How to go from one place to another in Japan?

-Japan has the world’s best train transportation system, you will be mostly traveling by local trains or the bullet train (shinkansen).

– Please get a JR Pass before arriving in Japan. You cannot get a JRPASS in Japan. It costs around $300 for 1 week. If you have the JRPASS you can ride any JR train and the fast bullet train for free. Please remember JRPASS cannot be used for subways. JRPASS cannot be used for buses.

-If you take the train, you have to insert the train ticket into the machine reader twice (when getting on and when when getting off). Please always keep the train tickets. Please always keep the bus tickets.

-You can buy the train tickets at the train station. You have to buy the ticket from the ticket machine. The cost depends on how many stations you need to travel. If you can’t read Japanese, just ask ask the staff.

-Trains are very crowded between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM.

Bullet train - Tokyo Station

-City buses are less common than trains but many big cities have the bus system. In many cities you don’t have to buy a ticket. You pay on the bus. Inside many buses there is a machine that converts bills into coins.

-A 10-minute taxi ride usually costs around $15. $6 for opening, $1 for every 500 meters. When you are traveling with 4 people or more, taking the taxi is cheaper and more convenient (only up to 3 train stations).

-You can take a taxi from the airport. Taxi from Kansai airport to Osaka: $150. Taxi from Kansai airport to Kyoto: $300. Taxi from Narita airport to Tokyo: $300.

-Most airports have buses to the downtown area that costs around $15~ $20. The name of the airport bus is called “limousine bus.”

-You can travel anywhere by taking trains or metro. You can get the train map from any train station.

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–You don’t need to rent a car to travel in the city. The parking cost is very high. $5 for 1 hour (in the downtown area).

-If you want to rent a car, you must have an international driver’s licence. If you don’t have an international driver’s licence you cannot rent a car. Many car rental agents speak English.

-You may need to rent a car if you want to go to multiple places in the rural areas. There is a traffic problem on Sunday evenings. There would be many cars on the rooad during the peak travel seasons (New year day, golden week (1st week of May), Obon (2nd week of August). Driving would be challenging during the rainy season (6/15 ~ 7/15) and the typhoon season (September).

roof of a cars - くるまの屋根

-It is not necessary to reserve the bullet train tickets in advance. Even if you make the reservation, you still have to pick your tickets from the train station. You can reserve the bullet train tickets here.

-The bullet train ticket is more expensive than airline ticket. However, the bullet train is more convenient. You can purchase airline tickets here.

-Inter city buses are the cheapest. However, taking the bus may not be very convenient. It takes a long time to travel by bus. You can reserve buses here.

you can find the city maps here
Tokyo transportation map JR line
Tokyo transportation map subway metro
Osaka transportation map
Kyoto transportation map
Hiroshima transportation map
Hakone Transportation map
Kobe transportation map
Nagoya transportation map
Nara transportation map

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