10 TIPS on how to use TRAINS in Japan like a PRO!
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10 TIPS on how to use TRAINS in Japan like a PRO!


If you come to Japan there’s no real way around that, you’re gonna be on trains. You can’t really walk… I mean, technically you could but… Hello everybody it’s The Uwaga Pies again! This is Ryo, I’m Kris and we’re gonna talk
about Japanese trains, we’ve got together some helpful tips for you guys to use Japanese trains in an effective way… so that you get to wherever you want to… get to… ALRIGHT! LET’S BEGIN! NUMBER ONE! Avoid riding the train during RUSH HOUR! This may be a little bit
difficult, but if you know the specific times that it would most likely be crowded, then
you could definitely avoid those times. From 7AM to 9AM in the morning From 5PM to 7PM in the afternoon and of course any
days from 11PM to 12AM! The Last Train! Because the trains in Japan stop running for the night. If you’re only visiting Japan, then you probably don’t have to go anywhere during these hours.. so it’s best to avoid it. Trains are really, really crowded then, and it’s a bit unpleasant
to ride them. Another thing to keep in mind when using the train during the rush hour,
is that it’s going to be really difficult and bothersome for you and everybody else
if you carry any big bags with you… or suitcases. If you have something big to carry around,
be DOUBLE careful about not taking the rush hour train. The NEXT thing is… Giving your
seat to an elderly or pregnant women or… even children. To children? Yeah! You don’t really give up seats to kids… where I’m from. Babies? Babies… yeah! Like, a woman
with a kid or a MAN with a kid for that matter. Like, whenever there’s a really small baby
involved then sure, but not like a schoolkid. I like to give (up my seat) to kids! LOL LOL
More than to elderly. Okay… okay! YEAH, this is just a simple thing. I think like,
it’s just a common decency. Especially because, you’re not gonna ride
the train for THAT long. It’s not like you’re gonna get SO TIRED. With elderly or pregnant… women? people? Women! It’s only women that get pregnant, Kris… There’s usually a designated
section where they have priority. That’s on the front of the cart.
If it’s labelled as one, generally you’re not supposed to sit in there. What I find
charming about Japan, and being a foreigner in Japan, is that people make an extra effort
to make you seat next to your friend, if there is two of you. They would change their seating,
so that you sit next to each other. That’s very nice. And people do that a lot in Japan. OKAY, so this is another kinda like a ‘end of the train’ fact. Same as the priority seat
one… Basically, in the corners, very corners of every train, there’s usually a space for
baby carts and wheelchairs. Those are this kind of spaces where you go in, and you’re like, HOW WOW THAT’S A FREE SPACE with no door right behind it. So, you wanna put your suitcase there, when you’re heading from the airport. But, you wanna try to avoid this,
especially during rush hour when everywhere is crowded and there’s like a person in a
wheelchair trying to come in. I feel like this is some kinda tip that you really need
to know, cuz they don’t really label this kinda stuff. Yeah, yeah. On every platform,
you can find this pretty cool diagram, that shows you specific train cars, and which one
you’re supposed to get on, so that the transit you’re trying to take is going to be the fastest. So it’s really easy to see that, for example, if you’re switching from Yamanote Line to
Hanzomon Line, you’re supposed to be in car number 3, if you’re switching in Shibuya,
for example. And I think you should definitely do this one, when you’re heading from the
airport to your station. Cuz, at every station there’s like ONE corner or ONE car that’s…
you get out and RIGHT THERE, there’s an elevator. I think you should definitely do this. You should NEVER take more than one person’s amount of space when you sit down. I think foreigners
are often guilty of occupying too much space… I mean… Maybe you don’t feel like you should
say it, so I’ll go and say it! Even if you have a backpack or some kind of suitcase,
you’re supposed to just take one person’s seat and put this things, STACK them on top of yourself Just do whatever you can, to not cross the lines between your seat and
the next seat. AND this is gonna be weird to say it out loud, but I think, this is one
of the reasons Japanese people don’t like sitting next to foreigners. Because they sometimes
DON’T. If it’s a foreigner, he probably doesn’t know how to behave, so he’s gonna be POKING
me. I might be wrong, but… I’m Japanese, so I see actual Japanese people, especially
older women, and I don’t want to single people out, but a lot of them usually have shopping
bags and they don’t care! A lot of times, they’ll have those next to them, and it’s
usually on the priority seat… That’s the kinda stuff (we are advising against). You’re
supposed to make an effort, nobody’s expecting you to do some impossible… tetris-like puzzle. You CANNOT drink or eat on the train. I think that nobody will care TOO much, unless you’re
eating onion curry on the floor during rush hour, maybe that might be a bit too much.
