Hi, how are you?
I’ve been busy writing and working on music and getting ready for new projects.
I just got an art work for my new album and the final version of my songs after mixing.
I think I will be able to release it at the end of this month.
Wait for it!
This time I wrote about train system in Japan.
Japan has a very efficient transportation network. The whole country (expect Okinawa) can be reached by train.
Japanese trains are very safe and clean, and they keep time very well.
Using trains is a very convenient way for visitors to travel in Japan.
However if you are a first timer, you might have hard time understanding how it works.
Here is info about trains in Japan and how to travel using them!
There are 5 kinds of trains in Japan.
You need to choose one depending on your purpose.
1.普通 Futsu (also called Kakutei)/Local
This train stops at every station.
It skips some stations.
The price for 普通 and 快速 are the same but 快速 is usually more crowded.
It stops at fewer stations than 快速.
In most cases, the price is the same as 普通 and 快速.
4.特急 Tokkyu/Limited Express
It only stops at major stations.
To use this kind of train, a limited express ticket (called 特急券 Tokkyuken) is required in addition to the cost for the regular tickets (they are called 乗車券 Joshaken).
The additional price is from about 500 to 4,000yen depending on the distance you travel.
5.新幹線 Shinkansen/Super Express
It is the fastest and best kind of train to travel distant regions in Japan. Just like 特急, a limited express ticket is needed.
When you take a long-distance train, you get to choose between Ordinary and Green (first class) seats.
Green is less crowded and you will have spacious seats compared to Ordinary ,but the additional 30% to 50% fee is required.
Many of Shinkansen and limited express trains have 自由席 (Jiyu seki/Non-reserved seat) and 指定席 (Shitei seki/Reserved seat).
It costs around 300 to 700 yen to have a reserved seat.
※If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you don’t need to pay the additional cost and make seat reservations for free. You just need to talk to the worker at the counter to reserve your seat.
※Hayabusa, Hayate, Komachi, Kagayaki, and Hokkaido Shinkansen only carry reserved seats.
Seat reservations can be made from a month prior to the travel date at ticket offices, ticket machines, or online.
On Shinkansen, smoking is not permitted on trains, but there are some areas where you can smoke on long-distance trains.
How to buy a ticket
If you are traveling the short distance, you can either buy prepaid IC cards (Suica, for example) or get tickets at ticket machines.
Here is the instruction to get a ticket at a ticket machine for short-distance travelers.
1.Check the map above the machines and find your destination and fare.
2.Put the money into the machine and select the right price.
3.Choose the number of tickets.
4.Collect your ticket(s) and change.
If you want to travel for long distance, you should get a ticket at a ticket counter.
You need to tell where you would to go at what time, and whether you are taking an ordinary or green, reserved or non-reserved.
Going through the gates
With your ticket, you can go through the gates to the paid fare zone.
Insert the ticket into the slot and pick up the ticket that comes up on the other side.
If you are using an IC card, you can touch the IC card reader.
※If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you must go through a manned gate and show your pass.
If you have a limited express ticket, make sure you insert it with your regular ticket.
When you are at your destination, leave the paid fare zone through the gate.
You just need to do the same as you entered.
If you traveled without paying the correct fare, you have to pay the difference at a Fare Adjustment machine or at a manned gate.
Japan Rail Pass
It is also called JR pass (JR is the major train company in Japan).
This pass can be used by foreign tourists only and you will get unlimited use of JR trains including Shinkansen, Limited express, Express, Rapid, and Local trains, as well as Tokyo Monorail from/to Haneda Airport, and Ferry to Miyajima.
(Note that you can ride on JR buses with it, but can’t use highway buses)
If you are staying Japan for a while, you should get it for your convenience and also to save money.
There are two kinds of it: Ordinary and Green (first class).
You can purchase the pass online.
After making the payment, you will receive a voucher.
Within 3 months of buying it, you need to exchange it to the pass in Japan.
(You can exchange it at major JR stations and Airports. You need to show your passport upon receiving your pass)
Details are on the link here:Japan Rail Pass
The price of the pass is
For 7 days: 29,110yen (38,880yen for Green)
For 14 days: 46,390yen (62,950yen for Green)
For 21 days: 59,350yen (81,870yen for Green)
※You could upgrade your Ordinary seat to Green seat by paying additional fee.
※The pass can’t be shared or given to another person.
※You could purchase the pass at stations in Japan (instead of online) at an increased cost.
Note that you can’t use the automatic ticket gates with the pass.
Pass holders need to go through the manned gate and show the pass and passport.
The seat reservation is optional, but when you want to reserve a seat, you need to talk to staff at the station (You can’t reserve your seat using ticket machines).
When you are on train, you need to follow the manner.
To learn about it, check my another post: 13 things to avoid doing in Japan
Train system in Japan is great and once you know how to use it, you will feel very comfortable traveling in Japan.
I hope info here will be your help!
See you next time
※I’m a professional composer. My songs are available here: Skyhigh
Or, you can click on the band camp link below to listen.
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