Japan Transportation

How to Travel to Japan

Flight

Departure
Destination
Time/Hour
Departure
Destination
Time/Hour
Seoul
Tokyo
2.5
Vancouver
Tokyo
8.5
Los Angeles
Tokyo
9.5
Moscow
Tokyo
10
New York
Tokyo
12.5
Frankfurt
Tokyo
12
Rio de Janeiro
Tokyo
24.5
London
Tokyo
13
Madrid
Tokyo
17.5
Vienna
Tokyo
12
Paris
Tokyo
13
Bangkok
Tokyo
7
Rome
Tokyo
13.5
Beijing
Tokyo
4
Hong Kong
Tokyo
5
Sydney
Tokyo
9.5

International Ferries

Japan, surrounded by Pacific Ocean, has China, Korea and Russia as its neighbors, and has several port cities, thus you can take a ship to visit there from these countries. You can easily make reservations through travel agencies with ferry companies, but you should take weather and seasonal changes into your consideration. Once you make a reservation, you’d better confirm your schedule issues from ferry companies before you go.

Domestic Transportation

Japan has an efficient public transportation network, especially between large cities. The public transportation is known for its punctuality and high quality service.

Plane

Japan has three major airlines, namely All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines Corporation (JAL) and Hokkaido International Airlines and dozens of international airports, such as Narita Airport, Tokyo Airport, and Kansai Airport. Ticket prices vary mainly depending on airlines and different seasons, and connecting flight ticket prices are lower than direct flights. If you need to go to downtown or other cities from the airport, it is convenient to take a train, bus or taxi.

Train

People usually take a train to travel between cities. JR is the abbreviation of “Japan Railways”, which is Japan’s largest railway company. Its railway lines are like a cobweb covering the whole country. Generally, JR trains are categorized into five types according to speed, including ordinary, fast, express, super fast and Shinkansen trains. The ordinary trains cost low but stop at every station. Express and fast trains stop only at major stations but cost more. JR Shinkansen is Japan’s high-speed train route network, connecting Tokyo with other major cities such as Fukuoka in Kyushu. Shinkansen uses separate tracks and platforms, and the price consists of the basic fare and extra fare, which is calculated according to the length of a journey.


Main Lines of Shinkansen:

Line
Tokaido
Sanyo
Tohoku
Joetsu
Yamagata
Kyushu
Route
Tokyo - Osaka
Osaka - Hakata
Omiya - Morioka
Omiya - Niigata   
Fukushima - Yamagata
Fukuoka - Kagoshima

If you choose JR trains as your main vehicle, you’d better buy JR Pass in advance through oversea travel agents. The longer the validity period, the higher the price.

In addition to JR, Japan has a considerable number of private railway companies building a huge complex transport system. Odakyu Electric Railway, Tokyo Metro, Keihan Railway and Hankyu Railway are all private railway companies. You can use their tourist discount card to save money.

Ship

Japan has thousands of islands, so it is available to ferry routes. If you want to travel in a special way to see a different world, maybe ferries can be an interesting way. Large ferries have well-equipped facilities such as baths and restaurants. You can choose 2nd class, 1st class or special class tickets as you wish.

Rental Car

Car rental companies are available in most of the cities, airports and stations. You can make an appointment and then lease a car with your international driving license and credit card. Traffic in Japan keeps on to the left.

Taxi

There are a large number of taxis. The starting price is generally 600-700 yen. From 23:00 to 05:00, you will be charged extra 30%. You can find a taxi stand in all local stations and airports. The taxi price is high, so it’s not advised to take it if you are not in a hurry.

Bus

Bus is the common means of transportation in Kyoto. Taking a bus with fixed price, you should pay first. Taking a bus charged by distance, you should pay when you get off. You’d better keep quiet in bus and do not smoke.

Long-distance buses run both daytime and overnight. While they are slower than express trains, the price is much cheaper. Every city has its own bus company, linking it with other cities.


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