Four pieces of important advice for foreigners in Japan moving from the countryside to Tokyo

These tips will prepare you for a smooth transition from rural to urban living.

One of the best ways for foreigners to experience Japan is to live in the countryside, where lush greenery and numerous historical sites are just waiting to be explored. At some point in time, however, the pull of Tokyo’s bustle may become too enticing for people living in rural Japan to resist.

As a foreigner myself who lived in rural Ibaraki Prefecture before moving to the heart of Tokyo, I can relate to that all too well. But before packing up and bidding farewell to the countryside in favor of the city, here are some advice that may help you with your transition to life in the big city.

1. Get used to public transportation

If you are living in rural Japan, you may very well have a car in order to get to places in a timely fashion. Not only is having one convenient, it may also be necessary as the only mode of constantly available transportation outside of morning and evening commuting hours.

But having a car in metropolitan Tokyo comes with all sorts of hassles, such as having to deal with heavy traffic or prohibitively expensive parking spaces. Using public transportation and commuting by train is thus much more preferable and economical in Tokyo. Not only are trains extremely punctual, they run very frequently throughout the day, too. This naturally leads into the next piece of advice.

2. Familiarize yourself with train route apps

Navigating Tokyo’s labyrinthine train network can be a nightmare for the unprepared, particularly in large stations where changing lines often involves having to wander around cluelessly looking for the right platforms.

▼ Feel like a mouse in a maze?

Getting familiar with Tokyo train map 😮 https://t.co/10t4pVV7c0


ᴠᴀɴ sᴄʜɴᴇɪᴅᴇʀ (@vanschneider) April 26, 2017

Smartphone train apps like Navitime Transit offer a wealth of information about surrounding locales, sending commuters to the right places with just a few taps. What’s more, you will know exactly when you arrive at the destination thanks to Japan’s train punctuality. The Navitime Japan Travel app

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