Saturday, March 11, 2017

Japan: Transportation Tips

I was asked by a few people in regards to transportation in Japan. To be honest, a research about it is a must before unless you are friggin’ rich and do not bother about the cost.

My fiance and I took cab in Japan ONCE.  It was less than 3km and cost us about 700 yen. Well, we had just arrived Kyoto Station from a long journey and our hotel is really close to Kyoto Station. However, we were really tired. Plus, it was drizzling.

Let’s move on to the public transportation in Japan. To be honest, you will find a lot of passes in Japan especially for tourists. You can easily get them at the airport.

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We opted for Kintetsu Rail Pass Wide because we will be traveling from Osaka, Kyoto and Ise Shima. It provides five consecutive days of unlimited use of local, rapid and express trains with up to three rides on limited express trains on Kintetsu Railways. Additionally, it includes airport access with return whereby these trips can be made outside the 5-day period. Also, we can use this pass for unlimited bus rides in Ise. Though it cost us 5,860 yen each, it was really worth the purchase. For our trip, below are the suggestions to use the three rides on limited express trains:

  1. Osaka-Namba to Kyoto

  2. Kyoto to Ujiyamada (Ise)

  3. Ujiyamada (Ise) to Osaka-Namba

For your information, there are a few types of trains in Japan but we took two types during our journey – local and limited express trains. Local trains will stop at every stop. Limited express trains have less stops compared to local trains as they only stop at the biggest or most often used stations. Hence, you will reach your destination faster. Another plus point is you will have a numbered seat. The conditions are you need to book earlier and to pay ad additional fee on top of your normal ticket.

However, effective October 2016, this pass is no longer sold so, oh well.

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In Kyoto, we bought City Bus one-day pass which cost us 500 yen per person, unlimited rides on the same day. This pass is very useful and honestly, you are able to go to most places with buses in Kyoto. This tip was given by a friend of mine. Unless you are rich to pay 230 yen per trip. This pass can be purchased at Kyoto Station.

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Another pass we bought was Koyasan World Heritage Ticket which cost us 2,860 yen per person. Buy this only if you are going to Mount Koyasan. This ticket includes round trip to Koyasan by Nankai train (local train) and cable car and unlimited usage of Nankai buses in Koyasan for two consecutive days. If you want to ride limited express train, you will have to pay 780 yen.

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Last but not least – Osaka. We bought Osaka Amazing 2-day Pass when we were at Kansai Airpor which cost us 3,000 yen each. It provides unlimited use of subways and city buses within Osaka City for two consecutive days. Additionally, there are free admission to some tourist attractions (eg. Osaka Castle) which helped to save our expenditure.

My sharing may not be able to help you fully since we may have different plans or Japan may have come up with new passes so, please be sure to do a research before flying off to Japan ya!