Travelling in Japan is easy. With all the train lines being connected, it would feel as if you’re just bar-hopping on a Friday night. But, many still find themselves having trouble riding a train or encounter some mishaps. Being late, sleeping inside the train and missing your stop, or not knowing where to get on or off the station are the most common of the many.
Here are some of the most common mishaps and problems that can be encountered when riding the train and how to solve them.
If you always find yourself being late for the arrival of the train you want to get on, there is a way to solve it. As everyone knows, trains in Japan arrive and leave a station at a scheduled time. That being said, you can just take note or take a picture of the schedule of train’s arrival which can be found on the platform. Beware though, most of the time, there are two bulletin boards for the train’s schedule of arrival posted at the platform, one shows timetable for the weekdays and the other for the weekends.
If you don’t know which platform to go to, check the signboard above to see where the train is going. Always check the shuuten (the last stop), and make sure that the train passes through to the station you intended to go to. Or you can just ask the staff or fellow passengers for help.
Going to the opposite direction. This is common for the first timers, me included. If this happens, to save money and time, what you need to do is to just get off the train and go the opposite platform (with the trains going where you intended to go). Never go out of the station or pass through the toll-gate, because if you do, you will be needing another ticket to pass the toll-gate back in which will cost you money.
Trains in Japan have different kinds. The most common would be the local train, rapid train, and the express train. Local train is the most common type and stops at every station. Rapid train is faster than local train but doesn’t stop at every station. Express train, on the other hand is just like rapid train but a bit faster and only stops at a few stations. To know which type of train to get on, check the bulletin board and see if it stops at the station of your destination, and always listen to the announcement at the stations and inside the train.
If you overslept and missed your stop, just like in #4, you just need to go to the opposite platform and ride your way back. Just remember never to pass through the toll-gate.