transportation in Japan

Japan is one of the countries that gets flooded by tourists each year. The most extraordinary modes of transportation belong to them. It is undeniable these systems show advanced technology, comfort, and convenience to traveling guests and locals. Not only are Japan’s buses efficient, or the train operations are on time, but every display of transportation exhibits cleanliness.

What makes these systems and vehicles impressive are the competitive companies that continue to improve their products and technology research. It is also known that each of these firms owns and sells their tourist passes. Each city in the country has its features and offers to share. This list is a compilation of the most recommended passes when traveling to attractions in Japan.


Travel Notes

  • Not All Trips Need Travel Passes. Travel Passes are designed for certain trips like going to multiple areas in Japan. Before getting one, check the itinerary or the routes to pass when getting to a location. Some tourist destinations or spots are near each other where a pass is not needed. Some sites are also just a walking distance away.
  • Passport. Travel passes are often intended for the use of tourists where passports may be needed. Keep passports safely inside bags just in case.
  • Book in Advance. Travel Passes may come more costly when paying for one in Japan than booking it in advance online. It is better to book travel passes in advance to save money and avoid possible long lines.


Best Japan Pass for Japan Travel 2021

Greater Tokyo Pass

Traveling for three or more days in and around Tokyo? Getting the Greater Tokyo Pass is the must-have travel pass. The Greater Tokyo Pass can be used in any train in private railway companies located in Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gunma, Ibaraki, and Tochigi. Tourists can also visit tourist attractions and sites around the Tokyo area.

  • Where to buy: Greater Tokyo Pass is available at selected Tokyo and Kanagawa Stations. These can also be purchased in airports. For those who want to use it on the day of purchase, it is recommended to buy it in airports where guests arrived.
  • Pass Update: Sales for the Greater Tokyo Pass is suspended for the time being. Check the current updates at
  • Pass Duration: 3 days from purchase date
  • Fare: ¥ 7,200 (Adult) | ¥ 3,600 (Child)


Hankyu Tourist Pass

If one is traveling to Hankyu for one to two days, it is best to get the Hankyu Tourist Pass. This travel pass gives guests access to trains that run to Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka. Getting this pass is also a great way to save money while traveling.

  • Where to buy: Guests can book Hankyu Tourist Pass at booking sites like, where they will receive an e-ticket. Guests can then exchange their e-voucher for the tourist pass upon arriving at Kansai International Airport. Put the tourist pass in ticket readers in each station and enjoy the rest of the trip.
  • Pass Update: Other travel passes are suspended due to the pandemic. Check the latest updates for Hankyu Tourist Pass at
  • Pass Duration: 1 -2 calendar days. A 2-day pass can be used for non-consecutive days.
  • Fare: 1 day ¥ 700, 2 days ¥ 1,200 (Adults only)


Japan Rail Pass

Also known as the JR Pass, this type of travel pass is one of the most well-known and popular passes in Japan. Having this pass enables a traveler to experience unlimited train rides in many cities in the country.

  • Issuing an Online Reservation: Guests can create an account at to reserve a JR Pass. They can go to ticket machines in some of the JR Stations without the need to stand in line. Guests must scan the QR code on the JR Pass or put the reservation number, and input passport number. Input other required data, then select train and facilities. Check if the data is correct, then issue the ticket.
  • Purchasing through Booking Sites: If guests are opting for booking sites, it is best to have a printed voucher and exchange it for the JR Pass in any valid office.
  • Pass Update: There are changes and temporary closures for the Japan Rail Pass due to the pandemic. For information refunds, read the latest updates at
  • Pass Duration: The pass offers 7 to 21 days of ride access, depending on the choice of duration.
  • Fare: ¥ 40,000 – 80,000 (Adult) | ¥ 20,000 – 40,000 (Child)


Shinkansen Tickets

Availing of Shinkansen Tickets also means availing the fastest and convenient transportation in Japan. These tickets can be booked online and can be availed by guests in hotels where they stay. These are especially useful when traveling between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

  • How to Book: Shinkansen Tickets can be booked through booking sites like It is recommended that guests book one month before the travel. Guests can receive their tickets at the hotel, post offices in Japan, or their home address.
  • Pass Update: Other travel passes are suspended due to the pandemic. Check the latest updates for Shinkansen Tickets at
  • Fare: Cost depends on the location and the type of seat.



Suica is an e-money card for transportations like buses and trains. This card can also be used when shopping in selected shops, markets, and stores. Having a loaded card means one does not need to buy a train ticket from a vending machine.

  • Where to buy: Guests can buy Suica Cards through the official website or booking sites. Get the QR code of the purchase and get the card upon arriving in Japan. Guests can avail their Suica cards at Tokyo Narita Airport, Tokyo Haneda Airport, and HIS Tokyo Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
  • Pass Update: Counters in Narita Airport Terminals and Haneda Airport are temporarily closed. Sales for other travel passes are also suspended due to the pandemic. Check the latest updates for Suica Cards at
  • Pass Duration: Suica can be used for 28 days starting from when it is purchased.
  • Fare: ¥ 1,000 – ¥ 10,000 with ¥500 deposit (Adult and Child)


Tokyo Subway Ticket

Having a Tokyo Subway Ticket means having an unlimited subway pass when in Tokyo. If Tokyo is on the travel bucket list, opt for this pass instead. This way, guests can save more money when traveling since they do not have to buy single train tickets. However, it is important to note that Tokyo Subway Ticket is not valid on transportations belonging to Yurikamome, Japan Rail, Tokyu, Keikyu, Tobu, Keio, Seibu, Keisei, Rinkai, and Odakyu lines.

  • Where to Book: Traveling guests can book tickets through booking sites. Guests will receive an e-voucher with a QR code, which should be exchanged for a physical ticket. Vouchers can be exchanged for the ticket at any ticketing machine in Toei Subway or Tokyo Metro. The valid hours of the ticket will start upon the usage of the guest.
  • Pass Update: Sales for other travel passes are also suspended due to the pandemic. Check the latest updates for Suica Cards at
  • Pass Duration: Guests can choose from 24-hour, 48-hour , and 72-hour tickets.
  • Fare: 24 hours = ¥ 800 (Adult), ¥ 400 (Child) | 48 hours = ¥ 1,200 (Adult), ¥ 600 (Child) | 72 hours = ¥ 1,500 (Adult), ¥ 750 (Child)
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