Japnese Travel Tips
Calculating Subway Fares
It may sound easy, but when confronted with the huge subway system in Tokyo, it can be very intimidating. You've already looked at a subway map, and determined the best way to get to where you want to go. But now, you're standing at the automated ticket machines, trying to figure out how to much the fare is so you can buy your ticket and get on your way. Sometimes, you will luck out, and there will either be a map (On a subway map in a subway station, there will be a box corresponding to each subway station. The first number is the fare in Yen for an adult. The second number is the fare for a child under 12.) or an alphabetical list of subway stations in English listing the fares. But what happens, if there is no English, and only Japanese?
There are a number of strategies to use find the fare. If you know the station you want to go to is where the red subway line and the green subway line intersect for example, you can find where these two lines intersect and calculate the fare that way. Of if the station is one stop away from where these two lines intersect on the red line, you can also find the fare that way. The number of possibilities here are endless, but you get the general idea.
But what happens if you've tried everything, and you still can't figure out the fare? Well, there is one last solution that doesn't involve hopping over the turnstiles. Buy a ticket for the lowest possible fare, and travel to your destination as you intended. When you get to your destination, you will find Fare Adjustment Machines just inside the exit gates. All you have to do is to insert your ticket into the machine, and it will tell you how much you owe. And many of these machines do have English menus, but even in Japanese it is easy to determine how much you owe as the machine prominently displays this number after you insert the ticket into the machine.