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  • The mountainous islands and dense cities of Japan create a huge transportation challenge for this country,

  • but the way Japan has handled it has catapulted it into one of the world's leading countries when its comes to public transportation.

  • In this episode we're going to take a look at all the ways we get around here in Japan,

  • and talk about which ways have served us the best.

  • Here's how we get around in Japan.

  • [Life in Japan Theme Song]

  • Of all the ways there is to get around in Japan, the most famous by far is the public transportation here.

  • It is second to none.

  • Amazing train system, bus system

  • You can get almost anywhere in this city by foot, train or bus.

  • It is incredible. And it's cleanit's even fun I would say!

  • Once you live here for awhile, it's easy to take for granted the fantastic public transportation, or even worse, complain about it!

  • But whenever I travel abroad, I immediately remember why I love Japan's system so much.

  • I rode the Odakyu Line for 2 years while I was going to language school in Shinjuku.

  • In a mere 20 minutes I was at the world's busiest train station, Shinjuku station,

  • a station that served an average of 3,590,000 people per day in 2018.

  • With so many people, you'd think it would be a congestion nightmare,

  • but because of good planning and design, people move around to where they need to go with little fuss.

  • Today I'm meeting up with Ruth after her language school.

  • Here comes the girlfriend.

  • So I met up with the girlfriend, and we're going to go try a new pizza place today, very fun!

  • Public transportation is great for anything far away,

  • but it your destination is relatively close, the most practical form of transportation is the bicycle.

  • We're like a biker gang today.

  • Everyday!

  • For just getting around, one or two people, bikes are awesome.

  • So yeah, bikes are super practical in Japan.

  • And if you forgot how to ride them, well you learn real quick!

  • What are we up to today? What are you up to today?!

  • So today I'm going to try a facial.

  • Oh, Nate too!

  • Is that alright? Yes please.

  • Awesome!

  • Graceful Room

  • Isn't that nice?

  • This is the recommendation wall.

  • Yes! Recommended!

  • This onevery recommended.

  • Good night.

  • Will you sleep?

  • As a mother of 4, a full-time Japanese student and a busy worker for our Paz team,

  • Ruth certainly has earned the right to be pampered.

  • When our kids were small, these kinds of things were nearly impossible,

  • but now that the kids are bigger, I'm glad to see she can enjoy them.

  • First we will cleanse.

  • Now there'll be a little bit of steam.

  • Is that alright?

  • Yoshiko is a good friend of ours and she does a great job.

  • We enjoy promoting the people and local businesses around us.

  • 2020 has hit many small businesses especially hard, so make sure to support those local businesses around you!

  • Ruth's going to continue her treatment there while I have to go and pickup Joshua.

  • But boy, that looked good and relaxing!

  • I can't wait to hear from Ruth what she has to say about that.

  • What's awesome about Japan is that we can get to all these things so fast.

  • You just hop on a bike, you just walk to it. All these things are so close to us.

  • Walking is by far what you do the most in Japan.

  • When we moved here in 2014, we had no bikes, no car so we walked a lot!

  • Sarah! Hi Sarah! Can you wave?

  • OK, should we go? Let's keep going!

  • It's time to go, right? It's time to go!

  • If we wanted to buy anything, we had to walk to the store and get it.

  • With kids in tow, there was nothing easy about it.

  • When the rainy season came, we needed another option, and that's when we got our car.

  • No, not that one! This one!

  • After 6 months of lugging our kids around by foot, we found a used 2004 Toyota Noah that worked perfect for us and bought it.

  • Vehicles in Japan are smaller than their counterparts in America, but this van had just enough space for our family and luggage.

  • In Japan you need to pay for nearly all parking and a majority of the highways that you drive on.

  • hat being said, the cost of a long trip on a tollway is about the same that you would pay for one person on a bullet train,

  • so if you have your car full of people, it comes out to be quite a bit cheaper.

  • But be aware: the process for getting your license in Japan is grueling, and many people have to try several times before they pass.

  • So sometimes when you're parking in Japan, things can get a little expensive.

  • The parking fee is 402,600 Yen (~$4,000)

  • Can you help me with parking today, maybe just a little bit?!

  • That's one that's just really old that we use just as a joke sometimes.

  • I'm going to put the real one in.

  • The parking fee is 600 Yen (~$6) Now that's more like it.

  • Cars are great for trips, but for taking little kids around with you locally, nothing beat the discovery of the mamachari.

  • What do you have here?

  • This is my mamachari.

  • It's very nice because I can put Joshua in the front,

  • And we actually fight over who gets to hold the handle bars because he thinks he should drive it.

  • And then Sarah sits back here.

  • To get it started I have to first unlock it.

  • Unlocked.

  • Turn on the on button.

  • It's on automatic.

  • So this bike comes with 3 speeds (modes),

  • The middle is automatic, so it's just pretty consistent.

  • When I start pedaling, it helps me keep that pace.

  • If I'm going up a hill, I just pedal normal and it does all the extra work.

  • Which is great when I have 2 kids on it.

  • Then there's also one that uses less battery but you have to work a little more.

  • And there's one that uses more battery and it's like a little mini scooter.

  • There's also three setting with the gears.

  • So there's lower gear, the middle gear and the higher gear.

  • And to charge the battery, you have to take it off, take it inside and plug it in.

  • Pretty much, I get on and I go.

  • Hey guys! Oh my goodness, what are you doing?

  • Are you driving the bike, Joshua?

  • Yeah, we fight for hand space. Ringing the bell?

  • Jingle bells. Jingle bells all the way!

  • For long-distance travel in Japan, flying is often the most affordable option.

  • You can reach just about any major city in Japan in less than 2 hours by plane.

  • In fact, what usually takes longer than your flight is your trip to actually get to the airport!

  • But when you think of Japan, do you think airplanes? No!

  • You think Shinkansen, or bullet trains!

  • These high-speed trains are the go-to option for long-distance traveling in Japan.

  • Although they are expensive, they are extremely fast, efficient and comfortable.

  • Enjoy watching the Japanese countryside whiz by

  • as you effortlessly move along an incredible network of high-speed rails all made possible by ample tunnels and bridges.

  • These trains seamlessly tie into the public transportation network

  • and there is very little time wasted transferring to and from other forms of transportation.

  • And then there are all kinds of variations:

  • special trains and trams,

  • ropeways and gondolas,

  • and cable cars made specifically for moving people up steep mountain sides.

  • apan has figured out how to best utilize its resources for moving people around its unique landscape.

  • But in the end, it all comes back to what facilitates the everyday life of the people living here in Japan.

  • You didn't cry?

  • Can you check the mail for mommy?

  • So how was the rest of it? What happened? It was wonderful.

  • So, I actually fell asleep because I was so relaxed.

  • She put more stuff on and she massaged and massaged and then I got a back massage.

  • Which is just glorious.

  • And I have my next one scheduled already.

  • Can you show everyone how well you're reading now? Let me hear.

  • (Reading in Japanese)

  • It's Ramen for dinner! Yum!!

  • Are you getting some of it in your mouth, Dude?

  • Yummy!

  • Do you like Ramen?

  • Well that's a look at how we use Japan's amazing transportation system.

  • How do you use it?

  • Please comment below, like and subscribe, and until next time, we'll see you on Life in Japan. Bye bye.

The mountainous islands and dense cities of Japan create a huge transportation challenge for this country,

Subtitles and keywords

B1 INT UK japan transportation public transportation parking ruth joshua

How We Get Around in Japan | Life in Japan Episode 78

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    周建丞   posted on 2020/10/23
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