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Affordable Japan

Travel Tips

One-Day Tickets for One-Day Trips

Public transportation is available in both cities and suburbs. Visitors who expect to change trains many times per day often purchase a "one-day ticket" or other discount tickets.

In cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Sapporo, the subway networks facilitate travel enormously. The subway in Tokyo has 13 lines of Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. Each line has its own color and alphabetic category for ease of identification. (e.g. Tokyo Metro Ginza Line: Orange: G). Each station is also numbered, and stations have signs to help travelers who need to change trains. A ticket for one zone costs 170 yen for Tokyo Metro and 180 yen for Toei Subway, so it is worth buying a one-day ticket for 1,000 yen, if you plan on taking several trains 7 or more times in one day or taking long-distance rides that cost over 1,000 yen. not be any longer than 7 km, enabling you to enjoy a very pleasant walk. In the Palace Garden, you will see various historic spots associated with the Edo Castle, and deep greens make you forget you are in the midst of a city. The Palace is surrounded by a moat of rich water. You will be amazed at the spaciousness and cleanliness of Higashi Gyoen (East Park) and Kitanomaru-koen Park. Both are open to the public and admission is free. It usually takes well over an hour to walk through Higashi Gyoen, but the quiet and beauty makes it well worth doing.

While the subway has a good networking, the JR trains are more convenient for traveling to the main spots in Tokyo such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno and Akihabara along the Yamanote or Chuo Lines. JR also offers "Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass" for 750 yen. The minimum JR fare costs 140 yen, so this pass is worth buying if visitors are planning to change trains 6 times or more, or if they want to save time by not having to check fares or purchase new tickets each time they take or change trains. "Tokyo Round Tour Ticket" costs 1,590 yen, and is valid not only for JR trains, but also for subways, metropolitan buses and trains. "Holiday Odekake Pass", at 2,670 yen, is good for traveling to the Tokyo suburbs within a 70 km distance on weekends and holidays.

Smooth Rides, Making Stops at Everywhere You Want

Visitors who want to travel extensively between towns and view all the scenery they can would do well to rent a bicycle. Bike rentals are available not only in sightseeing spots, but also in big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka. In Kyoto, bike rentals are especially popular, as there are many must-see locations for visitors to drop by. Of course, visitors run a risk of becoming lost when biking, but that is part and parcel of the adventure and enjoyment of a journey.

Mr. Xavier Solsona Balasch, from Girona, Spain, enjoyed his travel in Tokyo and Kyoto by renting a bike. He said, "In Tokyo, it took less than 30 minutes from Asakusa to Akihabara or Ueno. I also went to Roppongi by bike after dropping by Ginza and Shio-Site (Shiodome). Of course, I sometimes got lost in the towns I have never been before, but I was not in a hurry anyway. I enjoyed my three days so much, without worrying about returning the bike each day, and it was so cheap."

Excellent Effectiveness and Affordability of Night Buses

While visitors normally take the Shinkansen Line for travel to Kyoto or Osaka from Tokyo, a highway bus is another choice for comfortable transportation at a reasonable price. These buses often leave at midnight and arrive at their destinations early in the morning, so visitors can make use of their time effectively and gets an early start to their sightseeing. It costs only 5,000 yen for a one-way ticket between Tokyo and Osaka, as compared with the 14,450 yen needed for the Shinkansen Line ("Nozomi", non-reserved).

In addition to the route above, there is a great highway bus network throughout Japan. These night buses are good for traveling north and west from Tokyo, and to the Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu regions from Osaka. There are also buses that operate during the day; however, they are more likely to be caught in traffic jams. Midnight buses typically operate on schedule.

Enjoying Ginza by Bicycle

Visitors can also rent a bicycle at the MUJI shop in Yurakucho, which is close to Ginza.

The rental fee is 500 yen per day for weekday, or 1,000 yen for weekend and holiday.(tax excluded) To rent a bike, visitors need to show their passports and leave a 3,000-yen deposit, which is refunded when the bike is returned. Times for bike rental are between 10:00 and 20:00 (admission by 18:00).
One-way Fares and Travel Hours for Main Night Buses

Tokyo - Aomori 10,500 yen-, 9hrs 30min
* 18,380 yen for the Tohoku Shinkansen Line (From Tokyo to Shin-Aomori Station)

Tokyo - Sendai 6,500 yen-, 5hrs 45min
* 11,200 yen for the Tohoku Shinkansen Line

Tokyo - Kanazawa 8,050 yen-, 7hrs 45min
Tokyo - Nagoya 5,250 yen-, 6hrs
* 11,000 yen for the Tokaido Shinkansen Line

Tokyo - Hiroshima 11,900 yen-, 12hrs
* 19,000 yen for the Sanyo Shinkansen Line

Tokyo - Takamatsu 10,800 yen-, 10hrs 30min

Kyoto - Matsue 5,560 yen-, 5hrs 50min

Osaka - Hiroshima 5,150 yen-, 6hrs 15min
* 10,440 yen for the Sanyo Shinkansen Line

The "Toei and Tokyo Metro One-Day Pass" Saves Money

From Shinjuku, visitors can enjoy the following towns in a day while saving money:

Shinjuku > 200 yen > Ginza (on foot) Hibiya > 170 yen > Shiba-koen > 260 yen > Asakusa > 170 yen > Ueno > 170 yen > Akihabara > 200 yen > Roppongi > 210 yen > Shinjuku (total: 1,380 yen)

Using the "Toei and Tokyo Metro One-Day Pass," visitors pay only 1,000 yen.
Kyoto One-Day Tickets

One- or two-day tickets for Kyoto sightseeing (city bus, Kyoto Subway and Bus <except in some areas>)
1,200 yen <one-day> 2,000 yen <two-day>

* A one-day card valid only for city buses is also available for 500 yen. The standard fare is 220 yen, so it is worth buying if you plan on taking 3 rides or more in a day.
JR Discount Tickets for Metropolitan Middle Distance Rides

Holiday Odekake Pass:
One-day ticket valid on weekends and holidays in the Tokyo metropolitan area
2,670 yen
Sightseeing spots within 70 km from Tokyo include Lake Sagami-ko (Chuo Line), Sawai (Oume Line), Furukawa (Tohoku Line), Tsuchiura (Joban Line), Narita (Narita Line), and Oami (Sotobo Line). This ticket is not valid for the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.

Sample Course: Tokyo - (rapid express) - Oume - (rapid express) - Tachikawa - (ordinary train) - Yokohama - (ordinary train) - Kamakura - (rapid express) - Tokyo

When using ordinary trains, fares will be as follows:

Tokyo to Oume: 920 yen
Oume to Kamakura: 1,420 yen
Kamakura to Tokyo: 920 yen
Total: 3,260 yen

By using a Holiday Odekake Pass, visitors save 590 yen.
Cycling around the Imperial Palace, the Middle of Tokyo

Available only on Sundays, "Palace Cycling" offers free bicycle rentals for cycling around the palace. There are 250 bikes, including tandem bikes, for rent in order to cycle the approximately 3 km round trip between the Iwaida-bashi Bridge and the Hirakawa-mon Gate.

Place to rent: The Information Center next to the Imperial Security Police Station (the nearest station: Nijubashi-mae Station, a 15 minute-walk from the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station)