Saturday, 15 August 2015

How To Ride A Train In Japan For Free

The train is the best way to travel in Japan. If you’re a child aged 0 to 5 you can travel free, children aged 6 to 11 travel at half fare. If you’re an adult you may get offered a free ticket from someone who is done with his or her all day pass. I would always give away my all day pass to someone when I had reached my final destination for the day. All day passes are a great option when in Osaka and Tokyo.

Osaka Unlimited All Day Train Pass

The Osaka subways have an unlimited 1-day pass available for 800 yen/day, buy it at the ticket vending machines in any subway station. Tokyo has an unlimited all day Tokyo Metro pass which costs Adult: 600 yen and Child: 360 yen available only for tourists, and it must be purchased from terminal 1 or 2 at Narita airport. Otherwise it costs Adult: 710 yen, Child: 360 yen. It can be bought at the ticket office at any station on the Tokyo Metro Line. The other Tokyo subway company is called the Toei line. It has all day passes for Adult: 700 yen, Child: 350 yen. These two passes can be combined and bought for Adult: 1000 yen, Child: 500 yen. This will give you unlimited rides for one day on all subway lines in Tokyo. There are also welcome tickets from Haneda airport that offer a ride from the airport and a 1,2 or 3 day pass on all Tokyo subway lines.

Umeda Station Midosuji Line Osaka Japan
Umeda Station Midosuji Line Osaka Japan


Kansai Thru Pass

There are also discount train tickets for tourist to travel around Osaka. The best pass to buy is the Kansai Thru Pass, which costs 4000 yen for 2days or 5200 yen for 3days. This pass allows you unlimited rides on buses , train lines, subways, not including JR though, throughout the Kansai area. It even includes discounts on some tourist attractions. They can be bought in Japan from Osaka city visitors information center (Shin Osaka, Umeda, Namba, Tennoji), Kansai Airport (Travel Conuter), Itami Airport (information), Kyoto Station information center, Nara city sightseeing information center, and main Hotels in Kansai. Your passport will be required. Other Osaka travel passes can be found at:

Waiting For Train Umeda Station Midosuji Line Osaka Japan
Waiting For Train Umeda Station Midosuji Line Osaka Japan


Tokyo Grutto Pass

In Tokyo a similar pass is the Grutto Pass. This is a ticket combining two Tokyo Metro 1 day passes and a discount coupon book that contains free entry or discount tickets to 78 places of interest, including museums,art galleries, zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens around Tokyo. This tourist coupon book is usable for 2 months after the first use.

Sightseeing For 120 Yen In Japan

Major cities, especially Osaka and Tokyo, have massive rail systems that move millions of people a day. These transport networks include a loop line around the inner city center and other lines coming into the central stations from the suburbs, and a subway system that crosses in all directions all over the city. The Osaka JR (Japan Rail) loop line is a fun sight seeing adventure that costs almost nothing. Buy the cheapest ticket for 120 yen, which will take you to the next station, but don’t get off. Continue to ride the loop line all the way around. It’s all above ground, so there are lots of sights to see. Make sure you don’t get off at the station you started at. Exit one station from your destination, as the ticket won’t allow you to exit the station that you bought it at. Tokyo also has an interesting loop line to ride. Most train station names are posted in Kanji and English and also the names of the preceding and following stations.

Umeda JR Station Osaka Japan
Umeda JR Station Osaka Japan

How To Ride The Subway In Japan

Subway lines operate in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Yokohama. They are the fastest and most convenient way to get around the city. For subways and local trains, you have to buy your ticket from a machine. They're easy to understand, they even have English instructions and a map explaining the routes and the cost to travel to each station on the map. From this you can find out what your fare should be. If you can't work out how much the fare should be, simply buy the lowest price ticket, usually 120 yen. When you reach your destination, go to the ticket-adjustment machine, insert your ticket and it will tell you how much more you have to pay. If you can’t find the fare adjustment machine ask at the staffed counter at the exit gate and pay the difference.

How to Ride The Train For Free In Japan

If you wish to ride anywhere for 120 yen, buy a ticket for 120 yen, and when you reach your destination tell the staff at the ticket office that you have lost your ticket. If it’s a small station with only one staff member, sometimes they will let you exit the station without paying anything. Otherwise they will ask you where you came from. Make sure you know the name of the closest station to your destination, and then they will ask you to pay for another ticket, which should only cost you 120 yen. If you have traveled far between cities it could save you 2000 to 4000 yen or even more! For example its possible to travel from Kansai Airport to Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Shiga, Wakayama, Himeji or even as far as Okayama on the JR train line without ever exiting the station and paying for another ticket except your initial 120 yen investment. I don’t recommend doing this regularly, as they have cameras at the stations, and will keep a photo of you in case you re offend. This is for emergencies when you have nearly run out of money, or lost your money and need to reach your destination far from where you are. Please try to leave Japan a better place than you found it. Most people in Japan abide by the law, and so should you if you wish to have good fortune and a great holiday.

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