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Navigating the Tokyo Metro.

  • Jun 23, 2015
  • by Alina

Culture Kanto


Tokyo has the densest subway system in the world. Two different subway networks, the Tokyo Metro and the Toei Subway comprise 290 stations and 13 lines. Together, these networks carry an average of over eight million passengers daily and the Tokyo Metro is by far the busiest subway in the world.

Here’s what you need to know if you plan on using the subway:


Both Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway systems are closely integrated with a unified system of line colours, line codes, and station numbers.

Why use station numbers?
・It is easy to know the station number for the subway line of your desired station.
・It is easy to know the number of stations until your destination or transfer station.
・It is easy to know if your train is going in the desired direction.

How stations are numbered:

・The alphabet letter represents the subway line name.
・In the subway route map, the station number is shown according to subway line.
・Station numbers are circled with a colour that represents the subway line.

Where to find station numbers:
Conventional subway line and station names are displayed in addition to station numbers.


Why use the metro?
・Because is cheaper and takes you where you want to go much faster.

Before starting on your journey, make sure to get an English language Tokyo Subway Map at your hotel or at the closest subway station.


Buying your ticket
When you get to the station, buy your ticket at the ticket vending machine. The machines accept coins and bills and only very few of them accept credit cards. An English fare chart is usually placed above the machine.
Fares are determined by how far you ride, so you need to select the appropriate fare for your destination when buying a ticket. If you don’t know the exact value, buy the cheapest ticket (¥160 for Tokyo Metro; ¥170 for Toei) and settle the difference at the end of your journey, at one of the fare adjustment machines.
You can always ask the mangers at the Information Desk for assistance.


Pasmo card
To make travelling on the subway even easier, purchase a Pasmo card that will enable you to travel around the city without having to purchase a ticket every time you get on the subway. You can buy it any station for 500 yen (refundable) and recharge it with the minimum of 1000 yen. Should you no longer need your PASMO, you can return it to a station, subway or bus station PASMO office. A ¥210 charge will be deducted from your PASMO and the remaining money together with your ¥500 deposit will be refunded.
You can also use your PASMO to pay for items at PASMO participating stores, vending machines and coin lockers.


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