It is perfectly possible to live in Tokyo and rely solely on public transport for your transportation. The rail network is world-renowned for being clean, safe and reliable, and it is no exaggeration to say you can set your watch by the trains. Add to that an excellent bus and taxi service and there really is little need for a car. The following are links to mostly English-language rail, bus and taxi websites for the greater Tokyo area.
Travel Route Planner
The following sites are incredibly useful for planning any kind of train travel whether you’re just going out for the day or if you want to do some extensive travelling around Japan. You should definitely bookmark them as you’ll use them often.
TrainRouteFinder by Jorudan Co., Ltd.
One of the most useful sites you’ll find to help you plan any kind of train trip is the TrainFouteFinder by Jorudan Co. Just enter your departure station and destination as well as the option to designate a departure or arrival time/date, and it will suggest train routes to take complete with distance, times, and fares. TrainRouteFinder can also be accessed via your cellphone making it easy to plan your route while out and about.
Another excellent site for planning your travel route. Enter your departure and arrival destinations and Hyperdia will suggest a number of routes to take letting you know how long it will take, how much it will cost, and how far you will travel. Hyperdia have also released Android Hyperdia lite for cellphones using the Android platform and a Hyperdia by voice application for iPhone/iPad.
Map of rail transportation in greater Tokyo area
This map covers most of the rail lines including subway in the greater Tokyo area. Because of the level of detail, you will have to zoom and scroll.
For information on fares, timetables, routes, and maps, click on the links provided to go to the English language website unless otherwise noted.
JR-East (East Japan Railway Company)
Lines include Akabane, Chuo, Hachiko, Itsukaichi, Joban, Karasuyama, Kawagoe, Keihin-Tohoku, Keiyo, Mito, Musashino, Nambu, Narita, Negishi, Nikko, Ome, Ryomo, Sagami, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku, Sobu, Sotobo, Takasaki, Togane, Tohoku (Utsunomiya), Tokaido, Tsurumi, Uchibo, Yamanote, Yokohama, Yokosuka.
Lines include Chiyoda, Fukutoshin, Ginza, Hibiya, Marunouchi, Namboku, Tozai, Yurakucho, Hanzomon.
Lines include Asakusa, Mita, Shinjuku, Oedo.
Major Private Rail Lines
Keikyu(formerly known as Keihin Kyuko)
Lines include Keikyu Main, Haneda Airport, Daishi, Kurihama, Zushi.
Lines include Keio, Keio New, Dobutsuen, Inokashira, Keibajo, Sagamihara, Takao.
Lines include Keisei Main, Chiba, Chihara, Higashi-Narita, Kanamachi, Narita Sky Access, Oshiage.
While best known for its beautifully-named Romance car, lines include Odawara, Enoshima, Tama.
Ikebukuro lines include Ikebukuro, Sayama, Seibu Chichibu, Seibu Yurakucho, Toshima, and Shinjuku lines include Shinjuku, Haijima, Kokubunji, Seibu-en, Tamagawa, Tamako.
Lines include Sotetsu Main, Izumino.
Tobu Main lines include Daishi, Isesaki, Kameido, Kinugawa, Kiryu, Koizumi, Nikko, Noda, Sano, Utsunomiya, and Tojo lines include Tojo, Ogose.
Lines include Denentoshi, Ikegami, Meguro, Oimachi, Tokyu Tamagawa, Toyoko.
Other Rail Lines
Hokuso (Japanese only)
Kanto Tetsudo (Japanese only)
Nagareyama (Japanese only)
Rinkai (Japanese only)
Shibayama (Japanese only)
Shin-Keisei (Japanese only)
Toyo Rapid (Japanese only)
Chiba Monorail (Japanese only)
Shonan Monorail (Japanese only)
Tama Monorail (Japanese only)
New Shuttle (?Nyu Shatoru) Japanese only
Yukarigaoka (Japanese only)
Cable Cars/Aerial Trams
Oyama Cable Car (Japanese only)
Mitake Tozan Cable Car (Japanese only)
Fuji-Hakone-Izu (cables, ropeways, rail lines)
Unfortunately the bus lines don’t seem to offer sites in English, even when the same company provides English language information for its railways.
Toei Bus only features information about how to ride to Toei bus and ticket types. For timetables and route information you would need to read Japanese.
Keio Bus has a Japanese only website.
Tokyu Bus has a Japanese only website.
Yokohama Municipal Bus features information on fares as well as a route map.
The greater Tokyo area has easily more than a hundred taxi companies. We’ve listed several that have been featured on the web on English-language sites regarding taxis in Tokyo. A few have varying degrees of bilingual assistance though like ordering a pizza, if you learn a few phrases in Japanese, you should be able to order one without too much difficulty. See our handy Ordering a Taxi in Japanese cheat sheet for some relevant phrases.
Nihon Kotsu Taxi Group Nihon Kotsu Taxi Group offers an English language booking service over the phone. 03-5755-2336.
Tokyo MK seems to have English pages on their website and some good reviews online. 03-5547-5551
Anzen Taxi To book a bilingual driver, you are required to book online 72 hours before.
Misuzu Taxi 03-3334-6336
Tomin Kotsu Co., Ltd. 03-3317-6333
Toto Taxi 03-3590-1010
Tokyo Yellow Cab Co., Ltd. 03-3521-8880
Asahi Taxi 03-5641-9875