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Hints to Pass on to Your Clients Traveling by Public Transport
1)Most rail and subway stations in major cities have automatic ticket gates at both their entrances and exits. Passengers insert their ticket into the slot at the ticket gate and then pick it up again before continuing onward to the platform. If the ticket is not accepted at the gate, passengers must go to the staffed ticket window for assistance. In any case, passengers must hold on to their ticket, since they will have to insert it again at the destination's ticket gate to exit the station.
2)Whenever your client is uncertain about which fare to pay (fare boards can be complicated in big cities, and sometimes fares are not posted in English), he should purchase the cheapest ticket and then pay the balance at the Fare Adjustment machine of the destination station or to the train conductor en route.
3)Your clients should travel as lightly as possible. Luggage racks on trains are built to accommodate only lightweight hand-carried baggage, stations in small towns may have only stairs rather than escalators and elevators, and porters are not always available. Furthermore, coin lockers at stations are usually not large enough to accommodate large suitcases, and left-luggage counters are available only at large or well-touristed stations.
4)Clients should avoid traveling by public transportation in major cities like Tokyo and Osaka during morning rush hours (7:30 to 9:30am), as they can become unbelievably crowded with commuters. Public transportation stops running around midnight, though this varies with the town.
5)Smoking is not permitted on commuter trains and subways. Some long-distance trains have both smoking and non-smoking coaches with reserved and unreserved seats.
6)Some long-distance trains have a buffet car, while some overnight sleeping trains have a dining car with both Western-style and Japanese-style menus. Vendors with carts also move through the aisles of Shinkansen and long-distance trains selling drinks, snacks, and "Ekiben" box lunches with local specialties. In fact, these Ekiben, also sold in stations and from platform kiosks, are a wonderful way to sample regional dishes.
7)Public telephone service is available on Shinkansen bullet trains and some other trains. However, clients must use a magnetic prepaid card.