Tokyo, Japan Feb. 28 Wed 12:02PM
When you go on trips, it is essential to know how to get around efficiently and in an affordable matter. In Japan, we have many options to consider.
Trains, cars, buses, airplanes…and the best part is, almost all the public transportations are safe, on time, and clean.But as many of you might imagine if you constantly take public transportation everywhere, it could get a bit pricy…
So here is a list to help you get around Japan efficiently and still stay within your budget.
Japan Rail Pass
This might be most popular way to get around Japan. This ticket will allow you to get on almost all the Japan Rail Trains throughout Japan. You can get on not only local, but also the bullet trains.
This is a privilege only foreign visitors to Japan get. Starting April 2017, this ticket will only be available to non-Japanese passport holders. It is best to purchase this before you go to Japan, since if you arrive in Tokyo, you can exchange it at the airport and start using it to get to your hotels.
There are 2 types of seats to the Japan Rail Pass (Or usually called the JR Pass), Ordinary and Green. The only types of seats you can reserve differ between these 2 types. The green will have nicer seats, more personal space, and during the busy season you will more likely to be able to reserve a seat (since the ordinary seats gets full pretty fast during those seasons)
- Ordinary 7 Days: 29,110 JPY
- Green 7 Days:38,880 JPY
There are also 14 days and 21 days version. Prices in USD fluctuate by exchange rate. You can purchase the ticket 90 days in advance, so look into the prices so you don't miss it when it's at a good price!
You can check all the latest prices here.
24/48/72 Hours Subway Pass
This particular ticket is only for subways in Tokyo, but if you intend on staying around Tokyo during your trip, this might come in handy. These subway passes are 24hours/48hours/72hours tickets that give you access to All Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines.
It doesn’t give you the easiest access around Tokyo, since the popular lines such as Yamanote and Sobu lines are Japan Rail and not Subway. But still, 24Hour ticket is only 800 JPY, 48Hour 1,200 JPY. Also, as long as you can read the line map, subways cover almost all of the areas in Tokyo. Also, compared to Japan Rail Pass, it will be very convenient if you stay in Japan for less than a week.
Like the Japan Rail Pass, it is recommended that you buy it before your arrival in Japan, because this ticket is not sold in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Yamanashi. (As long as you live outside those Prefectures, you can purchase them even if you are Japanese)
This might be the ultimate affordable way to travel around Japan, if you have plenty of time to Travel. This ticket let’s you get on all of the local and rapid Japan Rail trains for 5 days. This ticket excludes the bullet train and limited express trains, so if you need to get somewhere quick it might not be for you. But if you have the time, it is only 11,850 JPY for 5days, so it is definitely a cheap way to travel.
Also another great point about this is that it does not have to be 5 consecutive days. As long as it’s within the validity period, you can you it for whichever 5 days you want.
There are some rules you might want to look into, so check out this website for more information and where you can buy them.
Buses + Metro Trains
Buses might be a little bit confusing, but if you want to try it and travel through the city slowly, this might be a nice option. The Metro 1-day ticket lets you ride on:
- Tokyo Metro trains
- Toei bus
- Toei subways
- Toei Streetcar
- All routes of Nippori-Toneri Liners
- All JR lines within the Tokyo metropolitan area
The price is 1,590 JPY for an adult. If you are in Tokyo for short amount of time and do not have plans on getting on a bullet train, this is probably a good ticket to try. To find out where to buy and restrictions, check here.
Flight Ticket Package
Sometimes there are flight ticket packages available that are super affordable if you plan on going to areas around Japan you have to fly to get to. Domestic travel is made easier. Hokkaido, Okinawa, Fukuoka, Kagawa, Akita… in Japan, many of the places are just faster to fly.
This package also needs to be purchased before you arrive in Japan. You have to have either a permanent residence card in countries other than Japan, or have non-Japanese passports. Sometimes they have sales or special promotion packages here, so check them out if you have not decided where to visit in Japan.