Well, it’s about the smell. It’s about the risk of, for example, spilling a drink on
somebody, when you’re drinking like Starbucks coffee on a train. Sometimes you can spill
things on people, and that would be real bother for everybody in the situation. I don’t know…
Sometimes you see an old man holding a sake… in his hand sometimes… so maybe us, Japanese,
aren’t really protective either. It’s funny that when you first arrive in Japan, because
then you see these vending machines with drinks everywhere. You get a drink just before you
hop on the train… What am I supposed to do with my drink, I just got it! That is a
really good point, yeah! Reading books, magazines or newspapers on the train! Yeah… That is,
especially on a crowded train, this must be empathized I think. I personally have a big
pet-peeve about newspapers. They’re REALLY dirty. They’re just… ash… SO dirty. It’s
usually when you’re sitting down and the guy next to you is going like THAT! It is like
halfway on your face! When it is a crowded train-situation, everybody is kinda like,
trying to fight for their personal space. But also, everybody is kind of pretending
they’re not there. Everybody is so absent-minded. On their phone, pushing against each other,
but not acknowledging the fact. So, nobody would ever say ‘sorry’. It’s a weird social
construct, crowded Japanese trains. Every year there’s more and more warning signs about
being careful when you’re using your phone. I think the biggest problem was when PokemonGO was a thing. That was CRAZY! What was happening here. In trains, in parks, everywhere! People
were like walking under cars because of PokemonGO. There’s this gym I go to that still has a
sign by the elevator, PLEASE DO NOT PLAY POKEMONGO IN THIS BUILDING. PokemonGO left its mark
on Japan. VERY huge mark. If you get lost in a huge station, such as Tokyo Station,
Ueno Station… these are REALLY big. Even Shinjuku (Station), for example. You should always look up for signs! I’m not really sure if this is just something I had personally,
but a lot of my friends didn’t see that. They’re like, ‘How do you go to the East exit?!’ and
then they’re like ‘OHHH!’ I had to tell them, look up, look up! If you get lost and you’re
very confused, you should ask a station employee for help and they’ll be very happy to help
you. Even if they struggle with English, they’re gonna do their best to help you. It’s better
to avoid asking other passengers for help, for different reasons… Japanese people are
very helpful and they’re gonna go out of their way to help you but it’s gonna be kind of
a problem for them… Because you’re kinda taking them away from what they were doing…
They wouldn’t want to just abandon you… lost in the wild west of Japanese train station.
But, it’s just better to ask an employee. Yeah, I mean, that’s what they paid for. They’re
trained to do these things for you. If you’re visiting Japan and you’re gonna be here about
a week or more, you should get yourself a train pass! Which is a SUICA… or a PASMO! ‘Suica’ means watermelon by the way… The more you know! Pasmo’ means ‘pasmo’. Pasmo’ means ‘pasmo’. This
is not going to get you any discounts but it’s just much more convenient when you’re
going through gates, you can just CLICK it to the gate and it determines the price automatically.
Because, if you don’t get it then you have to calculate the price of the distance. This
is gonna save you, maybe up to twenty minutes every single day. I think it has a 500YEN
deposit but you’ll get it back, when you’re done with the card. Just go to the station,
say you’re done with it and they’ll give you back like 500YEN minus like tax fees. And
then when you have it, you just charge it with money, however much you want and anything
that you don’t spend you can just cash out. So, this also works as a payment method for
some vending machines and stuff so it’s very, very, very useful. The final point is, always, ALWAYS, know which exit is closest to your destination. If you’re at the Shinjuku Station for example, and you take the wrong exit… you might be walking like a few kilometers extra. I mean,
Shinjuku Station is an extreme example, it’s one of the biggest ones, but still… Passage through the station is usually the quickest and the shortest route. As opposed to going
around it. If you can’t get a specific exit, then at least get the direction right. So like, at least use the one of the east ones, west ones, north, south (exits). Just go on
google maps and just zoom in as much as you possibly can and it’ll say A5 or A4 etc. Just use Google Maps! It’s super efficient in Japan it’s got all of the latest train times, if
the trains are delayed…. it’s updated basically live! It’s got live updates. It’s gonna get you the most optimal route every single time. Google is smart! You just gotta trust it. I think every time I tried to outsmart Google Maps by saying ‘Ahh! This is bullsh*t, I’m
just gonna go with my gut feeling’ I was WRONG 100% of the times. So please, trust Google Maps and enjoy your Japanese trains because they’re very nice… there’s some rules you have to go by but… despite that, it’s a pleasure to be on Japanese trains :)!

