Let me tell you the infamous public transport in Tokyo, the Tokyo subways.
Tokyo city has probably THE MOST extensive, complicated, mind boggling underground subway network I have ever seen, surpassing the complexity of that of London, Paris and Hong Kong.
What do I mean? Well, when I first arrived in Tokyo, taking the subways was the first option I go for every time I hit a big city, that includes the few cities I mentioned above.
I walked up to the ticket machine to make my purchase, in order to do that, I have to know where I wanted to go and which line I wanted to take. Three map showed on top of the row of ticketing machines.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Tokyo Metro.
And next to it, was the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line (which I found out later)
]And to its left, was the KEIO line (which I found out later too)
Now, combining SOME (not all) of the government lines and private lines, this is the concluding line of Tokyo Metro.
I mean WTF?!!!!!
I stood there in awe and probably scared a few locals with my dumbstruck expression, and continued to spend another half an hour, if not more, or so figuring how to reach my destination. Cause you see, too add salt to water, there is no ENGLISH on these boards!! How the bloody hell am I going to know what Roppongi looks like in Kanji?! (which later I found out is 六本木), and HOW, oh god tell me HOW, the bloody hell am I going to know WHERE THE HELL AM I??!!
There’re so many lines in Tokyo I’m sure you do not need a car to get around town or anywhere out of town but just look at these!! The monstrosity of this network!!
No one on land, everyone has gone underground.
The roads are so confusing, even the taxis here need satellite GPS navigation maps installed in their cars.
Now yesterday, I wanted to go to this very
So I went online and check. Okay fine, the place I went to was Hello Kitty Land. Fine, go, laugh! But who could resist, it’s the only place in the world where mouthless cat is a hero to kids everywhere, and they freakin build a theme park out of it!!
According to the net, I have to take a ride to Shinjuku, the major and most developed district of Tokyo and transfer to Keio line, take the train that heads towards Hashimoto and get off Keio Tama Center, Puroland is just 5 minutes from the station.
Even 5 year old kids can do this.
I mean, 5 year old kids who can read Japanese can do this.
If you think Tokyo Metro is confusing, take a look at the overall subway network of Tokyo!
See the black circle in the centre, that’s Tokyo Metro, yes, ONLY Tokyo Metro!!
I am supposed to get out of that circle and head west. In hell I know which stop in the west!! The English site never shows those stop names in Kanji!
I spend sometime analyzing the page and find out I am here.
The red circle
And I need get to here.
Shinjuku is in the blue circle
Okay fine, I know where I am and I know where I am heading. Now, which line am I suppose to take?
Red to Blue
I continue to analyze the page for a while, before…
Walking out of the building and call for a cab.
For illustration purpose only
Give me a break!! I can’t read Jap!!
Anyway, so I decide to take a cab. I mean, it’s rather near right? Right??
Taxi system in Tokyo is like this. The moment you put you delicate butt onto the back seat, 660 yen pops up on the meter bar, that’s RM20. And that will last for any 2 kilometres this fancy Nissan can bring you. Any additional 274 metres, it’s an additional 80 yen.
I am desperate. Shut up.
I hail down a taxi and hop onto it.
Taxis here are so cool, you don’t even need to open or close the door, it’s all manually controlled by the driver.
Keeping in mind, Roppongi to Shinjuku looks near to me, on the map. So in the back of my mind, it is reasonable to save myself that kind of trouble to squeeze myself among the busy crowd underground when I can be all comfortable on land.
I mention Shinjuku to the taxi driver to which he responded a ‘Hai’ (means Yes) and in 5 minutes, I doze off.
Comfort, my friends,
Has a price.
What seems like an 8 minute nap (I’m sure it is just 8 minutes). I wake up to see this!
HOLY JESUS MARY!!!
I want to ask the driver to stop but realize we are in the middle of a high way (or looks like some roads with no sidewalks) and it is impossible to ask him to break the law and pull over.
Besides, how do you say stop in Japanese!!!
As these queries cross my mind, for a spilt second, yes… a spilt of a second, as in half a second!!
The meter just ‘magically’ goes up.
If only you are here to see my face, cold sweat popping out and no longer in comfort I am. In fact, it is the total opposite, I am sitting on the edge of my seat clenching my fists, and purse.
The taxi finally stops in front of the Shinjuku terminal where a large KEIO sign shows.
3450!!!! That’s a whooping RM120!!
RM120!!!!! For a 10 minute drive!
Next time I’m cycling.
Anyone lend me a bike?