help in avoiding bothersome queues in bus and subway stations.
A plethora of affordable public transport options that never disappoint with their performance and run like clockwork makes Japan a travel-friendly destination most suited to the commuting needs of students