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The Bargain Corner

Transportation Deals for Visitors to Tokyo

September 04, 1988|JACK ADLER

Visitors to Tokyo can take advantage of a trio of one-day passes for local transportation. The passes, available at major stations, must be bought in Tokyo.

The newest is a Tokyo Free Ticket, about $5.35 U.S., for unlimited travel on subways, trains and most bus routes.

In addition, there's a subway pass for $4.60 and an above-ground train pass that costs about $5.35.

Tickets for children under 12 are half of the adult rate.

Osaka has a one-day subway pass that includes some bus and tram routes for about $6.15. Similarly, Kyoto has a one-day subway pass for unlimited travel at about $7.35. This pass includes some bus routes.

The Osaka and Kyoto passes must be bought in those cities.

Names of stations are in both English and Japanese, according to the Japan National Tourist Organization.

In addition to informational aids, some subways and trains also have computerized signs that indicate location and directions. Travelers also can call special telephone numbers in each city for information and advice in English.

If you want to explore Japan by rail, consider the Japan Rail Pass, which includes the high-speed bullet trains.

The tab for unlimited travel on a seven-day pass is about $276 first-class and $201 second-class. There are also two- and three-week passes. But such passes have to be bought in the United States or somewhere else outside Japan. Station names also are in English and Japanese.

When you're on a train, try one of the relatively inexpensive boxed lunches called obento . Pictures help indicate the contents of these boxes, which are also sold on platforms.

In cities, check the cafeteria at major department stores where pictures and plastic models of various dishes also help the selection process. Prices at these places are likely to be lower than in many restaurants.

For more information, contact the Japan National Tourist Organization, 624 S. Grand Ave., Suite 2640, Los Angeles 90017, (213) 623-1952.

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