From local and express trains to shinkansen and subways, train travel in Japan can get complicated fast. Thankfully there are now plenty of English resources like translated ticket machine menus and navigation apps. But even with those weapons at your disposal, you might still stumble. Discover all you need to know to navigate the murky waters of Japanese train travel here.
Not long ago, taking the train in Japan meant squinting at posters on the wall and fumbling with paper maps. And half the time it would still end with an awkward conversation with a station attendant. Well, those days are long gone thanks to smart phones. We've searched and tested for the best apps to make your life easier, and you can find them in this article.
IC cards are plastic cards with integrated chips inside, allowing tap-style payment of train fare. There are several types in Japan that all work by tapping them at station gates with IC sensors. More recently, vending machines and shops have also accommodated IC payment for purchasing goods. Read on to see how these clever cards can make your life in Japan infinitely easier.
Sleeper trains in Japan are uncommon in 2023 because of the cost, but the Sunrise train is still in operation. It runs from Tokyo to Okayama before splitting off toward two destinations. On top of those trains, there are luxury train tours if you want to see smaller sections of Japan by rail. Read on to find out if this is the type of adventure for you!