TRANSPORTATION: 6 Tips For Getting Around Japan

From prepaid cards to help you breeze through train stations, to reliably prompt baggage services and on-board luxury like nowhere else—Japan has transportation options to help you move about with ease, comfort and grace. Check out these helpful tips for getting around Japan:

1. Sleeper Trains

Japan Sleeper Train

Why just sleep in a hotel when you could be using that time to travel across Japan in a comfortable sleeper train? Japan Rail Pass holders can take a ride in these unique sleeper cars by paying only a small extra fee.

2. Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tours

Hop on Hop Off Bus Tokyo

Tour buses don’t have to be a rigid shuffle from A to B with the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. Buy a day pass in cities like Tokyo or Kyoto and get on or off as many times as you like with the freedom to see more of the sights you want.

3. Highway Buses


Long distance express buses that run between major cities and tourist destinations offer great value and comfort. While it may take a bit longer to reach your destination, overnight bus service means you can also save on accommodations!

4. Baggage Transfer Service

Baggage Transfer Service Japan

Worried about how you’re going to carry your bulky luggage to your next destination? For a small fee you can skip the exhaustion and just use Japan’s overnight delivery network to ship your luggage. Most hotels can arrange the shipment for you.

5. Prepaid IC Cards

Prepaid IC Card

Skip the lines at the train ticket kiosks and go straight through the turnstiles with a prepaid IC card. Pick up this reloadable card in the airport or train station and use it anywhere the IC logo is shown.

6. Treat Yourself To The Green Car

The Green Car on a Shinkansen is a top-notch travel experience.

Japan Rail (JR) Lines calls their first class cars Green Cars, found on Shinkansen (bullet trains) and Tokkyu (limited express trains) as well as some sleeper trains. While a bit more expensive, they are also roomier and quieter, providing the perfect opportunity to relax while getting around.


photo credit: Express train with sleeping berths via photopin (license)
photo credit: Recharging Suica via photopin (license)