Thursday, November 4, 2010


So, if you want to go anywhere you need to know how to use the buses and trains. I would say that the most important thing to know is the stop you want to get to. I am going to start with the bus since you need to take the bus to get to the train from KG.There is a bus stop right outside of the front gate of KG. The one to the left as you exit KG goes away from Hirakata Station.

If you want to go to Hirakata station you need to go right and cross the street. The stop is in front of a Indian restaurant on the corner with stop lights. There is a bus schedule at the stop. These schedules are in kanji so if you can learn the kanji for the place you want to go it is very helpful. The main thing is that it tells you when the bus is comming.

The building in the background is Kansai Gaidai. When the bus comes you get in the rear door.
When you get to your destination The bus to Hirakata costs 220Y.  There is a machine that you put your money into when you get off. You must put exact change into the machine. Fortunately this machine also doubles as a change maker.
At Hirakata you get off at the end of the line so you don't really need to know the stop, but if you go anywhere else you have to listen for it. When you hear it you push the button. The button is everywhere. It is generally a good idea to not be loud in the bus or train.
When you get to the Train station you can find stairs and go up. There are two ways to get to the train. One end is smaller, and on the north end. The larger one is south. There are many stores in the station. From what I have seen most major stations double as a sort of shopping center. When you find the gate there will be a ticket place close by.
This one is to the left of the gates. Above the machines is a train map of the stops and how much you need to buy the ticket for.
So you pick a stop and look at the box below the stop and you put at least that much money in the machine. The ticket buttons will light up and you push the one for the amount that you want.
It will then spit out a ticket and your change.
You then go through the gate which you feed your ticket through and it spits the ticket out the other side. Grab your ticket! You will need it to get back out.
You then go up (in this case) to the train platform. On the platform is a sign that tells what kind of train stops at which stations. There are various speeds of trains. The slowest that stops at all of the stations is the Local. The fastest which only stops at the big stations is the Limited express. Fortunately these are in romanji (or English) so you can read it.
There are signs that indicate the next two trains that are coming on a track. The trains are color coded according to the sign and train. Handy! :)

When the train comes you just walk on, then you have to listen for your stop. If you miss your stop all you have to do is get off and take the next train back to your stop. Sometimes this involves talking to the man at the ticket booth who will stamp your ticket then you can go the the other gate and show it to the other ticket man. Remember your desired destination name, it makes everything so much easier. When you get to where you want to go you get off and go to the gate (which is usually found by following the crowd), and you put your ticket into the machine which eats it. If you haven't paid enough you have to go adjust your fare with the ticket man.
That is basically how it is done.

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