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Japan: Transport In Country

Published: 22.8.2012
Tokyo metro, intercity trains, Shinkansens. Warren of stops and tunnels, hundreds of stations and thousands of Japanese who were swarming among the turnstiles, platforms and trains. When tourists imagine this, they are not ready for singing.

And not just tourists. As demonstrated the story of Jarda, with whom I lived in Japan, and who wasn’t able to find out how much is the ticket from Hiro to Shibuya for two years of his stay in Tokyo, and therefore went almost every day to the Czech embassy asked them to calculated it for him.

For us, traveling by train often means nothing more than long hours of waiting for delayed trains. For the Japanese train travel has great charm. Perhaps because they could not have done without the trains, pay special attention to them. If you're lucky, you may be in Japan to meet with so-called train otaku, lovers of trains. These people would not survive long without trains. Study is to collect sets trains, put up their photos into albums, and, of course, goes to the countryside to photograph trains. They are able to wait for hours in the shade of a tunnel to its prey - a photograph just a train. Some of them even come to say goodbye and say goodbye train kits to be shut down. However, transport infrastructure, love, and ordinary Japanese. Prove of this can be for example the fact that on youtube people argue that the platform and which station has the best musical jingle.

The truth is that in fact travelling in Japan, mainly in Tokyo it is not as confusing as it first may seem. Nowadays, almost all boards in larger stations in Japan are in an English translation. Japanese precision then equip each line with a different colour and letter. If we respect the rules of travelling by public transport and also rules of nice behavior (the Japanese never nepředbíhají on the platform!), then you can easily get almost anywhere. When sightseeing in Tokyo and its surroundings is the easiest to use either a metro, but runs only under Tokyo or JR lines that will take us into the next towns. Going by these means of transport is not free, of course, so if you have not purchased in Bohemia before Japanese Rail Pass - clever, but very expensive book, which will allow up to two weeks through the turnstiles without paying for tickets, you need to purchase a ticket before travelling.

Work with tickets turnstiles on is not difficult. On the board above the turnstiles on the map lines printed, how much it costs you to travel from where you are to the target station. If you still are not able to cram the display the correct value of the ticket, everything always sure quite attentive staff Railways or ordinary Japanese, who buy tickets from the vending machine next to you. And if you, same as me, happen that on the transfer stop accidentally buy a ticket for another line, employees of Railways will refund the money.

Thanks JR lines tourist can see the places would otherwise be difficult to get by local transport. It arrives easily in few minutes for example to Kamakura, a city full of beautiful and important historical monuments that gave name to an entire era of Japanese history. If you like the temples, Kamakura definitely should not be missed. The amount of Shinto and Buddhist temples, which are located in close proximity, is truly remarkable. Among the most important temples then include the Shinto temple Hačimangu (Tsurugaoka Hachimangu) or two Zen temples, Kenčodži and Engakudži. Tourists are also attracted in huge, almost thirteen and a half meters high bronze Buddha statue standing in the open air. The statue was built in 1252 and was originally located in the temple that could not resist typhoons and other natural disasters.

Sympathetic in Kamakura are as well as its beaches, where tourists can brave the summer months take a dip in the sea, and modest shopping centres. And if you already have Japan and the Japanese people sick, JR lines, can take you for example to the Yokohama Chinatown.

If a tourist makes a decision to visit also Tokyo and other Japanese cities, certainly will not miss the opportunity to ride the Shinkansen. It is also practical, because the journey for example from Tokyo to Hiroshima won´t take more than four hours. Travel by Shinkansen is not any science. As the transport with any other transportation need to be train at the station, buy a ticket, go through the turnstile, arrive at the right platform and board the correct train. Many kits Shinkansen own a smoking car that is properly marked externally. During a trip down the aisle after undergoing operation that sells food and drink. Here, however hungry passenger must wait until all passengers will be served in the ranks before him - outrunning not allowed. You can even rest assured that even if you still loudly relax, because you just ran a train, and you politely beg just a sip of water, lose a number until a thick Japanese in front of you, which you twenty minutes to order sushi and then another ten minutes bowing waitress.

Sets of Shinkansen run on probably the most used routes Tokaido and Sanyo are normally divided into three types, depending on how many stops per route them through without stopping. Fastest train set is Nozomi, translated wish. Second fastest kit is nicknamed Hikari, a Light. Third, the slowest suite, called Kodama, Echo, then passes all the stops and is used mainly for crossing between smaller cities.

And for what you should pay attention on the train? In most of trains are seats reserved for seniors or passengers with disabilities, in which area is forbidden to use electrical appliances. On the escalators a tourist must be careful not to stand is on the opposite side from us. If you do not know it, can easily happen that crowd rushing for the train collide you. And if you decide to use as a transport vehicle wheel, it's good to know that in Japan, as well as in England, riding bikes and cars on the road on the left.

In the first experiments to stay can when you board the correct train you maybe a little nervous about travelling on Japanese public transportation, however, get used quickly and easily then go to any place of the beauty you will take your breath away.

Text/foto: Anna Jachovská


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