Getting there: English-friendly Travel Options in Japan
Time and Cost Comparison (Nagoya to Hiroshima)
- ■Highway Bus – Overnight – takes 9h costs 8400 Yen
- ■Local Train with a JR seasonal discount ticket – 9.5 hours 2300 Yen
- ■Shinkansen Bullet Train – 2.5 hours 14,030 Yen
- ■Car – takes approx 6/7 hours – 10,500 Yen (2500 Yen on weekends
- using ETC – ”Electronic Toll Collection” card/system)
From Nagoya there are medium and long distance services to Nara, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, Tokyo, Yokohama, Niigata, Kanazawa, Nagano, Sendai, Okayama, Tottori, and many places in between. Nationwide over 1500 medium and long distance routes are available to choose from.
Compared to the train, the highway bus is more economical and great savings can be made on return fares, although it takes more time to arrive at your destination. Tickets usually go on sale one month before the departure date, and you will need a seat reservation.
The Nihon Bus Association 日本バス協会 runs an English site with a fully searchable route database and key advice that will make you want to ride the bus. Japan Bus Web – www.bus.or.jp/e/
Services From Nagoya
There are 27 highway bus routes served by the Meitetsu Bus Center (Nagoya Station Meitetsu Department Store)- including Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Niigata, and Nara. You can book these routes in person at the Meitetsu Bus Center 3F express bus service window 名鉄バスセンター3階高速窓口 – open daily 08:00 – 19:00 or call 052-582-0489.
You can also book online (in Japanese) at www.highwaybus.com
There are 17 routes served by the JR Tokai Highway Bus Station (1F located next to Takashimaya) – including Takayama, Osaka, Hiroshima, Tokyo, and Tokyo Disneyland. You can book these routes in person at the Nagoya Station Travel Center 名古屋駅（旅行センター) – open daily 05:50 – 23:30 or call 052-563-0489 (09:00 – 19:00).
You can also book online (in Japanese) at www.jrtbinm.co.jp
If you have a valid driving license (Japanese or International Driving Permit) and want to get away for a few days with friends or family it is extremely economical to hire a car.
For example you can rent a Honda Life or similar sized car for around 13,000 Yen for 48 hours or a Toyota Corolla or similar sized car for around 19,000 Yen for 48 hours.
From June, 2010 a new, simplified, expressway toll cap system will be introduced replacing both the current 1000 Yen cap on weekends & holidays and the various discounts available based on usage time.
So, drivers of standard passenger cars you will pay a maximum of 2000 Yen if they drive over 70km and drivers of compact cars (660cc or less) will pay a maximum of 1000 Yen if they drive over 40km. Similar caps will be in place for mid-size and large size vehicles.
The system will be applied to all vehicles, regardless of whether they are equipped with the electronic toll collection (ETC) system. However the new fare system will not apply to tolls on the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway and the Hanshin Expressway.
ETC is standard on virtually all rental cars, but you will need your own ETC card (See www.go-etc.jp/english/ for more information). See http://global.c-nexco.co.jp for the official English guide to expressways in Central Japan.
Also, depending upon the company and car selection, car navigation systems, child seats, carrying systems for skis/snow boards/bicycles are available for free or for a small fee.
There are several big name brands that offer rent a car services in English!
Nippon Rent-A-Car ニッポンレンタカー
- English Service Desk Tel:03-3485-7196. (09:00 – 17:00; closed on weekends & holidays)
Toyota Rent-a-car トヨタレンタカー
English Reservation CenterTel: 0800-7000-815 (Toll free)
- or 03-5954-8020 (Daily 08:00 – 20:00)
Budget Japan バジェットレンタカージャパン
- A Worldwide name in car rental Budget has an on-line reservation system in English and has several rental locations in and around the Nagoya area.
Mazda Car Rental Corporation マツダレンタカー
- Domestic and Overseas Reservation Center in EnglishTel: 0120-08-5656
- (09:00 – 17:30; weekdays only)
- Website: http://www.mazda-rentacar.co.jp
(follow link on the right-hand side)
★JR Seasonal Discount Ticket
JR offers a seasonal discount ticket called the Sei-shun-ju-hachi-kippu (青春18きっぷ).
It is the one of the most cost effective types of travel ticket in Japan. It is available from JR Station service windows. The ticket costs 11,500 Yen and is good for any five days, consecutive or not, during the advertised travel period. It is good for 1 person to travel on 5 separate days, 5 people to travel together on the same day or any type of combination between.
It cannot be used on express, limited express, and the shinkansen unless you pay an additional express fare.
For full information see here…
Train Times in English
Hyperdia (www.hyperdia.com) offers an online timetable, route, and fare finder for all train and subway lines in Japan in ENGLISH!
★Nationwide English Walking Tours
The Japan Guide Association offers walking tours for international visitors to Japan. Tours are organized by certified professional guides who have vast experience in introducing you to various aspects of Japan – its history, culture, and places of interest. You can leave behind the crowds and discover the hidden charm of Japan!
The Japan Guide Association offers walking tours in English of Kyoto – with the famous Johnnie Hillwalker (Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays 5-hour tour – 2000 Yen), Nara (daily 3-hour tour – 2000 Yen), Kobe (by reservation 4-hour tour 12,000 per mini-group), Kanazawa (by reservation 6-hour tour – 4000 Yen), Nagano (daily 3-hour tour – 3000 Yen), Kamakura (by reservation 3-hour tour – 2500 Yen).
There are also numerous English walking tours of Tokyo that take in Ginza, Yoyogi & Harajuku, Akihabara, and Edo Castle; times and prices vary. Full details can be found at www.jga-walkingtours.jp
(Info: ”Nagoya International Center” )
Jalur ”Shinkansen” (Bullet Train) di Jepang
”Shinkansen” (Bullet Train) sedang melaju