February 26, 2008

Why Japan Is Awesome, Reason #38019

Central International Airport Train Terminal Flew into Chubu Central International Airport near Nagoya for our Chinese New Year vacation trip. Needed to buy train tickets to take us into Nagoya and there was a long line at the ticket window, so I decided to give the automatic ticket machines a try. The touchscreen terminal offered English instructions so operation was no problem. But I got worried when it came time to pay for the tikets. We'd brought plenty of yen, but they were all the in the form of big ¥10,000 bills. Sure, the bill feed slot accepted the big bill, but what about the change? Sure would suck to start our trip with a big bagful of clattering coins.

I needn't have worried. The machine sucked in ¥10000, printed our tickets, and spit out perfectly crisp bills for the bulk of the change, with only a few extra coins to make up the remainder. Sweet. Thankfully Nagoya isn't as crowded as the big Tokyo stations so we could take our time and figure out the zillion buttons and fancy interface of the ticket machines without holding up a million commuters behind us. Of course, all the trains were perfectly on time and smooth as silk thanks to the seamless rails. No more click-clack, which let us catch some Z's on the long train ride to Kanazawa.

How to ride Japanese buses, for future reference.

Get on board from the rear door. Upon entry, grab a number ticket from the dispenser by the door. The ticket is numbered with your boarding station. Up front is a numbered display board referring to the different stations. As the bus travels along its route, the display board is updated with the current disembarking fare for each boarding station. When it's time to get off, refer to your number ticket, and pay the corresponding fare displayed on the board. No change? No problem. Just make use of the change machine next to the fare box.

Posted by mikewang on 07:59 PM