There is perhaps no better way to tour the beautiful sights and famous attractions of Japan than by train. However, buses and ferries are becoming increasingly popular as well, offering multiple travel options for tourists who want to see as much of the country as possible in their allotted time on holiday.
Because of this growing desire to see as much of Japan as possible, the Japan Rail Pass has made it easier than ever to make that happen, by offering various means of transportation throughout the country, all connected by organizations and transportation systems coming together. This was originally an idea to stimulate tourism within Japan, and it has grown into a wonderful, economically-sound and safe way for tourists visiting the country to make the most of their trip.
While the Japan Rail Pass (JRP) allows most visitors entering the country temporarily to view some of the biggest attractions, there are, of course, a few restrictions. The Japan Railway System has come together to cover over 20,000km of the country you can see with your pass. These network of train stations and systems include: The JR Kyushu, Shikoku, JR West, JR Center, JR East, and Hokkaido. There are even several high-speed bullet trains available to tour various sights of the country.
Of course, those ‘restrictions’ come in the form of regional trains, that are unfortunately not connected to the Japan Railway network. However, these regional trains typically offer low fares, and if you’re looking for a Japanese experience that is more ‘off the beaten path,’ they can be very useful when spending a day away from the tourist sights and sounds. However, most people who come into the country want to see the biggest and the best it has to offer, and that’s exactly what the JRP allows you to do - and at a very quick pace!
The JRP allows you to do more than simply ride the rails. Many buses and ferries have hopped on board due to the popularity of these passes, and you can take them just about anywhere you want to go. Look for JR buses, and JR ferries to be able to use your pass freely.
You can also use the Tokyo Monorail, linking the Haneda Airport with Hamamatsucho Station, or the Narita Express, which can take you directly from the airport to the bustling city of Tokyo. Tokyo also features the world-famous Yamanote Line, which is a wonderful way to explore the city, and also covered with your JRP. While most underground trams aren’t covered with a Japan Rail Pass, the Japan Railway has come up with above-ground solutions for most travel purposes within the country’s major areas.
Whether you choose to travel Japan by train, bus, or ferry, be sure to utilize the benefits of a Japan Rail Pass in as many ways as you can. There is no better way to see as much of Japan as possible in a short amount of time.
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CHF 20.— handling fee per JR Pass