Cards and passes for public transport

Pasmo IC card

Cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka are large and tourist sights are spread across them, not concentrated in one area. You’ll need some form of transport to get around and in most cases this will be public transport. Taxis are useful for shorter distances but the cost adds up if they are used frequently or for longer distances. A rental car isn’t a practical option in the city due to limited parking and busy traffic. Continue reading “Cards and passes for public transport”

Travelling in Japan without a JR Pass

Trains can be a very convenient form of transport. Find out if the JR Pass works for you.

One piece of advice often given to the first-time visitor to Japan is “You must get a JR Pass”. This is simply not true – it all depends on where you are going. If this advice is given to you without the person asking about your intended itinerary, then treat their advice with a grain of salt. A JR Pass is a significant cost, and it can be either a great money saver or a huge waste of money. Continue reading “Travelling in Japan without a JR Pass”

Japanese trains – more than JR

Nagano Dentetsu train

Japan is famous for its train services, which have a reputation for going almost everywhere, punctuality, and speed. Because of this, many visitors decide to get a Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) thinking that they can go everywhere with this. While JR has a national network covering large areas of Japan, there are also a number of private rail companies. These provide services in specific regions, including to well-known tourist destinations. Continue reading “Japanese trains – more than JR”