Japanese transit

Japan is one of the most convenient places in the world to travel. Public transit — both local and long distance — is ubiquitous, frequent, fast, insanely prompt, safe, and reliable. However its ubiquity means there is a labyrinth of so many routes that your journey can be an impenetrable puzzle — not to mention the real hurdle of the language barrier. To the rescue comes Google maps. If you chose the transit option for directions it will provide you with brilliantly designed color-coded instructions on which subway/bus/trains to take, exactly where to catch each leg, which line, how many stops, how many minutes you need to walk between, the price, and all the alternative routes, in English. Since Japanese transit runs like clockwork, all this precision turns you into a relaxed native traveller. (Google maps provides similar instructions all over the world, but for Japan’s maze of transit, this is game changing.) — KK

Travel tipsClaudia Dawson