Japan has an amazing and extensive public transportation system, being famous for the Shinkansen, or bullet train which is the fastest train in the world. It might seem overwhelming at first when you come to plan your trip due to all the different options for travel, today I will focus on getting around Japan by train and what products you can have to make this simpler and cheaper!
The Japan rail network is staggering, it seems to criss cross the entire country so you can get to almost anywhere you want by just boarding a new trains. However the distance between some places in Japan that you might want to visit, such as Tokyo to Kyoto, are quite far and taking a bus or slow train can really eat into your holiday time. If you want to get across Japan quickly then the shinkansen is the one for you! These high tech trains make cross country journeys comfortable and quick. But that does come at a price! If you are planning on doing a lot of travelling between cities in Japan then a Japan Rail Pass could be for you… but which one?!
Japan Rail offer 10 different rail passes (currently) which are;
1. Mail Japan Rail Pass
2. Kansai Wide Area
3. West Kansai
4. JR Sanyo- San’in
9. All Shikoku
Depending on your travel plans different passes will offer better value for money and opportunity to travel. If you are planning to travel across large areas of Japan then the Main pass might be best for you as you can travel on shinkansen to places such as Kyoto and Osaka and even up to Hokkaido. This pass offers unlimited travel so you can go as far as you like for either 7, 14 or 21 days! The other passes are valid from 1-7 days depending on the area and how many day you wish. Although the passes may seem very expensive, have a look at your planned journeys and see how much you will save!
There are also other ways to make travel easier such as pre-paid travel cards. These can be purchased at most train or subway stations and can make travelling much simpler. Many people find the Tokyo metro systems very overwhelming, especially working out what fair. If you have a pre-paid card you can simply swipe in and out of each station and the correct fare will be automatically deducted.
Don’t let travelling through Japan cause you stress, there are many helpful passes to make your trip that bit easier!