Japan trains

Japan is imho the country with the most advanced public transportation system based on trains, subways and bus. I live here now for more than 3 years, and I did never have the need to buy a car. Going to the customer – by train and taxi. Visiting Hiroshima, Nagoya or Osaka for sightseeing – the fastest way (beside taking the plane) is taking the Shinkansen.

But it can be confusing. Some train stations here in Tokyo have 14 or more platforms. There are many different train and subway companies and when going to a place you have often to change between them.

How to find out which trains to take, where to change and what will be the fare?

Very easy to find out with “Japan Trains“. This is an Android app that covers all Japanese train routes, their schedules and fares.

It is easy to use, but you need an Internet connection, because it pulls its informations from Hyperdia, an online system in Japan.

You just enter the station you want to start, where to go and if needed you can add as well stations you want to have a stop in between.

It even has a station name prediction that helps very much to find the correct spelling of a specific station.

Of course you can select as well date, arrival or departure time.

The search result gives you then an overview of the next possible trains, together with the approximate time, the number of transitions and the fare.

After selecting your choice, you get more detailed information about the trains. The name of the trains departure and arrival time are shown. Of course you see as well the train fare.

And if there are several seating options, like on the Shinkansen, you can select which seat you want to choose (Green car, reserved, non reserved e.g.) to update the fare.

If you want to check whether you have choosen the correct stations, you can view the stations in Google Maps.

And of course you can copy the itinerary to the clipboard to email it or even better you can copy it direct into your calendar.

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