Welcome to Japan! Now let the train trouble begin
After arriving at Narita airport, I journeyed to the hotel that I booked for the first two nights in Japan. Now the only obstacle in my journey would be getting to the hotel. The only (affordable) way to get there was by train. Which it seemed simple enough, but the first moment I arrived in Tokyo, it felt like twenty things were occurring simultaneously. In a state of shock and awe, I tried as hard as I could to just buy a train pass without getting lost in the sea of distractions. With the little Japanese I knew, I tried communicating with the local police about buying a train pass. I specifically wanted to buy a Suica card for my travels around Japan.
Note: Both Suica and PASMO cards allow travel in all Japanese train systems except Shinkansen (Bullet Trains)
For anyone going to Japan soon here are some train tips:
- If you are planning to stay longer than a week, heavily invest in a PASMO or Suica card.
- You can buy a Suica card at a JR line booth (Hint: It’s green) and you can buy a PASMO card on any other ticket booth (Hint: It’s pink).
- If you plan to stay <2 weeks and plan to travel around Japan and not just Tokyo, I highly suggest you invest in a JR Pass (~$350) which lets you go wherever you want in Japan’s rail system.
- Make sure you put your name on the card or pass you get because if it gets lost you can get a replacement.
- You can return the card to the machine you initially got it at for a refund of the deposit.
After figuring out the train dilemma, I bought a PASMO card and rode the train to Sakura, Chiba.
Welcome to Sakura (佐倉市)
Sakura is a village located at the midpoint between Tokyo and the Narita airport. It’s a humble village full of rice fields and nice people. Even though not many people spoke English, they put all their effort into trying to ensure I have a memorable time in their town.