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Commuting in Greater Tokyo/Yokohama

Japan With Kids - Forums: Traveling to/from and in Japan: Commuting in Greater Tokyo/Yokohama
A sampling of Train Travel planners in English (Train stations must be known. There are some Roman spelling ambiguities).
By Laura Dinning on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 1:13 am:

We are moving to Tokyo later this year with our two daughters who we hope to send to the British School in Tokyo.
We're finding it nigh on impossible, however, to locate any detailed maps of Tokyo to give us an idea of where it might be practical to live in terms of walking/short commuting distance to this school and commuting distance of not longer than 45 mins to Yachiyo City in Chiba - Ken. Can anybody already over there help with this? Where do parents of children at the BST generally live?!
Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

By Stephanie Martin on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 10:49 am:

I cant help you too much, but I do know of a web page that you put in the name of the station you are leaving from and the one you want to go to and it gives you the cheapest and shortest options.
Hope it helps, Steph.

By Cornelia on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 10:57 am:

Maps exist online galore but are only useful if you can read Japanese or search the web in Japanese!

The only bi-lingual atlas available is printed by Kodansha International. Actually they have two, the Tokyo City Atlas: A Bilingual Guide and the Japan Bi-lingual Atlas. They are not particularly large or heavy and fairly incomplete. If you live here for a long time, and get a car, you will end up buying a Japanese road atlas and learning how to muddle your way through one of those.

However, I consult my Tokyo Bi-lingual atlas at least once a day, since the last edition in particular was much improved to include block numbers! It has been a most useful reference book. It does not show Chiba, however. You can order it from
Tokyo City Atlas: A Bilingual Guide

By Irena Shie on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 11:52 am:

Shibuya is an expensive place for living. If you can afford it then it will be the best. But if you want to find cheaper place without being too far from Shibuya, try to find along the Keio Inokashira line ( shinsen might be the best. You can use bicycle from there to Shibuya )
But if your husband work in Yachiyo, a place along Ginza subway line might be better. But still might be quite expensive.

By Karen on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 1:35 pm:

Hi Laura,
I'll second Cornelia's idea of getting your hands on a Tokyo City Atlas -- they are invaluable.
Thanks Stephanie for posting that web link. Here is the train scheduler that I use. I really like that I can input my desired 'arrival' or 'departure' times as part of my search.

By Karen on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 12:43 pm:
Hi again,
If you look at this map:
you will be able to see what subway stations and lines are in the vicinity of the British School. The British School is located right in one of Tokyo's busiest areas, Shibuya. There are surrounding neighbourhoods all over south Tokyo that would be nice to live in. You might consider contacting one of the real-estate agents here who would be able to give you a full run-down on all the different neighbourhoods.

You could also check out the area listings here:

Hope this helps! Karen

By Laura Dinning on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 3:46 am:

Many thanks to all of you who responded to my plea for help! Very useful and much appreciated. Laura

By Kit on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 10:54 am:

There is another map not yet mentioned here, which I have found invaluable at times. Tokyo Metropolitan Atlas, published by Shobunsha, covers all Tokyo wards (one to a page), plus Saitama, Yokohama, Chiba, and Kanagawa. It has detailed trainline, subway, and road info to these places as well. None of the maps I've found is perfect (the places I try to get to seem forever stuck in the binding crease of the TC Atlas, or are too new to be listed in the TMA) and I find I have to have every map on the market. Of course, I get lost anyway!

By Pato on Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 7:13 am:

Has anyone else noticed that the ticket machines at the subway stations don't seem to take the new Y1000 bills? I actually didn't have any of the old ones in my wallet yesterday and got stuck... and I was in a hurry as usual. I had to ask the station master for help. (This was at a station on the Yurakucho line in Tokyo).

By Yuko Kubota on Thursday, February 3, 2005 - 11:49 am:

Hi Pato,

Most vending machines including those for beverages cannot keep up with the renewal of currencies.

Every time false bills becomes a problem and the government produces new 500 yen coins or new bills or what not, it takes quite a while until the private organizations gathers enough finance and time to renovate the machines.

Actually, I carry prepaid cards like the Passnet, Bus Kyotsu Card, IO Card or Suica so that I won't have to queue or even calculate for tickets all the time. They keep my wallet slim too. Ask stations for details. The Bus card will even give you discounts.

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