No matter where your starting point, fi nal destination or stops in
between might take you, the transportation system in Japan is one
of the best in the world.
Some of the best scenery from the far corners of Japan. The places we recommend are special for reasons of their own. Trips to the shore, the mountains and satoyama can be most rewarding experiences.
Search train routes, transfer points and routing options, Rail Pass and Tokyo Subway Ticket information. Select from 13 languages under SETTING & LANGUAGE.
Train and bus navigation site with timetables and schedules. Search by date, time, departure and destination points. In Japanese, English, Chinese.
NAVITIME Japan Journey Planner
Plan your travel routing by train, bus, car, airline, or walking tours. For PCs, also available as an app and in 18 languages. Set your preference from top right of page.
Free app for iOS users to find the best train route.
JR West (pdf)
Good information on how to use the passenger rail system in Japan is available online from two informative websites. Go to Japan-Guide’s “Taking the Train in Japan” page (scroll all the way down to select English or Chinese from the bottom right of the screen) or West Japan Railway Company’s FAQ sheets (in English) from the links below.
Sixteen major railway corporations operate in Japan, along with 50 smaller privately owned rail companies that are locally based. From Japan Private Railway Association’s website, learn more about mintetsu (short for minkan tetsudo, or private sector railways).
In Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Sapporo, Fukuoka and other metropolitan areas, the metro is a well-developed subway network within the city. Some metro lines connect directly to the outlying suburban areas and beyond. See Japan Subway Association’s website for a nationwide directory of Japan’s underground rail system. Click on WORLD PLAZA at the top right of the screen to set your language preference in English, Chinese, Korean or Japanese.
If you plan to ride the bullet train, JR’s Japan Rail Pass is the best deal around. With a few exceptions, the pass is good for limitless travel on railways operated by the six JR companies, most bullet trains and even buses. It’s an allyou-can-ride buffet pass, valid for a choice of seven, 14 or 21 days. You can also choose from first class Green Cars or open seating in Ordinary Cars. Purchase an Exchange Order from an authorized agent before you leave home, then go to one of the JR ticket offices shown on the link below to turn in your Exchange Order for a pass. In addition to the nationwide travel opportunity made possible by Japan Rail Pass, regional passes are also available. Read more at the link below.
This ticket provides great savings for round-trip travel in Ordinary Car reserved seats on the Narita Express, operating between Narita Airport Terminals 1 and 2·3, and major stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The JR TOKYO Wide Pass makes it easy to visit popular tourism locations such as Mt. Fuji, Izu and Karuizawa, GALA Yuzawa. 10,000yen/3days.
The JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) allows unlimited rides on all JR East train lines in the JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) designated area.
Travel to locations such as Aomori, Nikko,Sendai and Akita-wherever you want to go-all with just one pass.
Within the JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass valid area and the valid period, this pass allows unlimited rides on the JR Hokkaido Lines (Southern Hokkaido) and on JR East Lines (Kanto and Tohoku areas).
Within the JR Tohoku-South Hokkaido Rail Pass valid area and the valid period, this pass allows unlimited rides on the JR Hokkaido Lines (Southern Hokkaido) and on JR East Lines (Tohoku area).
This ticket can be used for the ordinary car reserved seat on Hokuriku Shinkansen (Tokyo to Kanazawa), limited express, and local (including rapid service) trains (non-reserved seat on “HARUKA”) and all Tokyo Monorail lines within the free usage area. (Service on Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen is not covered.)
Unlimited local travel on subways, mintetsu and buses throughout the Kansai area is made possible by the Kansai Thru Pass. You can go all over the Osaka Bay area and into parts north of Kyoto using a combination of trains and buses. Choose from 2-day or 3-day options. Some restrictions apply. Click on the map at the left of the page from the link below for specific stops. In English, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese. Set language preference from top of page.
“Kyoto by the Sea-Amanohashidate & Ine 1 Day/ 2 Day Passes” can be used on the Kyoto Tango Railway and Ine Bay Boat Tour, as well as other transportation to help visitors fully enjoy sightseeing in the Amanohashidate area.
●The Kakuyasu Ryoko (Budget Travel)
This company has compiled discounted passes as an exclusive service to visiting tourists. The company is still working on updating their English language website, but essential information is well organized as of this writing. From their website, click on the type of pass that interests you, and it will link to detailed information on what the pass will cover and where to buy it. Someone has done the research for you so all you have to do is choose where you want to go and how much you want to save. In English and Japanese.
This highway bus information platform present e d by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is a comprehensive guide to long distance buses operating in Japan, complete with a search tool and reservation system. In English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
Japan’s largest booking website for bus travel covers over 200 routes by 93 bus companies. User friendly search tool and useful travel information in English, Chinese and Japanese.
●Japan Bus Lines (JBL)
Purchase a bus pass good for 3 days, 5 days or 7 days of unlimited travel on express buses running on 93 different routes. Passes are valid for 60 days from the purchase date. In English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
For information on how to ride the local bus, see the link below to Japan-Guide’s Transportation page.
●Tokyo Toei Bus lines (in 6 languages)
●Nagoya City Bus (in 9 languages)
●Kyoto City Bus (in 5 languages)
SUNQ Pass is a 3-days unlimited ride ticket on almost all highway and local buses within Kyushu also highway buses within Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture and the surrounding area.
