| Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016

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Tokyo's world-class, public transportation system makes the city easily accessible and commutable into Tokyo from other prefectures.

Trains & Subway
Tokyo's efficient, punctual, and clean trains and subways are reliable. Some companies allow tardy employees to submit a Delay Certificate, if public transportation is interrupted. But the train network is by far the world's busiest, fulfilling 3.5 billion journeys per year. Of the 50 busiest world stations, all but 5 are in Japan with 4 million daily commuters taking the lead.

Although the railway network is convenient, visitors can get confused or lost. Due to its enormous size, topological maps resemble computer circuit boards. The stations are a labyrinth of underground passageways, department stores, stairs, and elevators. Compounding this complexity is that different companies operate different lines, which means exiting and re-entering different ticket gates. Fortunately, the Olympic Games spurred Tokyo to becoming a more foreign-friendly city. As a result, visitors will find both pamphlets and signs in English for their convenience.

Tokyo buses cover most of the area within the Yamanote Line (34.5 km), connecting to major centers. The fare is a flat ¥210 (¥110 for children) and paying with a prepaid bus card is the most convenient. But the network and routes are not easy to follow and English maps with instructions are few. So unless a subway station is faraway, a bus ride may not be needed in Tokyo.

Tokyo is one of the easiest cities to hail a taxi. There are approximately 50,000 operating in Tokyo and fares within the 23 special wards are fixed: ¥410 up to 1km and then ¥80 for every 240 meters thereafter. Prices rise by 20% during evening hours.

Since taxi drivers speak little to no English, have the address or request written in Japanese. Do not worry about being cheated because Japanese taxi drivers are honest about calculating the fare. To prevent passengers from walking into traffic, exit the left rear passenger door.

For more information about public transport services in Tokyo, click on the following links:

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