Public Transportation

To get around the Greater Tokyo Area (including IPMU area), the best way is to use public transportation. The train system in Japan is very reliable with good English signage. It is punctual and its typical systematic error is less than a minute.


Transportation IC Card

If you spend more than a week in Japan and plan to use public transportation, we would recommend you to get a Suica or Pasmo prepaid card. It uses contactless radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. You just wave it over the card reader at the gate to enter or exit a station which saves you the time you would use to buy tickets. It can be used at the on-site cafeteria (Ikoi), many eateries and convenience stores. You get one at the station with 500 yen deposit. You can recharge it at the on-site cafeteria or a train station using cash.

Suica card

Suica (rechargeable smart card):  Suica is a rechargeable smart card used as a fare card on train lines. It is possible to travel on almost all trains, subways and buses in most of Japan's largest cities with just this single card.   Most vending machines, kiosks, and coin-operated lockers within JR stations can be paid with the card. In addition to payment, the card is also used as an electronic key to open the specific lockers.

PASMO card

PASMO (another rechargeable smart card): PASMO is also a rechargeable smart card used as a fare card on transportation lines in Japan. It can be used wherever Suica cards are accepted, that is, any railway or bus.

<<Suica or PASMO?  On what do you base your choice?>>

Monthly passes for JR East lines can only be on Suica, and for Tokyo Metro can only be on PASMO, but otherwise, both cards are functionally identical for all commuters.



Local Bus

Suica and PASMO can be also used on most bus lines, including those run by Tobu (pronounced toh-boo) bus company serving the IPMU area. One problem is that many bus signs are only in Japanese. You should look for the front side of the bus where it shows the destination both in Japanese and English.

How to get on the bus

How to get a bus 1