A man standing beside a bullet train in Japan

Trains

We recommend travelling between the cities in Japan by using a Japan Rail Pass, on the hi-tech “Shinkansen” trains. The passes are valid for 7, 14 or 21 days, and they are the most convenient and economical option when taking multiple train journeys across Japan. When you arrive at each station you can reserve seats for your onward journey, so that you don’t need to head back to the station until you leave….easy!

It’s best not to carry too much bulky luggage with you while travelling around Japan as the luggage racks aren’t suitable for large bulky suitcases, more for backpacks and hand luggage. If you do have a larger suitcase, you’ll normally find a reasonable gap between the rearmost seats and the back wall.

People looking at a subway map in Hiroshima

Subway

Getting about in the big cities is pretty straightforward due to well-developed subway networks. Cities like Tokyo and Kyoto offer various day passes which are helpful for the budget too. Although it is rare to find subway time tables in English in Japan, you will usually find the staff at the service counters friendly and helpful to assist you in planning your journey. There are also various apps you can download onto your phone to help with navigation.

traffic on the streets of tokyo

Taxis

In the larger cities you’ll find taxis around almost every corner. Taxi fares are generally fairly high, although this does vary from city to city. Phoning ahead for a taxi in Japan usually adds on extra surcharges to your fare, as does travelling late at night. If you do choose to get about by taxi, we recommend avoiding the morning and evening rush hours to miss the traffic and an ever increasing taxi fare!

Quiet street overhung with trees

Bicycles

Getting around in the smaller cities and towns couldn’t be easier! Many hotels and guest houses often have bicycles to rent or sometimes free with your stay. In the smaller towns the roads are less busy and so are perfect for seeing life above ground comfortably and for very little cost.

a man next to deer in Miyajima Island

Travelling with meaning

In Japan, we highly recommend travelling by as many authentic methods as possible – at least once. Seeing the towns and villages by bicycle is environmentally friendly and helps provide income to local businesses.

Train travel will offer the best opportunity to mix with locals and personal encounters such as these can become your most cherished memories. Read more about how you can travel meaningfully around Japan.

Bright lights of Tokyo's skyline and busy streets

Featured trip

Let’s Go Tokyo!

Duration:3 days / 2 nights (flexible)
Location:Tokyo
View this trip Add to cartView all Japan trips
Landscape of a Japanese temple with a big iluminated tree

Featured trip

Uncover the Heart of Kyoto

Duration:3 days / 2 nights (flexible)
Location:Kyoto
View this trip Add to cartView all Japan trips
Woman standing in a quiet Tokyo street

Featured itinerary

Japan in a Nutshell

Duration:10 days / 9 nights (flexible)
Itinerary:Tokyo - Osaka - Kyoto - Tokyo
View this itinerary Add to cartView all Japan itineraries
Traditional Japanese castle with blue sky

Featured itinerary

Ancient Forts & Futuristic Cities

Duration:15 days / 14 nights (flexible)
Itinerary:Tokyo - Hakone/Fuji - Hiroshima - Kyoto - Osaka - Kanazawa - Tokyo
View this itinerary Add to cartView all Japan itineraries
cherry blossom and lanterns in kyoto

Inspiration

Best time to visit Japan
As with many Asian destinations, Japan can be visited year-round. Depending on the season some regions are better visited than others, so here is a handy guide.
Best time to visit Japan >
Tourist leaning in to scoop a cup of holy water at a temple

Inspiration

Meaningful Travel in Japan
We are advocates of meaningful travel in Japan, encouraging real experiences that enrich local communities and travellers alike.
Meaningful Travel in Japan >

Tasty Travels

Our Guide to Famous Food and Drink in Japan

23rd August 2017 by James

When you think about Japanese food, the first thing that springs to mind is sushi, right? However, there's so much more than Sushi... Find out more!

13 min read

Read More - Our Guide to Famous Food and Drink in Japan

Top Tips

Top 7 Holiday Destinations for 2018

4th July 2017 by James

In need of some travel inspiration? We've done our own research to pick our top 7 holiday destinations for 2018.

16 min read

Read More - Top 7 Holiday Destinations for 2018

Recently Viewed