Japan is a one-of-a-kind travel destination. As a developed and well-run nation, the country’s transport systems are efficient and fast. However, first-time travellers will need a bit of getting used to Japan’s sophisticated and extensive transport system. In this article, we discuss how travellers can make use of Japan’s transport options.
How to use domestic flights in Japan?
If you’re ever been interested in Hokkido or Niseko things to do, you would know that the best way to get to these areas is to book a domestic flight. JAL and ANA airlines offer daily domestic flights to Kyushu islands, Hokkaido and Sapporo. You can save on extra costs if you book your domestic flights along with your international flight with JAL or ANA. Both airlines offer discounted domestic fares when you book those along with your flight from home to Japan. They also offer slightly more pricey domestic tickets with non-partner airlines. You can book tickets directly through their websites, and you can even get great deals for early booking. Incidentally, if you’re planning to go to the ski town in Niseko, try early booking discounts with places like Chatrium Niseko Japan.
How to use the Japanese Rail pass?
The Japanese Rail pass allows you to travel on most trains, buses and some Shinkansen lines. The pass validity period starts from 7 and runs up to 21 days. JR pass is convenient to all tourists, as all you have to do is show your pass at the entrance and board your bus, train or Shinkansen. You need to buy your JR pass online before arriving in Japan. You can’t buy it in Japan. You can find JR train schedules at Travel Service Centers as well as JR stations across the country.
How to use the Shinkansen bullet train?
The Shinkansen operates from Tokyo to Koyoto, Osaka and other main cities across Japan. Since this fast tarin takes you to other cities in a matter of a few short hours, it is a great way to explore the country as a traveller. Out of the six main Shinkansen lines, the Tokaido line is the busiest. This line operates within Tokyo, Koyoto, Nara and Osaka. You’ll find that there are signs in English on the Shinkansen, and they make announcements in English.
How to use long-distance buses in Japan?
Bus tickets cost less than trains. You can also reach remote areas that rails don’t penetrate by bus. The long-distance buses go between major cities. You need to book long-distance buses, especially overnight ones in advance. While the JR pass is valid for bus rides, the actual tickets cost even less. Most overnight buses are luxurious with reclining seats.
How to use domestic ferries in Japan?
Ferries are a good option if domestic flights are too expensive for your budget. Overnight ferry rides are not at all stressful. You can relax and enjoy the charming allure of Japan from its waterways. The overnight ferry ride from Honshu to Hokkaido and the one from Kyushu and Shikoku are picturesque. These trips are pretty long, so if you are on a tight schedule try the one from Niigata to Sado-ga-shima. Ferry schedules vary depending on weather patterns. The wisest course of action is to contact a local tour agent to book ferry tickets.
How to use local transport options for short distances in Japan?
In main cities, subways are the fastest, cheapest and most convenient mode of transport. Subway carriages display the next destination on electric boards. Hence, navigation won’t be a big issue once you get used to it. Subway trains start around 5 am and wrap up operations around midnight. The other cheap option is their monorail system. You can use your JR pass on most, but when it is not valid, you can get a ticket from a vending machine or ticket booth.