Jul 10, 2018

Public transport in Japan compared to home

Fellow City-Cost blogger Saitama wrote a recent piece about her mamachari bike, and asked if any of us have an element of our everyday life here which is substantially different to back home. Since living here I ride my bike a lot as well, but I also catch public transport quite regularly - and back home that was probably a once a year (if that!) occurrence. 

Public transport in Japan compared to home photo

When we lived in Tokyo, I caught the train virtually every day. These days in the countryside, I still use public transportation much more than I did back in Australia.

I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and Metro Trains is the company that does the inner city train network there. They are seen as a bit of a running joke - they're constantly being voted as Australia's worst rail network and they think they're still providing a "great" and "on time" service when trains are 15 minutes (or more) late. You'll often have other services just canceled without any specific reason, which bodes well when you're trying to get to work (or anywhere else you need to be!) in a timely manner. Can you imagine a train being 15 minutes late in Japan? I certainly can't, barring any major weather factors or other extraneous circumstances. 

Public transport in Japan compared to home photo

What I'm used to back home - from outward appearances all looks fine, but Metro Trains are known for their poor reliability.

Here, I don't think I've ever really had any issues with trains or other public transport. Sure, sometimes the carriages are crowded - that's way more intense over here than back home - but people on public transport here are generally polite. I've never felt unsafe when I've been on public transport in Japan, even in the very early hours of the morning or late at night. I've also never seen trains or other public transportation here defaced with graffiti or with trash strewn about all over the place, or people with their feet up on the seats. 

Public transport in Japan compared to home photo

Public transport in Japan is for the most part a tranquil, stress free affair.

How do you find public transportation here in Japan compared to back home? Do you use public transport more, less, or around the same frequency as you did back home? Any major gripes or praises about the services Japan offers?



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!