The ONE ticket that will change the way you sightsee Tokyo

Tokyo Subway map from Wikimedia Commons

You've listed all the cool places you'd like to check out in Tokyo and planned out the minute details of your daily itinerary. You're all psyched up for your trip.

You get to Tokyo and realize that while a  train ride over a short distance costs only ¥170, maybe ¥200 which is really not that bad, it quickly adds up. Before you know it, you find yourself shelling more money for transportation than you bargained for. Lest you start calculating whether you should walk the length of three stations in order to save money, or decide which spots to skip, you should check out Tokyo Metro's 72-hour Ticket, the best value ticket for visitors on tourist visas. This ticket gives you unlimited access to all nine Tokyo Metro lines and four Toei Subway Lines, which covers practically all popular destinations within the city. You can use this ticket for up to 72 hours after your first use.  It costs only ¥1,500 for adults and ¥750 for children, which boils down to ¥500 a day (orwhat Japanese call "one coin," referring to the ¥500 coin), an incredible deal considering how easy it is to burn up ¥500 with just two rides.

There is also a 48-hour ticket which costs ¥1,200 for adults and ¥600 for children, as well as a 24-hour ticket which costs ¥800 for adults and ¥400 for children, but you could already see that the 72-hour ticket is your best deal. These tickets are available for purchase at the Haneda and Narita International Airports, the Tokyo Metro Passenger Information Desks at Ueno, Ginza, Shinjuku and Omote-sando stations, and some hotels. Check this website for more buying locations and make sure to bring your passport to confirm that you are a tourist.

Explore Tokyo with these tickets. Photo from

If you are domestic tourist and would like to get around Tokyo with the same ease, your next best ticket to get is the Tokyo Metro 24-hour Ticket. It costs ¥600 for adults and ¥300 for children, and is available for purchase at any Tokyo Metro ticket vending machine at any Tokyo Metro station. Unlike the above tickets for overseas tourists, this ticket gives you unlimited access to Tokyo Metro lines only.

Why these tickets are super cool:

Experience freedom from worrying about commuter fares, how much a ride is going to cost you, whether it's worth it to go back to your hotel or accommodation to get the camera you left behind, or whether you have enough money for the ride back to your hotel after a shopping spree. No need to stand in front of the dizzyingly huge subway map looking for price of your destination station to input into the ticket vending machine, or deal with the fare adjustment machine when you exit (if you have been taught the strategy of buying the cheapest train ticket and just adjusting the fare afterwards). Just whip out your tickets, pop them in, get on and off!

Here is a suggested sightseeing plan using just the Tokyo Metro:

From your accommodation, get to Tsujiki (H10) for a sushi breakfast and see one of the largest seafood markets. Then make your way to Asakusa (G19) to view the iconic Senso-ji temple and shop at Nakamise Dori, the oldest shopping street. Hop back on to the subway and get off at Akihabara (H15 or G14) to find out why it is known as the world's largest electronics capital. When you've had your fill of the manga and anime culture of Akiba, take the subway to Ginza (G09, M16 or H08) where history meets luxury. Tired of strolling? Just get back to the subway and rest your dogs as you make your way to Nishi-shinjuku (M07) to get to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government No. 1 Building, the famous free Tokyo viewing spot on the 45th floor.  As night falls, take the subway to Roppongi (H04) for some gourmet food, art, and an immersion into the vibrant night life.

Photo from

Sherilyn Siy