Guide to Japanese Train Tickets

Below is a list of the various railway tickets available in Japan:

Regular Train Tickets

Regular tickets simply get you from A to B. Our page about regular train tickets provides an introduction to the various fares and fees, such as the base fare and limited express fee, and the rules for using tickets. Read more...

IC Cards

IC cards are prepaid rechargeable stored value cards that can be used to pay the fare for trains and buses. There are ten major IC cards, including Suica and Icoca, that are interchangeably usable in most major cities in Japan. Furthermore, there are several minor IC cards whose usability is limited to local areas. IC cards can also be used for making purchases at an increasing number of shops and restaurants. Read more...

Rail Passes

Rail passes entitle their holders to unlimited usage of trains in a designated area. There is a variety of nationwide and regional rail passes available in Japan. The best of them all is the Japan Rail Pass, but other rail passes can be more suitable, depending on your itinerary. View a list of rail passes...

City Passes

Passes for unlimited city travel on subways, trams, trains and buses on one calendar day and similar tickets are offered in many cities across Japan. Take a look at the "special ticket" section at the bottom of the following city pages:

Tokyo Osaka
Kyoto Kobe

Tour Packages

Tour packages combine transportation and accommodation at big discounts to individual or group travelers. They are offered by travel agencies inside and outside of Japan, including the railway companies themselves. Much of the information, however, is available in Japanese only.

Discount Ticket Shops

Discount ticket shops purchase large amounts of discounted tickets and re-sell them to individual shoppers at prices which are typically around five percent below the cost of regular tickets. Discount ticket shops can be found around major railway stations in large cities.

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Page last updated: October 20, 2013