Japan community

First time in Japan

13 days ago

I'll be traveling to Japan for the first time in April/May. I've come to the conclusion that I don't really need a rail pass for the bullet train since i'll be traveling by car for my first week [Osaka & Kyoto]. As for my second week, I'll be in Tokyo, but I was wondering do I still need to buy tickets in advance to use the local trains? I'll also be in Japan from 4/28-5/9, if anyone wants to meet up and explore. I'll be with friends, but it'll nice to meet other travelers as well.

7 replies
Australia
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13 days ago

Why will you be travelling by car? The last thing you want in Osaka or Kyoto is a car - lots of traffic, difficult to find parking etc. Why not use public transport like everybody else?

No need to buy tickets at all for local travel (unless it requires a seat reservation, which local trains don't). For local trains, buses, subway etc in Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, just use a prepaid IC card (ICOCA if you arrive at Kansai Airport, Suica or Pasmo if you're arriving in Tokyo). Also use it at convenience stores, cafes, some restaurants, supermarkets, vending machines, left luggage lockers. No need to buy tickets at all for local travel.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

United States of America
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13 days ago

My friend that I’m staying with has a car & prefers to drive while I’m there. But thank you! I’ll be flying into Itami Airport. Does it matter what prepaid card I get for there?

Australia
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12 days ago

In the Kansai Region (Kyoto / Osaka), ICOCA is your only choice ..... though if you have an iPhone 8 or later, you can load a virtual Suica in Apple Wallet and top it up with any card you have in Apple Pay.

Australia
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13 days ago

Hi Tiana, you definitely do not have to pre book local trains. It can get a little busy during peek periods, but they means you just may have to stand, or wait for the next train. The same goes for the Shinkansen.
Hope that helps!

United States of America
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13 days ago

Thank you so much! I don’t mind waiting, if necessary.

Indonesia
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12 days ago

Hi tiana, we just visit japan last week. We did't buy a prepaid card. Buy ICOCA or SUICA will be better if you want a simple way. We bought directly from the machine because we arrived fr Osaka and departed fr Tokyo. You can use ICOCA all over japan, but can only redeem in OSAKA. Use the public transportation is the best way to travel around japan. If you Think Shinkansen fare is too much expensive you can take a bus.

Spain
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12 days ago

Hi.
At Bic Camera shops you can take out your subway card for 72 hours for only 15 yen without travel limit.Tokyo has about 13 subway lines. You must show your passport for card purchase