●Fukuoka City Bus (in 5 languages)
Some bus lines offer a one-day pass for unlimited rides. Check with your hotel to see if the local bus line offers day passes.
●Hinomaru Taxi (from Haneda and Narita Airports)
Friends and families traveling in small groups of 3 or 4 might find flat rate airport transfers to be convenient and economical compared to airport shuttle services or trains.
●Private car tours (Hinomaru Taxi)
From Tokyo and Yokohama to outlying areas such as Mt. Fuji and Yamanashi, consider a private tour by car with a driver/guide.
Taxi service is available in English, Chinese and Korean for tourists visiting the Kansai Area including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe.
Two taxi stands in Kyoto are dedicated to foreign passengers who need English-speaking drivers. Some drivers also speak other foreign languages. Download the app in English, Chinese or Korean.
Tottori City is offering a 3-hour tourist taxi at a flat rate of 2,000 yen for a limited time. Drivers speak English, Chinese or Korean. The service offers suggested itineraries to see the sand dunes and the San’in Coast.
Road signs for cyclists can be found here. Read the cycling diary for updated posts on recommended itineraries; custom trip planning services are also offered. In English.
Rent from multiple locations of bikeshare ports and rental offices in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kamakura and Kamaishi starting at 2,400 yen a day. Cogicogi also offers electric models, long-term rentals and cycling tours. Download their app from the website in English and Japanese.
Need a tour guide to ride with? Explore the back streets of Tokyo on a guided tour. Riders must be 12 years and older. In English.
More than 70 locations in Osaka make it convenient to rent a bike to get around in this metropolis. Register as a SMART member to use the bikeshare ports. If you are not a smartphone user, register as an ANALOG member and visit one of the two offices listed on the website to rent in person. Scroll down to the bottom for language settings in English, Chinese, Korean or Japanese.
See Kyoto by group tours, family tours, private tours or customized routes with an English speaking guide. Contact them by email to reserve a bicycle equipped with a child’s seat. In English.
Satoyama up close by cycling through the countryside of the Hida area with a guide. The standard tour is 3.5 hours; custom tours available; also walking tours and winter tours. In English and Japanese.
Wakayama prefecture has infinite routes suitable to various types and levels of cyclists, and streamlining Blue Line expanding the range of about 800 km throughout the prefecture. To familiarize this cycling route with cyclists, we have nicknamed it as "WAKAYAMA800".
Sokoiko! is cycling tours in Hiroshima. it will be the best way to explore the real Hiroshima you have never knew.
Japan C.R.C lend RV camper and camping car in Hokkaido, Aomori, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Osaka, Okayama and okinawa.
Carstay is a camping accommodation service that connects campers who need a place for their RVs or tents.and hosts.
Driving permit requirements for non-Japanese citizens are published in multiple languages by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Click on MULTILINGUAL at the top of the page to select language preference.
Must-read information on rules of the road in Japan, traffic safety and tips for tourists provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in multiple languages. Click on MULTILINGUAL at the top of the page to select language preference.
●Japan Automobile Federation (JAF)
Everything you need to know about driving in Japan as a resident or tourist. In English and Japanese.
Skip to the JAF page on traffic rules and road signs. In English and Japanese.
Useful tips and what you should know in advance. Scroll down to LINKS AND RESOURCES for a list of car rental agencies operating in Japan. Set language preference from Japanese, English or Chinese at bottom of page.
Detailed information on renting vehicles in Japan from the website that is dedicated to “showing the charm of Japan to the world.” In multiple languages. Scroll down to bottom of page for language settings.
Find your camper car rental here from JRVA’s list of rental agencies. Be sure to read the Ten Commandments on how to behave in public parking areas. Select English or Japanese at top of page.
Background information on RVing in Japan. In English.
Official website has a filtered search of roadside stations throughout Japan. Click on Michi-no-Eki Search. From the popup box, select your geographical area by prefecture and put in your filters. The search results will also give directions. In English and Japanese.
Locations and types of facilities available at 120 certified RV parks for the camper car traveller. Information in Japanese only.
Tour Kyoto in a private car with an English-speaking chauffeur.
Contact a private tour guide to plan your Miyagi itinerary.
The Guide matching service that connects travelers and guides.
●Tokyo～Osaka → The Golden Route
●Around Tokyo (Kanto) → The Wider Kanto Route “Around Tokyo”
●A trail in the Tohoku area → Coastal Trail
●Hokkaido - Route to Asian Natural Treasures (Eastern Hokkaido) → Explore the wonderland Eastern Hokkaido
●Amazing Northernmost Japan, Hokkaido route → Amazing Northernmost Japan
●Nigata,Fukushima～Aomori→ Deep North of Japan
●World Heritage and Spectacular views in Kansai→ THE FLOWER OF JAPAN, KANSAI
●Seto Island Sea area→ Setouchi Route
●Spiritual Island, SHIKOKU HENRO → Tourism Shikoku
●Tottori and Shimane→ Route Romantique Sanin
●Enjoy the "hot spring island" of Kyushu!→ Onsen Island KYUSYU
●Wild Adventure of Okinawa Archipelago, Okinawa Lifestyle, and Culture → Be Okinawa