In Japan trains are paragons of efficiency and speed, transporting countless millions across plains, under the sea, through mountains and between islands every year. For foreign visitors, the Japan Rail Pass is by far the most convenient way to see the country as it allows unlimited travel spanning from the island of Hokkaido in the north to the bright, subtropical city of Kagoshima more than 1,500 miles to the south.
The Japan Rail Pass is reasonably priced and can be purchased for either one, two or three week durations. For the price of a round-trip journey by train from Tokyo to Kagoshima, you could buy a three week rail pass valid nationwide (excludes Okinawa). Given that the pass is so reasonable, you might very well consider indulging yourself by getting a “Green Car” ticket. The “Green Car” is Japan’s equivalent of first class, and it provides a truly luxurious touch to your voyages on Japan’s rails. You can purchase it as a supplement to the Japan Rail Pass which allows you to use the Green Car in any train you travel on. If you are just making a single journey, you can buy a single Green Car supplement to your normal ticket as well, giving you full flexibility over how to use it.
The benefits of the Green Car are numerous. Firstly, it gives you more legroom than you would find in the business class section of any domestic airline, and a plush seat that has a built in foot rest and reclines up to forty degrees. This will allow you to watch as Japan’s vistas float by your window, or perhaps to catch up on sleep after a busy day of sightseeing. In addition, on scenic routes such as the Sonic, which takes you along the north-eastern coast of Kyushu, the Green Car gives you access to the panoramic viewing windows at the end of the train. Finally, at busy periods such as New Years and the Golden Week holidays in May, Japanese trains often become uncomfortably crowded, especially if you are trying to travel with luggage. The Green Car is an oasis of calm even on the busiest days, allowing you to separate yourselves from the hustle and truly relax and enjoy your vacation. Such is the experience that when the time comes to disembark from the train and do some sightseeing, you may well find yourself reluctant to leave the comfort and class of the Green Car behind. But there is always another journey to be made, and the Green Car will always be available to give your trip an unforgettable note of luxury.