100 Comments

  • Lara M. Muzio

    Actually Pasmo and Suica cards do give you a small discount (of 5% if I'm not mistaken). That's why you always end up with weird numbers on your residual credit. And that endlessly amuses me! #weirdoalert

  • szoszk

    In Berlin I often check the routes via Google maps. Once I was at a train station and it told me to walk one bus stop further, take the bus back for one stop to change at the train station I already have been at.
    Google is often right, but I don't think it was right in this case 😁

  • MAD GUAVA

    I don't see in any kind of Video bearded Japanese people.. is there a Rule or something? like Forbidden to have a Beard in Japan?

  • Sajkora

    Czuję się jakbym oglądała program dla dzieci. Serio, brakuje wam jeszcze śmiechu z puszki i efektów dźwiękowych jak ktoś hehe klaśnie.
    Pierwszy raz nie dałam rady obejrzeć nawet do połowy waszego filmu, ten kanał jest fatalny pod względem montażu.

  • Angela Williams

    1:47, In America that does not happen. I wore hills because i had an interview at my school and there was an older man getting on the bus and i was the only one to give up my seat. Then someone said "oh, she is going to stand on the bus with hills on?" Then i said " what does it matter to you. I did't see you giving up that seat for the lady and her baby." I was standing before the and and the baby got on. So there was no seat to give up for her. Shilvery is dead too. People, PLEASE take off those huge backpacks on a crowded bus.

  • Ron S

    On my trip to Japan a couple years ago I figured out a couple of helpful tips for those crazy busy train stations.
    #1 – If you need to stop to get your bearings, find a pole or a pillar and get behind it to stop for a bit. You are out of everyone's way and can catch your breath.
    #2 – If you don't want to stop, but just slow down (so you can look up and read signs), find an old person and get behind them. They aren't going nearly as fast as the younger people and in Japan there is no way that those younger folks are going to try running over their elders. It's kind of like getting in the slow lane.
    Those two tips saved my sanity in train stations. Hope it helps someone else.

  • FemmeIncomprise

    "Follow the signs to find an exit" – really? I recommend watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZkkzCkJZ9M
    My boyfriend and I had a very similar situation on Nihombashi Station – we tried to find a specific exit, but the signs would end in half way and all we could do was to guess which way to go. It took us ages to find that exit.

  • Francesco DiSanto

    Is it considered impolite to stand instead of sitting when you're on a train in Japan? Let's say it's not crowded and you're standing up to make sure there's room for other people to sit if they need to, is that okay? Or should you just take a seat by default and only stand to make room for an elderly person/pregnant woman/child?

    I hope to go to Japan next year and I really don't want to inconvenience or annoy anyone (if I can help it); your videos have been a fun and helpful way for me to feel like a more mindful visitor, thanks! 🙂

  • Daniël Pronk

    The part about female only compartments wouldve been usefull I think too. Also in Holland no one will give their seat to a child. They're young and healthy, whats the point? Elderly, pregnant and sick people do have priority seats.

  • Flossy Floss

    Kris sucks on this channel. Kasia makes the best job here. Especially talking to Ryu is always better when Kasia does it.

  • Sushimaru Ren

    regarding 3.30,where should I put my suitcase? 4 of my friends and I will be travelling to Osaka n Kyoto n we will be using the train quite often. please help us. ありがとう。。。😀

  • William Digiacomo

    yep, Ryo is Japans sex symbol! Men, women, boys, girls,…….robots, we all want to be with him. lol, I jess we'll just have to stand in line.

  • saitama

    10:38 shortest route.
    Pytam z czystej ciekawości, jakby ktoś wiedział to prosze o odp czy można powiedzieć "raut"? zawsze myslalem ze tylko "ro͞ot" jest poprawnie. pierwszy raz spotykam sie z taką wymową

  • Frodokeuh

    I just got back from our japan roadtrip from tokyo to sapporo without google maps we'll prolly still stucked in some mountains or something xD

  • TheSolester

    Ryo, i watched your movie of 30 june. It's for sure weird u can't get a job with outstanding hair color but it's a fact too, that it doesn't even come to japanese people's mind to do a scarification or other mad dangerous ideas like tatoo on eye, which young polish girl recently did and she's blind after it.

  • Mariusz Kubiński

    Old dude with sake in his hand on train reminds me of polish bloke hiding a beer in his sleeve on a tram, sipping it every now and then thinking noone sees.

  • bartekj81

    I think it should be "How to use trains in TOKYO like a pro". Sorry but there is nothing regarding this topic except for social aspects and behaviour at the station (exits) which are the same in whole Japan. Those are valuable things to know of course. There is also info about Suica/Pasmo but for tourist would be more important to know about JR Pass. I simply have some mixed feelings about the content.

  • elindred

    on my first trip to Japan I was eating 7-11 onigiri on the morning train, and sitting probably in the priority seats xD
    Nobody said anything at the time, but I realise now that I was being pretty rude. Good tips for next time 🙂

  • Amanda R James

    Hi Ryo & Kris! I have someone in my life that would absolutely LOVE to visit Japan/ Tokyo/ China. I want to set up a good vacation, do you have any suggestions that I should know?

