My relationship with the Japanese train system has always been complicated. There are times when I’m able to navigate it well enough to feel almost like a Tokyo native and times where I feel like I can’t even read the English signs.
Coming from Manila, which only has three working train lines, terrible traffic, and barely any sidewalks, acclimating to the Japanese train system was like jumping into the deep end of a shark-infested swimming pool.
I couldn’t understand how one station could have over 30 exits (I’m looking at you Shinjuku Station).
I first visited Japan in the fall of 2016 and despite months of preparing, I still got lost. I couldn’t understand how one station could have over 30 exits (I’m looking at you Shinjuku Station). Sit down and buckle up kids, let’s get into the most commonly seen Kanji in Japanese train stations.
Do you want the express or local train?
Picture this, you’ve just arrived at Shinjuku Station and it’s as busy as ever. You fumble your way around the massive station trying to look for a way to get to your Airbnb/hostel and all you have on hand is the train line, station name, and station exit.
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