Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
Japanese-English Translator from OC California.
Transportation expenses are a large part of your budget when traveling. In this article, we share information on fares for means of transportation for sightseeing, such as trains, buses, taxis, and rickshaws.
When traveling Japan, most visitors will be using 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 if your trip is less than 7 days long, it's convenient to know just about how much transportation fares are in Japan.
Let's have a look at some transportation fares needed for a day of travel.
When traveling from Narita Airport to the Tokyo city area, the Narita Express is convenient.
Fares for the Narita Express from Narita Airport to major stations in Tokyo are as follows.
・Tokyo Station: 3020 yen (standard)
・Shinjuku Station: 3190 yen (standard)
・Shinagawa Station: 3190 yen (standard)
You can use the Japan Rail Pass to ride the Narita Express as well. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, don't forget to make use of it.
Tokyo Sightseeing Transportation Costs
The base fare for train lines in Tokyo are as follows.
・JR East Japan: 130 yen
・Tokyo Metro: 160 yen
If you're staying the night in Tokyo to sightsee, you should need about 1000-2000 yen a day for transportation.
If you're traveling by JR, the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (Tokunai Pass) offers unlimited rides within the 23 wards of Tokyo. The prices are as follows.
・Adult 1 Day: 750 yen
・Child 1 Day: 370 yen
If you're traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto, the Shinkansen is convenient. Unreserved seat fares are as follows.
・Tokyo and Shinagawa Station: 13,080 yen
If you want a reserved seat, you will have to pay extra the following.
・Low season: 530 yen
・Normal season: 870 yen
・Busy season: 1210 yen
Mind that the fares may differ depending on the season.
The base fare for transportation in Kyoto is as follows.
・JR West Japan: 120 yen
・Kyoto Municipal Subway: 210 yen
When you're traveling around Kyoto, you'll be using about 1000-2000 yen per day as well, but if you're planning on visiting tourist spots like Arashiyama and Higashiyama which are a little ways from the city center, you might want to have an extra 2000 yen or so on hand.
Buses in the 23 wards of Tokyo have a flat fare of 210 yen. If you use an IC card, like a Suica, the fare will be just a little bit cheaper.
・Adult: 210 yen (IC 206 yen)
・Child: 110 yen (IC 103 yen)
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.
The base fare for taxis in the 23 wards of Tokyo is 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 1500 yen.
A rickshaw (jinrikisha) is a manpowered car that was invented in Japan during the Meiji period. It's currently used as a sightseeing vehicle.
You'll find rickshaws in the famous sightseeing spots around Japan such as Asakusa in Tokyo, Kamakura in Kanagawa, Arashiyama in Kyoto, and Yufuin in Oita.
Two people can ride a rickshaw at once. The fare is around 3000-8000 yen per person, and is subject to change depending on the distance and course you ride.
Rickshaws will take you on a tour around your desired tourist spots, and sometimes the driving staff will explain the history and origins of the attractions. There are staff who speak other languages, for example English or Chinese, in the popular areas.
If you want to take your time touring the area, a rickshaw would be a great choice.
For more information about how much money you might need when traveling Japan, check out this article as well: "Water, Food, Medicine, Clothes: A Tourist’s Price Guide".