  • DoctorVancouver

    Not technically related to the video, but I was wondering if a North American credit card would work in Japan? Or if I am going to need cash for everything as I assume my bank card won't be useful lol.

  • 1xlaz2

    Actually, the pasmo does offer a very minor discount, as tickets are rounded up to the nearest 10. 133 with pasmo, 140 with a ticket. 21 rides for the price of 20.

  • Afternoon & Tea

    When I went to Japan I went went to the wrong train platform . A Japanese person in there 30s realised that's I was having trouble finding out if I was on the right platform and went out of his way to tell me and my aunt where to go.

    Japanese people are really nice.

  • Banana Cream

    Yes! That's so true! I had a flight from Houston to L.A this past December with my friend, we got two seprwate seats (he was on the right section and I was on the left center seat of the ) and this very nice Japanese lady saw us talking for a few min and she asking him if he wanted to change seats so we could sit together. That was super nice and awesome of her. 😊

  • Rob Courtney

    Oh man, My Japanese grandmom used to get so quiet on the train and whisper scold and poke me and my brothers on the train to the city. Now I know it's because of our horrible American train manners. Once again you guys helped me to completely understand her way of thinking! Thank you for helping me understand more about why she did things!

  • Ramya A

    So if it's not okay to drink or eat anything in Japanese trains ( especially if the food has a strong smell ) then what about if we happen to travel in a train that is pretty empty or barely has any passengers? Does the rule still apply?

  • Issa

    Is it just me or what, but i think Ryo has a bit of resemblance with Kim Jaejoong of JYJ. I love Jae and i think i'm starting to fall for Ryo. They're both good looking. Deym!

  • Anne Wagner

    Ryo has a pet peeve for the dirty newspapers… does he know that in central Asian countries they pack your food in newspapers? Haha

  • DreamBelief

    Please give up your seat for people with disabilities too, including young ones. Too often people think we need it less simply because of age, when our ability to stand is often worse than the elderly's.

  • M. .M

    NO dont buy a pasmo/ suica or any of those e-money cards. It might be more convenient. But convenience in Japan = EXPENSIVE! Since most of their example are refering to Tokyo (Not Japan) traveling for tourists, as well as short term visits traveling only even a few stops with JR , and especially using Metro, (1 round trip!) EASILY comes close to daily or even several-day flat tickets that citites are offering. (i.e. 72h Tokyo Subway tickets 1500 yen, or Tokyo free kippu 1,800 yen) You will see your money dropping like hell from that Suica when interchanging from JR to Metro. Also, the deposit money is expensive and you wont get back all of it! (2500 yen!).

    All those other rules they said can be ignored, because, seriously, when you are in Japan, you wont be rude nor will you watch the time when you do things. You want to have fun because we know time is short and the trip was expensive as hell. You will have to use the ticket barrier many times, and every time you use it is -140 down the tubes at least. And the only thing you will have is money and time problems…..Thats why the above rule is the most important when riding trains, meaning when you travel Tokyo.

    Pasmo and those other dooropeners are for people who live in Tokyo and use the same route everyday. Meaning they bought a month pass(via Pasmo/suica) for that route and only rarely go somewhere else. Just fyi, there is no type of month pass that allows you to use every train /trainstop in Tokyo. Not for foreigners ,not for Japanese.

  • Jose Manuel Perez

    A curious fact. There´s stations who appears on the map and even a lot of apps like "the same station" and this isn´t true
    Sorry for my english, isn´t my 1st language. Now i explain this
    In Tokyo (maybe in others cities) "on a map" you can find stations where you want to make a transfer between lines. No problem but sometimes the train or metro you wanna transfer isn´t even in the same station
    Take this extreme example, you´re traveling with the Marunouchi line (Tokyo Metro), and wanna transfer to the Chuo line (JR Line). A map and even a lot of apps says "transfer at Ochanomizu station".
    Maybe you think "i get of the metro in this station, get an stairs and go to the JR Line platforms in this station" Right?
    Wrong, there´s no JR platforms in this station
    You must follow the signal to the JR, get OUT of the station to the Sotobori Dori (street), cross a bridge and go to the "Ochanomizu JR Station" who is a separate building at about 50 m, get inside this station and look for the platforms.
    Sometimes the same station have platforms for metro and train (most of the times) but sometimes there´s not even an internal passage between them and you must go out of the station and go to another with the same name
    Another examples are Ryogoku Station (about 700 m between stations), Suidobashi and some more

  • Inconsistent Content

    Yeah I need to get to my hotel fast, so my suit case is coming with me. I know I can have it shipped to my hotel, but I don't trust that

  • Leigh Perry

    On mass transit in the States, you cannot eat, drink or smoke. You will be removed if you do. Most Mass Transit in the States are buses, rather than trains-unless it's the subway, and I'm pretty sure the same rules apply. So I dont understand why anyone from the States would have a difficult time understanding this.

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