By now, you know how to reserve and purchase a ticket for any type of transport in Japan. However, as you may have heard already, public transport in Japan can be confusing and difficult to understand especially if you are not local. Therefore, this section will equip you with some essential phrases to make sure that you DO NOT get lost!
What time does the train come?
(http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ is a useful website to find out transport times)
Trains run regularly on major city lines and are extremely reliable.
The above shows what a timetable for an interstate trip may look like. However, if you are unable to find this information, you may want to ask the station officers when the next train is.
If you want to know when the train would arrive at the destination.
Now you know what time the train will leave, you need to get to the correct platform to get on the train. Unfortunately, you won’t find Platform 9 3/4 in Japan, unless if you go to Universal Studio Japan (USJ) in Osaka.
How do you ask which platform you need to get to?
So you get to Platform 1 and see a train waiting to leave, but are unsure if this is the right one.
Use the following timetable to practice.
- Decide where you are in Japan and what time it is.
(ie. I’m in Nagoya and it’s 12 noon.)
- Decide where you are going.
- Ask a language partner (a native speaker or a learner), a station officer,
a) how much it would cost,
b) when’s the next train,
c) what time it leaves the station,
d) what time it’ll arrive at the destination,
e) which platform the train leaves.
Not only is it difficult to travel on public transport, it is extremely difficult to find the the most convenient exit to get to your destination even if you have arrived at the right station.