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Finding a Train Route in Tokyo

Post: Friday December 20, 2013

Japan has a very modern and efficient train system that is quite easy to navigate, even if you don't speak Japanese. That said, if you have to make a couple of transfers between your apartment in Roppongi and your office near Hanzomon station, you can probably attest to the need to plan your route in advance to avoid ending up on a train bound for the Tokyo hinterlands of Hachioji. There are numerous online sites that offer route planning and even a few that offer service in English. Below, we will guide you through the basic steps of planning a route using the popular Hyperdia site.





Route Planning 

When you first go to the Hyperdia site, you are presented with the below search screen. We will plan a trip from Roppongi to Hanzomon to demonstrate how to use the site.



First, enter your departure and destination station names in the “From” and “To” text boxes. As you type the name in, Hyperia will automatically offer suggestions based on the spelling (as noted in the screenshot below).




Next, enter the time you want to leave and select Type as “Departure” as shown below. You can also specify the arrival time or an approximate time by selecting the appropriate option.



Next, hit the “Search” button and Hyperdia will display up to 5 routes based on the criteria specified. By default, the route are in order of soonest departure and shortest commute time. Below is the optimal route based on time of departure and length of commute from Roppongi to Hanzomon.




Please note that it shows each station, train line, length of time on each train, and fare amount, along with arrival and departure times for each transfer station and the destination. There is also helpful information at the top, including total time, number of transfers, total distance traveled, total fare, and even the cost of a commuter train ticket between the two stations.

Hyperdia offers additional search parameters that are presented at the bottom of the search results to allow you to change or refine your results.




As you can see, you can change the order of results, the number of route options presented, as well as specify whether the route finder should include specific types of transportation including airplane, shinkansen, and other trains requiring special or additional fares.




Additional notes

Hyperdia offers apps for both iPhone and Android devices that provide similar functionality to what is described above. The iPhone app even offers searching by voice and can be found here.



Other Route Planning Services

There are various other route planning services you can use besides Hyperdia. Below are a few of the service with English language support.

· The Jorudan service provides similar functionality to that of Hyperdia and is offered by the Jorudan Corporation.

· Tokyo Metro offers a service that plans routes along all of its train lines. Please note that it does not offer transfer or route guidance on train lines operated by other rail companies, such as JR.






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