March 17, 2013

Japanese Public Transportation Options

If you need to get around in Japan, you’ll have a lot of options depending on where you are and where you’re headed. Japan has a very well developed train system. The islands of Hokkaido, Kyushu, Honshu and Shikoku are well-covered by the rail network. The use of the trains is made even more convenient by the Japan Rail Pass. It’s something that only foreign tourists can have access to, and it’s a great option because it allows tourists to ride the Japanese trains an unlimited number of times for a certain period. The periods can range from one to three weeks. Take note though that you can’t buy a JR Pass in Japan. You have to get it while you’re outside the country.

In addition, the main cities in Japan also have bus routes which offer a way to get somewhere after getting off a train or riding the subway. If you’re a tourist, it might be a bit disconcerting to note that not that many signs are in English. But that doesn’t mean that riding a bus needs to be difficult or impossible. Once you get inside the bus, look for a machine which dispenses tickets. Compare the number on your ticket with the number displayed on a sign above the driver. The sign will show the cost that needs to be paid to get off at the next stop. Press one of the buttons located on the bus wall to signal a stop. Before you get off the bus, pay for the ride by placing the ticket and fare in the container close to the driver.

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