Knowing which Japan maps you'll need to help you get around is an essential part of your Tokyo vacation planning. Imagine winding up on a train platform not knowing which line you need to take next. Or what about getting lost in the middle of the city and not having the right map to get you back on the right track. Tokyo is a big city and, even though we've lived here since 2001, we still use these maps to keep us on the straight and narrow!
I know from personal experience what it's like to get lost here. I'm kind of famous with my friends for having a really bad sense of direction. As long as I can retrace my steps I'm ok but as soon as I lose my bearings I end up going round in circles... something that's easy to do here! I have a little map that stays with me just in case. I can always find someone who will help me if necessary : )
What's so important about a Tokyo train map? Well the odds are that the train will probably be the mode of transport you use the most while you're in Tokyo. It's convenient and will get you just about anywhere you want to go. Add to that some rather sweet deals you can get as a tourist and you really need to know how to use this one.
Go get your Tokyo train map now and take a few minutes figuring out where you'll be staying and what your nearest station will be. Then you can start to plan how you're going to get to the places you want to see : )
The next item on your Japan maps is the Yamanote line map. Why? The Yamanote line is the central line that loops around Tokyo and connects all the major hubs in the city. It's pretty safe to say wherever you're staying, you're going to need to use this line some time or other. It's kinda like the main artery that connects everything else together.
This map of Tokyo helps you to figure out where all the main attractions are in relation to the train stations you'll find on the Yamanote line. Again it's a good idea to figure out where your hotel is as well so you can start to get a picture of where in the city you'll be staying. It'll help you avoid that whole losing your bearings thing that I told you about earlier!
This bullet train map shows you the names of the different lines and where in Japan they go. From Tokyo you'll see different lines go north, south and west. You'll need to buy tickets for whichever line gets you where you need to go. For example, if you're visiting Kyoto, it's the Joetsu/Sanyo line you'll need.
Remember, if you've bought your Japan Rail Pass before you came to Japan, all you need to do is make sure you can get on the train at the time you want. No need to buy a ticket - your rail pass will cover you for all but the most expensive shinkansen.
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Article written by Honor Dargan.
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