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Transportation Expenses In Japan: Cost Of Trains, Buses, Taxis, And Rental Cars

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Transportation costs can be significant when traveling around Japan. Learn the transportation fares for the airport to the city, for riding Shinkansen, trains, subways, buses, and rental cars. This article also includes tips on budgeting when seeing the major sights.

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Traveling and Transportation Costs in Japan

transportation in japan

Photo by Pixta
When traveling around Japan, most visitors use public transportation, such as trains, the Shinkansen (bullet train), and buses.

If you don't want to worry about transportation expenses during your trip, we recommend getting the Japan Rail Pass, but it's also convenient to know how much transportation fares are in Japan.

Let's have a look at some transportation fares needed for one day of travel.

Cost of Transportation from the Airport to Tokyo

When traveling from Narita Airport to the Tokyo city area, the Narita Express or Keisei Skyliner are convenient.

Standard seat and transportation fares for the Narita Express from Narita Airport to major stations in Tokyo are: 3,070 yen to Tokyo Station, and 3,250 yen to Shinjuku Station and Shinagawa Station.

The Narita Express is included in the Japan Rail Pass as well, so this is an ideal option for pass holders.

Another option for traveling from Narita to Tokyo is the Keisei Skyliner. This train arrives at either Ueno or Nippo station in less than one hour. It is especially convenient for those heading to eastern Tokyo. A one-way ticket costs 2,520 yen.

Tokyo Sightseeing Transportation Costs

If you're staying the night in Tokyo to sightsee, you will need about 1,000-2,000 yen a day for transportation. There are multiple helpful discount tickets that you can make use of to save yen on traveling, however.

One example is the Tokyo Subway Ticket, offered exclusively for those with a non-Japanese passport. Available in 24-, 48-, and 72-hour increments, this ticket allows holders unlimited rides on all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines. It costs between 800 and 1,500 yen (depending on the length) and can be purchased at major train stations. It is also convenient to reserve online via Klook.

If you're traveling by JR, the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokunai Pass) offers unlimited rides within the 23 wards of Tokyo for one day. It costs 760 yen for adults and 380 yen for children. Purchase it at major JR train stations, Midori no Madoguchi stores, and JR EAST Travel Service Centers.

Kyoto Sightseeing Transportation Costs

Transportation Expenses In Japan: Cost Of Trains, Buses, Taxis, And Rental Cars

 If you're traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto, the Shinkansen is convenient. A one-way ticket costs 14,170 yen (normal reserved seat) departing from Tokyo and Shinagawa stations. You can purchase bullet train tickets in advance online.
When you're traveling around Kyoto, you'll be using about 1,000-2,000 yen per day on traveling via bus, train, and subway. There are also discount transit passes that allow you to save yen, like the Kyoto One-Day pass (900 yen adults, 450 yen children).

Tokyo Bus Fares

Transportation Expenses In Japan: Cost Of Trains, Buses, Taxis, And Rental Cars

 Buses in the 23 wards of Tokyo have a flat fare of 210 yen for adults and 110 yen for children. In areas other than the 23 wards of Tokyo, such as Kyoto, Osaka, and other regions, bus fares will change depending on how far you're riding, but you will usually end up paying around 200 yen.

Taxi Fares in Japan

Transportation Expenses In Japan: Cost Of Trains, Buses, Taxis, And Rental Cars

The base fare for taxis in the 23 wards of Tokyo around 710 yen (up to 1 kilometer). In other regions, the base fare is usually around 700 yen (up to 2 kilometers).

For example, if you ride a taxi from Shibuya Station to Shinjuku Station, it will cost you about 1,500 yen.

You can use several taxi-calling apps, which make it easy to know how much you'll be paying for a taxi.

Cost of Renting a Car in Japan

Transportation Expenses In Japan: Cost Of Trains, Buses, And Taxis

Picture from Renting A Car In Japan - Guide To Rental Costs, Licenses, And Driving

Renting a car while in Japan is an excellent option for those with a valid international driver's permit. Renting a car will cost around 10,000 yen or slightly more, depending on your location and the model of the car you rent. We suggest viewing prices of major Japanese rental car companies via Tabirai Japan, which allows you to compare before reserving your ride.

Driving gives travelers in Japan much more freedom and is highly recommended. A road trip in Japan will reveal another side of the country, often less crowded (if you head into the countryside). Be sure to factor in extra costs for fuel (around 150 yen/liter) and travel expressways, which are usually toll roads. (Expressways link each region of Japan, so those taking a road trip will likely have to ride on one.)

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All pictures from PIXTA

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Previous experience as an editor at a women's media company in Japan. I lived in Australia for a while and joined MATCHA after returning to Japan. In charge of editing, promoting sponsored content, and creative direction. I love watching Western TV series.
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