Transportation in Japan

How to Get to Japan


Direct flights to Tokyo are operated by Aeroflot and Japan Airlines, the flight time is 9.5 hours. Routes with one or two transfers are offered by China Airways, Korean Airways, Finnair and Es Seven. See for other countries starting with J.

Upon arrival at the airport, you must go to the window for foreigners at the Immigration counter (immigration service), present your passport and a completed entry-exit card.

Narita International Airport is located 66 km from Tokyo. There are several ways to get to the capital from here: the first is the JR Narita Express (NEX) train line, which runs to the center of Tokyo for one hour non-stop. It is convenient to transfer from it to other JR lines. The interval between express trains in the morning and in the evening is 30 minutes, in the afternoon – one hour. About once an hour, a “semi-express” leaves – it takes about 1.5 hours on the way. The cost is 2900 JPY.

The second way is the “keisei” Skyliner, which has landing platforms in the basement of each airport terminal. Trains arrive at Keisei Ueno Station, where you can transfer to JR trains. Travel time to Tokyo is one hour, the interval between express trains is about 40 minutes. In addition, “semi-expresses” run every 10-20 minutes, the journey time is about an hour and 10-30 minutes. The ticket price is about 2000 JPY.

The third option is Limousine and Airport Express Buses, departing from the first floor of the airport. Travel time to Tokyo is about 1.5 hours, there are many flights. Tariff – 2500-3500 JPY.

The most expensive taxi will cost – from 20,000 JPY.


The main modes of transport for moving around the country are trains and sea transport.

The country’s main railway enterprise is Japan Rail (JR). It owns the Shinkansen super express lines and the national rail network. There are also tokkyu (limited express, the fastest), kyuko (express), kaisoku (fast) and local futsu (regular) trains. All major train stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area are located on the JR Yamanote Circle Line. Trains are equipped with easy chairs, vending machines with coffee and soft drinks, there is always a toilet, a landline telephone and a scoreboard in Japanese and English.

For example, to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto, you need to take the Shinkansen express train at Tokyo Station. This super-train overcomes a distance of 513 km in a couple of hours, the issue price is about 13,000 JPY one way.

For travel by rail, the Japan Rail Pass is convenient (valid only for visitors with a tourist visa and purchased in advance, including online on the official website). This ticket entitles you to unlimited travel on Japan Rail trains, buses and ferries, as well as some privately owned trains, for a specified period of time (one, two or three weeks). A personalized ticket, transferring it to another person is prohibited, when checking, you must present a passport to confirm the legitimacy of the purchase. Price: 29,110 JPY for 7 days, 46,390 for 14.

Public transport within cities

Japan has a well-developed bus system. Most of them operate from 7:00 to 21:00, and some buses serving remote areas run from 5:30 to 23:00. At each stop, its name, route and its number are indicated (unfortunately, most often only in Japanese). Payment is made before leaving the bus.

There is a metro only in large cities, the lines are divided into zones. Trains run at 5-minute intervals from 5:00 to 23:30-0:00. The fare varies on different routes and depends on the zone, ranging from 120 to 1500 JPY. The cars are painted in different colors depending on the line and have special gray seats (silver seats) for the elderly and disabled, which should not be occupied.

Taxis are readily available but very expensive. The fare starts at 650 JPY in Tokyo (500-580 JPY in other cities), then – 80-90 JPY for a certain distance. An additional 45-50 JPY is charged for every minute of downtime. From 23:00 to 06:00 the fare is 30% more expensive.

Rent a Car

The country recognizes international rights issued on the basis of the Geneva Convention. In Russia, driving licenses that give the right to drive a vehicle abroad are issued in accordance with the Vienna Convention, therefore, they are not valid. In addition, the national certificates of Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Slovenia and Taiwan are valid under certain conditions.

The most affordable car rental will cost from 70 USD per day. It makes sense to rent a vehicle only to visit the rural areas of Japan – the cities are catastrophically overloaded, and sometimes you can’t find parking during the day with fire. In addition, it should be borne in mind that gasoline in the Land of the Rising Sun is not cheap: from 1.5 USD per liter, and the fee for using the autobahns is exorbitantly high: a trip from Tokyo to Kyoto, for example, will result in 75 USD of tolls alone. A decent fine is charged for returning the car with an empty tank, as well as for returning before the deadline specified in the contract.

Driving in Japan is on the left. The traffic police are very strict.

However, even tourists who have the opportunity to rent a car in Japan rarely do this: the complexity of the registration procedure, the peculiarity of road signs, parking difficulties and chronic traffic jams make driving in the country almost impossible for a European who does not speak Japanese.

  • What you need to rent a car in Japan

Communication and Wi-Fi

Mobile communication in Japan is one of the most developed in the world. There are 5 national operators in the country, but tourists will not be legally sold a local SIM card due to the peculiarities of the legislation. Especially for guests there is a mobile phone rental service. You can insert a Russian SIM card into the device and use it if you connect international roaming. The choice of handsets is quite wide, up to modern models that entered the market a couple of months ago. There are rental points at airports and large electronics stores.

Domestic trio of operators: Beeline, Megafon and MTS operate in Japan without interruption.

An alternative and slightly outdated way to make calls across the country is to use payphones installed in public places. The devices accept coins or special cards.

Free Wi-Fi is available in hotels, restaurants, parks and some shopping centers. In recent years, several thousand access points have been created as part of the free Wi-Fi program for visitors to Japan. In order to connect the service, you need to get a login and password at the tourist office or a major airport.

Transportation in Japan