Okay, I’ll be honest with you, I am AWFUL when it comes to maps and directions. Finding out that Japan’s rail system is the most common mode of transportation in Japan, freaked me out a bit. I went out with some of my coworkers after my first week of job training in Japan and found out just how “awful” I was. I realized that I didn’t know anything about riding trains and I couldn’t read most of the maps because they were written in kanji. My coworkers pretty much had to guide me around like a small child. This helped me get from point A to point B, but I still didn’t know what was going on. I was constantly asking which station do we have to go to next? or How much train fare do we need? It was so embarrassing. In the U.S., I seldom used public transportation…so I had no real experience to compare it to. So how in God’s name was I supposed to get around in Japan without someone to help me?
I found the simple solution to this problem. The easiest way to go about this if you’re “topographically-challenged (i.e.-can’t reap maps for sh*t)” like I am, is the Jorudan Route Finder service. This is a free service that allows to enter any two destinations and gives several different route choices. I use Jorudan to this very day. Don’t get me wrong, when you have time, I think it’s a great idea to learn the basics of the train system Japan. You’ll be much more effective at getting around. But, that takes time, right? So, while you’re learning, Jorudan is a quick and easy solution: