Step by step information for first-time users on riding the subway.
- Confirming the Entrance
- Finding the Fare
- Buying Your Ticket
- Entering the Fare Gate
- Boarding the Subway
- Fare Adjustment
- Exiting the Fare Gate
- Finding Your Exit
Confirming the Entrance
Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway operate the subways in Tokyo. At the entrance to each station, you will see the subway sign and the name of the subway station. Be sure to remember the station name, number, and line color (circular colored outline) of the subway line you want to ride. You will see the combination of a letter (representing the line) and a number (representing the station) within a circular colored outline (representing the color of the line), which is called a station number. For more information on station numbers, click on the link below.
Subway (Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway)
Finding the Fare
English fare chart
When you get to the station, use the English fare chart near the ticket vending machines to find the price of the ticket to your destination.
You can also look up fares for the Tokyo Metro lines using the link to "Tokyo Metro Transfer Planner & Fare Calculation" below.
To search for Toei subways, click on the link below.
Buying Your Ticket
Ticket vending machine (touch screen)
Buy your ticket at a ticket vending machine.
You can use the ticket vending machines to purchase Regular tickets, Coupon Tickets, One-day Open Tickets and PASMO IC cards.
Insert coins or bills and select the button displaying the price to your destination. (Note: Some machines do not accept ¥2,000, ¥5,000 or ¥10,000 bills.) Retrieve your ticket and change.
Entering the Fare Gate
Fare gate (for tickets and PASMO card)
Insert your ticket into the slot located above the green arrow on the fare gate. DON'T FORGET to retrieve your ticket as you pass through.
If you are using a PASMO card, hold the card over the card reader on the gate, which is indicated by a blue light and has the "IC" logo on the panel. You will hear the beep sound the moment your card is read.
Boarding the Subway
Line up behind the white line on the platform at the guides which indicate where the doors will open when the train arrives. Wait for the alighting passengers to get off before boarding the train. Please do not rush when trying to catch the train.
Set your cell phone to silent mode and please refrain from talking on during your ride. (Turn your phone off when near courtesy seats.)
Some subway lines have adopted “women-only” cars during the morning rush hour so women and young children can ride with a sense of security.
Left: Fare adjustment machine
Right: Fare adjustment machine (sign)
If you traveled further than the ticket you bought allows, pay the extra fare at a fare adjustment machine located near the fare gates. When you place your ticket into the machine, it will display the fare difference you owe. After inserting the difference, take your ticket and pass through the fare gate.
Exiting the Fare Gate
When traveling with a regular ticket, the gate will not return your ticket. However, when using a One-day Open Ticket, be sure to retrieve it as you pass through the gate.
Orange transfer gate
In some subway stations you must pass through the fare gates when transferring lines, even when they are both Tokyo Metro lines. In that case, when changing from one Tokyo Metro line to another, pass through the special orange transfer gates.
If you take longer than 30 minutes to change trains, you will need to purchase a new ticket. However, when using a PASMO IC card, be aware that the appropriate fare will be deducted automatically the next time you pass through an entrance gate.
Passengers are required to pass through the orange transfer gates (when exiting one line to transfer to another) at the following transfer stations:
Ueno, Mitsukoshimae, Otemachi, Ikebukuro, Iidabashi, Kudanshita, Hibiya = Yurakucho, Awajicho = Shin-ochanomizu, Ueno-hirokoji = Naka-okachimachi, Shibuya
Finding Your Exit
After exiting the fare gate, you can find your exit number on the yellow exit signs and on the vicinity map. After finding your exit number, follow the appropriate exit signs.
Yellow exit sign, vicinity map