Japan Railways offers the Japan Rail Pass, an affordable way to see the country. It can be used on all JR railways, buses, and ferryboats including the Shinkansen "bullet" trains—except for Nozomi trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo lines. Hikari or Kodama trains, however, serve these same routes and are included. Passes must be purchased at an authorized JR outlet outside of Japan before your trip and are available for 7-, 14-, or 21-day periods. Activate them upon arrival at a major rail station or Narita airport. A first-class version allows access to the Shinkansen Lines' special Green Cars. The Seishun 18 pass provides five days of unlimited use of local and rapid JR trains nationwide during special periods in spring and summer.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $36 & up -- Japan Vacation Deals; Save up to $600 Featured Destination: Japan
- Imperial Japan IExplore
- Imperial Japan — $9,975 IExplore