Tokyo's public transport system is one of the most efficient in the world and is clean and safe, combining an extensive train network, 13 underground subway lines and a bus system. Visitors usually find the trains (JR) and subways the best way to get around, although the complexity of the underground network can be intimidating; rush hour, from 7:30am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm, should be avoided. Most stations have English signs. Because lines are owned by different companies, transfers between trains or subways usually require a transfer between different train systems, with different ticketing systems that can be confusing. Subway tickets are bought at vending machines. The bus system is more complicated for visitors as most destinations are written in Japanese only and bus drivers don't speak English. Taxis are convenient but never cheap, particularly during rush hour. Taxis can be hailed on the street, except in some central areas, where they only pick up from taxi ranks. Drivers speak little English. Driving a car in the city is not advised. Walking around the city is a delight and the best way to go sightseeing, when possible.
Electrical current is 100 volts, 60Hz in the west (Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima); 100 volts, 50Hz in eastern Japan (Tokyo, Sapporo, Yokohoma). Flat two- and three-pin plugs are used.
The currency is the Japanese Yen (JPY). Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels and stores, but most Japanese operate with cash. Money can be exchanged in banks, post offices and currency exchange bureaux. Banks are usually open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm. The best foreign currency to take to exchange are US dollars. ATMs are common but do not accept all credit and debit cards; only the international ATMs in post offices, airports and some major stores will accept foreign cards.
The international access code for Japan is +81. Local calls can be made from any public phone, but only some allow international calls. Telephone cards are sold at kiosks and from vending machines. The local mobile phone operators use technology that is not always compatible with international networks, but 3G has roaming agreements with most international networks, and local handsets can be hired from the airport and various other locations. Internet cafes are widely available. Wifi is freely available in most hotels and larger cafes and resturants.
Emergencies: 110 (Police); 119 (Ambulance)
Each airport terminal has a separate railway station. Terminal 1 uses Narita Airport Station and Terminal 2 uses Airport Terminal 2 Station. Different train services on the JR or Keisei lines serve Tokyo and surrounding destinations. The journey to Tokyo takes one hour. Buses connect to the domestic airport and hotels in the city centre; the journey takes between one and two hours from the pick up at departure lobbies of Terminals 1 and 2.
Car rentals can be organised at the airport.
Fixed fare taxis are available from outside the airport's arrival area, and there are assistants available at the designated fixed fare taxi stands in the airport.
A free shuttle bus connects the two terminals.
The facilities at Narita Airport are extensive and include shops (including duty-free), banks, ATMs, currency exchange bureaux, massage services, baby changing areas, a pet hotel, beauty salons and left luggage. A variety of restaurants catering for Japanese, Chinese and Western tastes are available. Both terminals have shower facilities and Day Rooms (bedrooms which can be hired by the hour).
Terminal 1 parking is in P1 and P5, while Terminal 2 parking is in P2 and P3. Parking at Tokyo Narita International Airport starts at ¥210 per 30 minutes for the first three and a half hours, with a flat rate of ¥2060 for anything between three and a half and 24 hours.
There are several free wifi hotspots in each terminal.