There are three different main lines of subways in Tokyo – the Tokyo Metro, Toei subways, and JR lines. To say that I was a little intimidated when I first saw the Tokyo transportation maps is definitely an understatement. The fact that it was all owned by different companies didn’t help matters since the tickets were then all different too depending on the line you took. And so… after much deliberation, I decided to just get a SUICA card. This little transportation card is usable for all three subway lines in Tokyo – and also other transportation networks in other parts of Japan. It allowed me to get in and out of the subways without having to figure out the different fares, even if it did mean that I decided not to go with the combination tickets and special tourist tickets. After much calculation, I think I managed to spend about the same as what I would have spent if I did take advantage of their special tickets anyways. But I have to say.. their transportation fares more expensive than Seoul and Toronto.
I got the special SUICA where you register it with your name and information. That way, if you ever lose it, you can go to the station office and apply for a new one with your balance. Besides, it just feels more personal now.
On some of the subway lines, the early mornings on weekdays, some cars are meant for women, elementary school-age children, and men with physical disabilities only. Which is kind of cool – I know that sexual harassment on the trains is a huge thing here and it gives these people a safe alternative, even if it’s only for a few hours on the way to work.