Tokyo Subway Tickets & Navigation Guide 東京地下鉄
Japan Subway Systems: How to get around in Tokyo
Read information on navigating Tokyo along with the various Tokyo subway tickets available including Pasmo and Suica IC cards, one-day tickets and special tickets for foreign visitors.
How to get around by metro in Tokyo
First of all, it is important to learn about the geography of the city, to better understand the simplified metro map. All stations are written in both Japanese and English. Each station is also designated by a round circle in the color of the line, surrounding the initial of the name of the line used as well as the number of the station.
Example: C03 - Meiji-Jingumae, indicates that Meiji-Jingumae station is the "3rd station" of the "Chiyoda sen" subway line.
Practical information: Tokyo metro map, to consult and download.
Finally, if on a map, the distances seem reasonable, this is often misleading given the size of the city... This explains why the metro is so useful!
In Tokyo, it is often advisable to stay near the JR Yamanote line, which is one of the most convenient on the network. Circular, it covers and connects the key areas of the city, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Ueno, Ikebukuro etc. It is also very reasonable and can be used free of charge by holders of an activated JR Pass.
Discover all our practical advice for the JR Pass and the train in Japan
Tokyo Metro Tickets
Ticket prices for the subway in Tokyo start at 170 yen with a paper ticket, but if you are spending any time in Tokyo it would be wise to invest in a Pasmo or Suica rechargeable IC card to ease connections between the two systems, save on the wait for buying tickets, and save on fares: the fare using an IC card is up to 5 yen cheaper per ride. Fares (in 2017) are 170 yen, 200 yen, 240 yen, 280 yen and 310 yen increasing with the distance traveled.
To buy your ticket, you have to go to an automatic ticketing machine that can be found near the access gates to the platform. Available in English, just follow this procedure:
In Tokyo, the only way to buy a single subway ticket is to go to an automatic ticket machine that can be found near the platform access gates. Available in English, just follow this procedure:
1 . Locate the fare, mentioned under the name of the station to be reached, on the metro map above the automatic terminals (or choose the name of the destination station on the screen).
2 . Choose on the touch panel the number of passengers.
3 . Press the button corresponding to the rate marked on the plan.
4 . Insert the money in the slot provided for this purpose.
5 . Collect your tickets and your change.
Suica and Pasmo prepaid cards
If you plan to stay in Tokyo for a while (more than a few days), we recommend you to get a rechargeable PASMO or SUICA prepaid card. Available on our website, these small chip cards will save you time and make your travel easier.
To use them, you just have to load money on them, via an automatic terminal (the same as for buying tickets). Place your card in the designated area on the terminal, then choose "Charge IC card", then select the amount you want to put on the card.
Good to know: you can only reload with cash!
Now you just have to pass your card over the gates to use the subway. The amount (in yen) spent for the trip, as well as the amount remaining on the card, is indicated each time at the gates.
If at the end of a trip, the gate turns red and refuses to open, don't panic! It means that there is not enough money left on your card. The Japanese have thought of everything and have set up a "Fare Adjustment" terminal to facilitate the operation.
In case of difficulty, you can simply go to an automatic terminal. In both cases, you will be able to add the complement on your card and leave the metro.
Tokyo Subway App
The Tokyo Subway Navigation App can be downloaded from the Apple Store and the Android App is available on Google Play. The App provides information on routes, times and fares for Tokyo's subways. Just enter the subway station you are departing from and your destination. The time, number of transfers and the fare are displayed.
One Day Open Tickets
The Tokyo Metro 24-hour ticket is priced 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for children. It is valid on all Tokyo metro lines for 24 hours from the time the ticket is used. There are same-day tickets which must be used on the day of purchase and advance tickets which must be used within 6 months of purchase.
Common One-day Open Ticket For Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway
This one-day ticket is priced 900 yen for adults and 450 yen for children and is valid on both the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. This ticket can also be purchased in advance for use later within 6 months of purchase. The ticket can be purchased at all ticket vending machines on the Metro and Toei network and at Tokyo Metro Pass Offices (except Nakano, Nishi-Funabashi and Fukutoshin Line Shibuya Station) and Toei Subway Station Offices (except Shinjuku, Oshiage, Shirokanedai, Shirokane-takanawa and Meguro Station)
Tokyo Combination Ticket
The Tokyo Combination Ticket is priced 1,590 yen for adults and 800 yen for children and is valid on the Tokyo Metro, Tōei Subway, Toden Arakawa, Tōei buses, the Nippori-Toneri Liner and JR Lines (such as the Chūō-Sōbu Line and Yamanote Line). The ticket is available from ticket vending machines (with a few exceptions) at Tokyo Metro, Tōei Subway, JR and Nippori-Toneri Liner stations.
1- 2- or 3-Day Tokyo Subway Passes For Foreign Visitors
The Tokyo subway lines offer limited-time passes that cover all lines, both Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. There are three passes available: 24-Hour, 48-Hour, and 72-Hour.
The 24-Hour Tokyo Subway Ticket costs 800 yen for adults and 400 yen for 11 years old or under, and will save you money if you get on and off a subway train at least five times in 24 hours.
The 48-Hour Tokyo Subway Ticket costs 1,200 yen for adults and 600 yen for 11 years old or under, and will save you money if you get on and off a subway train at least four times in 24 hours.
The 72-Hour Tokyo Subway Ticket costs 1,500 yen for adults and 750 yen for 11 years old or under, and will save you money if you get on and off a subway train at least three times in 24 hours.
Each ticket is valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours from the time it is first used.
These tickets are available only to people visiting Japan on a tourist visa. You must show your passport (the real thing, not a copy) in order to show your eligibility to purchase.
They can be purchased in advance overseas from H.I.S. travel agencies, or in Japan from the staffed desk of a subway station, or in Haneda Airport or Narita Airport, and some Tokyo hotels, some BIC camera stores, some Sofmap stores, and some Laox stores.
See www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/value/travel for further details.
Lost & Found
Call 03 5227 5741 (9am-8pm; in Japanese) 365 days a year for lost and found inquiries.
Information desks with information in English are available at Shinjuku, Ginza, Omotesando and Shibuya stations from 9.15am-5.15pm daily and from 9.15am-7pm at Shibuya. Further information can be found at the official website here.