There are few places in the world like Japan. A country that is a seamless symbiosis between its rich cultural heritage, natural beauty and advancements in technology; with Tokyo being the centre of it all. The capital city is the world’s most populated metropolitan area in world with a population of 1.3 crore people. This ultramodern oasis epitomises the Japanese cultural evolution from the ancient to the futuristic, and will definitely give you the best culture shock you could ask for!
Getting in and around
The Narita International Airport is the main international airport of Tokyo, located at a distance of 60 kilometres from central Tokyo. There are various ways to get to the city: the fastest would be the Skyliner express train which would get you to Nippori Station in 36 minutes for 2470 yen, from where you would have to take another mode of transport to your accommodation. The cheapest would be bus services that would get you to Tokyo Station, Ginza or Osaki in about an hour for 900-1000 yen. The most convenient method would be either the orange-striped Limousine Bus that runs multiple times a day to various hotels in central Tokyo, and even checks-in your luggage, for 3100 yen, or take the Narita Express to Tokyo Station, Shinagawa, Shibuya, or Shinjuku in roughly an hour for 3020 yen. Haneda Airport is the secondary airport, which is just located 15 kilometres from central Tokyo, and handles a couple of international destinations.
The public transport system in Tokyo is one of the most expansive in the world, and possibly the most confusing due to the large number of forms and service providers of transportation. There are various railway lines that serve the city including the JR Yamanote Line, which forms a loop around central Tokyo; with almost all other rail services connecting to it, and tickets cost between 140 and 200 yen. There are also 9 lines on the underground Tokyo Metro which connect most areas in the city, with tickets costing between 170 and 310 yen. The best way to use these mass-transit services is by purchasing either one of the Suica or PASMO prepaid fare cards (both having the same function) that enable you to travel on any of the Metro/Rail lines. You pay 1000 yen to purchase one- 500 yen being a deposit and the other 500 yen being your initial balance which you can recharge up to 20,000 yen. These cards are work out economical, time-saving, and flexible. There are also bus and metred taxi services, however these are very slow due to traffic and taxis work out to be expensive for 3 people or less. Finally, your best bet is taking this fascinating city on by foot!
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