How to take a train in Japan

One of the most important things while traveling in Japan is knowing how to ride the endless train lines that surround Japan. Although many stations have instructions in English, you may need to ask a Japanese native for information. Thinking about this need, we wrote this article that will help you catch trains in Japan and communicate with people and ask for information at the station.

If you are a tourist, to avoid problems with buying trem tickets we recommend purchasing the JRPass, a cardboard that allows you to ride on most train lines throughout Japan.

Catching the tremor in Japan

In Japan you pay per station, tickets are sold at vending machines, do not leave your ticket   it is also used to leave the station. You should pay close attention to the wagons, some trains have wagons exclusively for women and smokers. Remember that trem   stations do not operate 24 hours a day.

To better understand how trains in Japan work, let's leave some videos below:

Phrases about trains in Japan

There are thousands of articles and videos on the internet explaining how to take trains in Japan. We don't want to cover the same things as these sites, let's go deeper and study ways to communicate at a train station.

Below are some phrases that you will probably need to speak or hear during your tremor trip in Japan. Study them well and be prepared because you will not hear exactly the same sentences below.

「山の手線」はどこですか?
[yamanote sen] wa doko desu ka?
Where's the [yamanote line]?

「秋葉原駅」に行きたいですが。
[Akihabara eki] ni ikitai desu ga.
I want to go to [Akihabara Station].

「山の手線」のホームはどこですか?
[yamanote sen] no hoomu wa doko desu ka?
Where is the platform for [yamanote line]

この電車は「東京駅」行きですか?
kono densha wa [toukyou eki] yuki desuka?
Is this the train going to Tokyo station?

十一時の電車に乗ります。
juuichiji   no densha ni norimasu.
I'm taking the 11 o'clock train

渋谷で電車をのりかえなければならない。
Shibuya de densha o norikaenakereba naranai.
You have to change trains in Shibuya.

あなたはその列車に間に合わないでしょう。
Anata wa sono ressi ni maniawanaideshou.
You will not be able to take the train.

電車を乗り違えていますよ。
Densha nori chigaete imasu yo
You are on the wrong train.

電車が遅れている。
Densha ga okurete iru.
The train is late.

電車を乗り間違えた。
Densha the noriga machigaeta.
I took the wrong train.

その列車はすでに出発してしまった。
Sleep resha wa sudeni shuppatsu shite shimatta.
The train has already left.

列車は午後2時半に出る。
Ressha wa gogo 2-jihan ni deru.
The train leaves at 2:30 pm.

汽車はまだ着きません。
Kisha wa mada tsukimasen.
The train has not yet arrived.

Vocabulary related to trains in Japanese

What is the difference between the words densha (電車), kisha (汽車) and ressha (列車)? The word densha is used for electric trains, while kisha for steam trains, while the word resha can be used for both and refers to the trains that form the train. There is also a bullet train called a shinkansen (新幹線).

If you are traveling for the first time by train in Japan, keep an eye out for these words from the list below.

Responsive Table: Roll the table sideways with your finger >>
EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Agenda / Calendar時刻表jikoku hyou
2nd class二等車nitou sha
Window seat窓側の席mado gawa no seki
Aisle seat通路側の席tsuro gawa no seki
Book seat自由席jiyuu seki
Priority seat優先席yuusen seki
Reserved seat指定席shitei seki
Subscription ticket定期券teiki ken
Passenger ticket乗車券jousha ken
Ticket切符kippu
Box office窓口mado guchi
Cancel取り消しtori keshi
Non-smoking car禁煙車kinen sha
Green / First Class Carグリーン車guri-n sha
Station Manager / Manager駅長ekichou
Train conductor車掌shashou
Destiny行き先iki saki
Direction方面houmen
Employee / gas station attendant駅員ekiin
Station entrance改札口kaisatsu guchi
Stationeki
Express that stops at the main stations急行kyuukou
Track 33 番線san ban sen
Time to go発車時刻hassha jikoku
Line線路senro
Main line本線honsen
Faster than espresso特急tokkyuu
Ticket vending machine自動券売機jidou kenbai ki
Seat number座席番号zaseki bangou
First train始発shi hatsu
Necessary time所要時間shoyou jikan
Ticket回数券kaisuu ken
Train with more than 2 wagons列車reshape
Train Transfer / Exchange乗り換えnorikae
Bullet train新幹線shin kan sen
Express train準急junkyuu
Train stopping at all stations普通futsuu
Train stopping at all stations各駅停車kakueki teisha
Train電車densha
Change / Change moneyお釣りotsuri
Last stop / Terminal終点shuu ten
Smoking car喫煙車kitsuen sha
Vehicle / Locomotives車両sharyou
Round trip往復or fuku
One-way trip片道kata michi
Last train最終電車saishuu densha
Last train終発shuu hatsu
Last train終電shuu den

We already wrote another article talking about trains in Japan, you can read this article clicking here.

Share This Article: