questions & answers: general japan travel

are train stops announced in english?

Are train stops announced in English?

Basic question. Are train stops announced in English? We want to make sure we won't miss the transfers in between stations.

princeb
princeb

Hi there!

Not basic at all! Very important!

You will find that there are english announcements on all bullet train stations and JR lines in major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka.

All JR station have english signage, so If you are planning on going further afield you should make sure you ask for the arrival times at the ticket office before you go and then set the alarm on your phone or watch. With an average delay of less than 5 seconds, the Japanese train system is so punctual you can use the precise timings combined with the english language platform signs on arrival to work out whether to get off the train.

I hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks for reply. Do you know if they have signs onboard the train detailing all the stations and routes? Don't want to just rely on looking out the window for signs and timing.

If there is a warning before getting to the station, that would help. Ie. Will they announce in english "Next station is ......blah blah blah" prior to arriving at the station?

(Wouldn't want to have to run and get luggage and jump out the train).

Also, for reserving seats for say going back to Narita airport, how specific do we need to be as far as time and station of embarkment? Do we need to say, eg. 12:30pm at Chiba station on 5/26? What happens if we miss that time?

princeb
princeb

Hi there!

There are often not signs onboard the train detailing the stations because the carrieages are often used for other lines (with the exception of the digital route signage in Tokyo), but on all bullets there is good warning announcements in English before you get to your stop. Further afield the announcement may only be in Japanese, but this does vary from area to area and class of train used. For example, on LTD EXP trains, there will be english announcements, but maybe on local trains not in Tokyo there will not be.

The key thing to be aware of is your arrival time as this is the absolute best way to be prepared :)

For reserving seats on all trains you reserve a seat on a specific train/day/time, so you will need to be very specific. If you miss that time you can simply make another reservation, or use non-reserved seating if available. Please note that on the Narita Express there is no non-reserved seating but you can often book a reserved ticket just before you board.

I hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks very helpful. Is 29 minute layover at shin osaka station during train transfer enough to buy lunch at a shop?

princeb
princeb

Hi there - yes, I think that's enough time. Enjoy the bento! :)

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mari
Expert_button_2

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