The railway system in Japan has a high reputation for punctuality and safety.
Tickets for short distances are available from ticket machines that are installed at each train station whereas tickets for long distances and reservations are dealt with at ticket offices at major stations.
To use the train, first purchase a ticket at a vending machine or ticket window. After buying the ticket, you can proceed through the ticket gate. Insert the ticket into the slot, walk through the gate and pick up the ticket on the other side. If you insert an invalid ticket, the gate will close and an alarm will sound. Please keep the ticket since it must be returned at your destination. Most stations display station names in both Japanese and alphabet lettering on platform signboards. The name of the station is in large letters in the center of the sign; names of adjacent stations appear below or to either side.
For a visitor, JR’s Japan Rail Pass offers exellent value and convenience. The Rail Pass is available only to sightseeing visitors and must be bought outside of Japan. (*It will be possible to purchase the Japan Rail Pass at a premium rate within Japan from March 8, 2017.) It gives the bearer unlimited travel on JR lines and affiliated buses and ferries.
( The pass cannot be used on the super express named “Nozomi”. )