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Transportation in Japan


by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Ro M.

Last updated : Sep 01, 20225 min read


Good morning everyone!

Today we will talk about transportation in Japan, very useful tips to know which will help to organize better your times and trips during your stay. Living in Kanazawa, which is pretty far from Tokyo or Osaka, gave me the chance to learn how to get to the cities and other prefectures according on the time I have and the most important: the money.


1. Highway buses

Bus is the cheapest way to travel from places to places. It will take you hours but the prices are very accessible, the buses are comfortable and every 2 hours (more or less) the buses make a 15 minutes stop where you can go to the restrooms, convenience stores or just stretch your legs. The night bus is the one that most of the young people take not only because is even cheaper, but because sleeping in the bus will save you hotel money and also time since you are using the sleeping time to travel. Another convenient fact about buses is that you have the option to go to specific spots that direct trains don't. For example, if you are going, as I do , to Tokyo, the train will take you to Tokyo Station and then you need to switch trains if you want to go for example to Shibuya or Shinjuku. In the other hand with buses, you will find that you can pick different destinations (like Shibuya or Shinjuku) in Tokyo without the need to take another transportation.

Here some bus companies you can check:
Willer Express
JR Buses

blog imagePhoto by : Pixabay


2. Train

Japan is well known because of its spectacular train service and I can't agree more. Trains in Japan take you almost everywhere, sometimes transfering from one train to another, and the comfort of travelling by train worth it. It doesn't matter which train you travel with, it will always be clean and on time. you can choose the locals train, express train and Shinkansen (bullet train).

Here's a video showing the Shinkansen Bullet train from the Japan Fan Youtube Channel:

An important tip when you travel by train (and most of the public transportation) is that you are not allowed to smoke inside (sometimes you may have a separate space for that) and you are not allowed to talk by phone inside. A curiosity is that in some of the trains (even locals) you have a clean toilet inside. During some seasons, with the JR trains, you have a cheaper ticket called Seishu Juuhachi Kippu that it is very conviniet to long distances trips. Here a web site where to check the train´s schedule and fares Hyperdia.

Here also a map for the JR East Railway


3. Taxi

Taxis are always a choice at the moment of traveling, they save you some time, but not much money. If you are in a group of a few, maybe it becomes more convenient according to the distance because you share the fare. But before traveling long distances by taxi, you should check how much money you have in you wallet. 

If you don't have much bags that you are traveling with, I will recommend taxi just for short distances where the buses or trains don't take you so you save time, but for long distances, you will find it expensive and you have many other options. The initial fare will be around 600-700 yens and then around 90yen every 300-400 meters. At night time, it will increase around 20%.

Keep also in mind that public transportation, according on your location, will end by 1am as late. Everything is in the budget you have.

blog imagePhoto by : Unsplash


4. Airplanes

In case you don't have much time and you need to travel long distances, the plane is your best choice, mainly if you want to go to the other islands like Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu, Okinawa, etc.. You have some national air companies where you can pick from. For backpackers, there is a cheap company that always has unbelievable promotions. Peach Airlines offers special fares but the only inconvenient it is that the fares only covers a 10kg carry on luggage, which I didn't find it as a problem, but if you need to take more with you, you can pay the extra luggages, and also, it doesn´t include the meal but you can buy in the plane in case you get hungry, something that I didnt find as a problem neither since the trips are short.

blog image

Photo by : Unsplash


As always, I hope this blog helps you!!! See you next time!

Gifu Tour Guide - Akiko W.

Akiko W.

5.00 / 5
(8 reviews)

Hello! My name is Akiko from Gifu prefecture. I am a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter. I like going out with my family, talking with my friends over coffee at a cozy cafe, reading books, baking bread and cake when I have time. I passed the national tour guide test in 2017 and have worked as a guide since then. I have guided in Gifu city, Seki city, Takayama city, Shirakawago , Mino city and Nagoya city. I have lived in Gifu for more than forty years. Gifu prefecture is rich in nature so you can enjoy the rural atmosphere. Gifu city has a beautiful river 'Nagara river' and Mt.Kinka which has Gifu castle on the top. You can go up the mountain on foot or use a ropeway. The view from Gifu castle is so fantastic. At the foot of the mountain , there are many places to visit such as parks, a temple having a big image of Buddha, and a street preserving the historic atmosphere. At Nagara River, you can enjoy seeing a traditional way of fishing ‘cormorant fishing’ which is thought to have started 1300 years ago. Many cafes have unique service called 'morning service' in Gifu along with Aichi In the morning (until about ten thirty or eleven) when you order a cup of tea or coffee, they serve toast and salad ! Near Gifu park , you can find a nice Japanese style cafe where you enjoy good coffee and seeing a Japanese style garden. Seki city is a small city but so famous for its cutlery. At Japanese sword museum in Seki, you can see authentic Japanese swords! Mino city next to Seki city is well known for its hand made Japanese paper 'Hon minoshi' designated as intangible cultural asset by UNESCO . Until recently it was not easy to guide guests because of COVID-19 pandemic; however the situation is getting better. Some strict rules about COVID-19 have been lifted. Please visit Gifu. I am looking forward to seeing you. Please feel free to ask me when you need information about Gifu. Thank you for reading my introduction.                                                                                                                                 

Shimizu Tour Guide - Sayori H.

Sayori H.

5.00 / 5
(2 reviews)

Hello, I can show you the real Japan. You can taste, see and feel the country. I'd like to show the beautiful culture for you to experience. I can organize the day tour from Shimizu port for Cruise customers. Tea ceremony, strawberry picking experience, anything you are interested, I would love to help you plan your tour. I can communicate in both English and Japanese. I look forward to welcoming people from different parts of the world. Thank you                                                                                                                                 

Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Koichi W.

4.94 / 5
(51 reviews)

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Tateo U.

Tateo U.

4.99 / 5
(68 reviews)

My name is Tateo. I am officially registerd English tour guide and introducing about Okinawa's history,culture, and nature.I am elderly person but have gone through lots of expericences that happened during US occupation after WW2. For the example, change of monetary system(US dollar to Yen),Change of traffic regulation(driving vehicle from right to left).The reversion of Okinawa to main land Japan was biggest historical event.The US administered Okinawa for 27 years. As a result, thing were Americanized in many aspects. Historically, Okinawa was once independent nation until 1872.During Kingdum era, Okinawa actively traded with China, South Asia Countries, Korea, and Japan. In the end, our culture is quite differ much from main land Japan. For instance, architectural technique, daily customs, and culture are also unique. Okinawa is the only prefecture belong to subtropical climate zone. Even winter time, it's neither hot nor cold. People can enjoy marine sport all through the year.Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, and Snorkeling are popular. Besides, beatiful white sand beaches and attractive coastline are abundant. Green sea water and blue sky have been lured people from all over the world. Traditional music and dance are worth seeing. Please visit Okinawa and enjoy extraordinary trip. I will be looking forward to seeing you soon.                                                                                                                                  

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