This is my second or third time I got to stay in ShimoKita, the first place in Tokyo that I, after more than a dozen visits in three decades, felt like I could possibly live in. And as much fun as I've had in every trip I made, I was never sold on the idea because, for better or worse, Tokyo is a lot to take in.
There you go. Even Tokyo residents don’t have all of this figured out, since they often restrict themselves to certain lines (and their surrounding areas) which they have the commuter passes for, and that is almost the only way you get any discount for trains. Pasmo, Suica or any prepaid IC card options are certainly the way to go, as they can get you pass through any turnstiles at any station regardless of lines and companies, but the discount you get is minuscule.
Another kicker; you cannot use a credit card to purchase, or charge (add values to) these IC cards. And , once you get used to the convenience of these little suckers, might as well replace your visa in your wallet with one of these charged up to a few hundred bucks. You can use this at almost any convenience stores and vending machines for any quick fix for coffee, water, sandwiches, musubis and booze. And about when you start loving it, you drop it on the floor that millions of Tokyoites walk all over, and there goes your $45 that any teenager can pick up and use because it’s a fucking prepaid and not a credit or ATM card you can report lost or stolen.
Also, unless you need to get to a specific destination in a timely manner, hailing a cab is not worth it. And in my personal view, average cab drivers in Tokyo are no longer as knowledgeable as they once was. A lot of them seems to have come from elsewhere, looking for a job after being let go in the everlasting depression. Uber The only time you'll need to would be after the last train, which sneaks up on you quickly especially when you've been partying.
What would you do; dash to catch the last train like locals, or push through till the first train like locals?
Come to think of it, this might've been the moment that I thought I could possibly live here. #grannylove