Transportation Tickets (Bus/Train)

 

Often, Japan offers value public transport tickets to foreign tourists. They can amount to great cost savings, especially in this country where transport cost is very high. Check out the value tickets below if you're travelling using the public transport.

Japan Rail Pass

For use throughout Japan

JR Pass
If you would like to travel many parts of Japan in your one (and long) trip, the JR Pass can help you save on transportation fee.


You can enjoy free JR train rides, including Shinkansen and Rapid Express.  The prices are as below:
7-day Pass: ¥29,100 
14-day: ¥46,390 
21-days: ¥59,350


But if you travel only Tokyo and Kyoto (which many travellers do), it's better to buy just return ticket of Shinkansen (¥14,140)

More information can be found on http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html

Japan Rail Pass for one area

For use in one area

If you need JR pass for just one area (for example, Hokkaido), you can buy JR Pass Hokkaido. In Tokyo and Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe), while there are many private railways), but JR is the only inter-area railway.

Hokkaido
http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/railpass/rail.html
East Japan (Tohoku, Kanto) 
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass/
Kanto (near Tokyo)
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/kantoareapass/
Kansai (near Osaka)
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/pass/kansai/
Sanyo (near Hiroshima)
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/pass/sanyo/
Shikoku
http://www.tourismshikoku.org/index.php?cID=354#Main
Kyushu
https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/railpass.html

Icoca & Haruka

For use within Kansai

If you travel Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara) from Kansai International airport, then you (ONLY FOREIGNERS) can buy the 'Icoca &Haruka' card. This combination ticket of Haruka (Rapid Express train from Kansai International Airport to cities), and Icoca (E-money for subway and convenient stores).

 

If you travel Kyoto with this card, you can save a lot on transport.

https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/travel-information/pass/icoca-haruka/

Kansai Thru Pass

For use within Kansai

Kodama Shinkansen

Discounted Shinkansen Ticket

Did you know that it's possible to buy a Shinkansen ticket with a good discount?

 

Offered by Platt Kodama, you can purchase a one-way ticket to take Kodama Shinkasen and save about ¥4,000 for one way ticket. And if you'd like to upgrade to a green seat (business class seat in Shinkansen), simply top up an additional ¥1,500.


However, note that the downsides of this plan are: 

1) Kodama Shinkansen stops at many stations between Tokyo and Osaka, so the journey takes around 4 hrs.

2) You need to purchase your ticket at least one day in advance.

Nonetheless, it's nice to have a relaxing time in business class by good discount :)

 

http://www.jrtours.co.jp/kodama/en/

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SIM Card

 

If you need access to data while travelling, there are some realiable SIM cards which you can purchase upon reaching Japan.

B mobile Visitor's SIM

For use throughout Japan

B mobile has 2 types of SIM card:

1)  1GB prepaid
2)  14-day prepaid

The first one is faster but limited to 1GB of data. The second one is slower and no data limit.


Most people don't use more than 1GB, so we recommend the first one, unless you are a heavy user.

Please note that you need to book this SIM in advance (before you reach Japan). And you can collect it at your preferred place, like the airport or your hotel in Japan.

 

For details, visit http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/english/product.html

So-net prepaid LTE SIM

For use throughout Japan

If you suddenly need SIM but haven't booked B mobile visitor's SIM, you can also buy SIM from So-net.

 

It's available in some places in big cities and comes in two types: ¥3,000 (S$30) for 100 megabytes and ¥5,000 (S$50) for 500MB. The cards are good for 30 days and 60 days, respectively.


And it's possible to charge SIM later if you need more data .


For details, please visit http://www.so-net.ne.jp/prepaid/en/index.html#plan

NTT Communications - Prepaid SIM for Japan

For use throughout Japan

If you want to access online anytime in Japan, Prepaid SIM by NTT is best.

NTT is the biggest telco in Japan and their network covers most parts of Japan.

 

You can order the SIM card in Singapore and receive it at your hotel in Japan!

The price for a 7-day SIM card is ¥3,218 (S$35) and ¥3,780 for 14 days, including tax and shipping fee. This is probably the cheapest in Japan.

 

For details, visit http://prepaidsim.jp/

 

 

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Travel Books & Websites

Before you embark on your travel, do check out these useful books and websites to make your trip a more fruitful one.

Weekly Mansion

An online booking website for apartments

If you would stay in one city in Japan for more than 1 week and want to save cost for accommodation, how about staying in a "weekly apartment"?

 

You can stay in a condominium in a residential area at a very reasonable price! And the good point is that you can feel like you're living in Japan as a local!

 

However, you need to book the apartment in Japanese and visit a real estate agent to receive the key. This service is essentially for Japanese speakers, but some of our students (even those in basic class) could book!

 

For details, click here.

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Others

Takeout Coffee

Coffee at Convenience Store

Have you ever tried takeout coffee at convenience stores (konbini) in Japan?


Each of the main konbini chains such as Seven-eleven, Family Mart, Ministop, Lawson and Circle K Sunkus, boasts that they have the best coffee and it is reasonably-priced at around 100 yen (1.30SGD) per cup! The coffee is freshly brewed on the spot and takes only about 15 seconds. It may not be the very best but at this price, you will be quite surprised and satisfied with the quality!

So the next time you want a cup of coffee in Japan, please give takeout coffee a try and find your favorite konbini coffee!

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