Public Transports

MBA Japan

Public transport in Japan is probably the most competent in the world. Since the inauguration of the first Shinkansen (High speed trains) in 1964, the public transportation has been mostly defined by the bullet and commuter train; but for travelers spending more than two weeks in Japan, and looking foward to visit areas like the Japanese Alps or tour Hokkaido (Japan's northernmost island), a great way to travel around the far areas of the country is to combine train or plane services with several buses in Japan.

Trains never operate late and are never cancelled. Buses turn up to timetable and arrive when scheduled. Punctuality is the rule. Don't be surprised during rush hours if transportation employees on the platforms assist you by gently pushing everyone into the crowded trains so that the doors close.

Japan is a very clean city and the public transportation is not the exception. From taxis, with immaculate white seat covers and drivers wearing white gloves, to the famous shinkansen bullet trains, with deluxe seats and dining cars. Travel in Japan by public transportation is pleasant, safe, and competent.

Japan maps are essential for travel, and Just Maps Tool has plenty of detailed political, population, and transportation maps of national Japan, as well as local and major city maps. Looking for subway maps of Tokyo? has these maps of Japan and maps for any country or flag around the world.

Train Service


In Japan commuting has truly become as essential as destination. Today, Japan trains service is the fastest and most efficient way to travel between the most important cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. The Japan bullet train linking these four major cities is known as the Tokaido Shinkansen. Japanese trains reach speeds of over 300 km/h and spread to cover the majority of Honshu—Japan's middle, biggest and most crowded island. But the greatest quality of trains in Japan isn't their sheer speed, but their frequency. This means that you are never really late for a bullet train in Japan, just early for the next one in Japan.


In Tokyo, Osaka and some other big cities, buses serve as secondary means of public transportation, complementing the train and subway networks. The bus destination is publicized on the bus front. The routes and bus stops are different, depending on the bus company and bus route. For your convenience, it is better to bring change with you, to buy your ticket on the bus easily. There are the 2 basic types of bus costs: one set cost (one price) to cover all destinations, and a variable cost, depending on your destination. For students, it is cheaper to buy the student bus pass to commute to school.

Bus Service

Taxi Service


When you want to stop a taxi in the street, just hail it. In Japan, taxis are a costly and a little attractive choice compared to the efficient public transportation system in Japan's largest cities, at least during daytime and evenings. However, in smaller cities and the countryside, public transportation is often much less efficient than taking a taxi from the nearest train station to your final destination. Taxis range around 600 to 700 Yen. There are additional charges for taking a taxi in the early-morning and late-night hours. Also, if the taxi takes you on the highway, you will have to pay the highway toll separately (in addition to the taxi fare). Tipping is not necessary. Change will be returned by the taxi driver.


Because of heavy traffic and insufficiency of public parking space in big cities, and thanks to reliable public transportation systems throughout Japan, you will do well without an automobile in Japan. In order to buy a car, you must prove that you have a parking space (shako shomei). Parking space is very limited in big cities and renting one can be very costly. The required vehicle safety and maintenance inspection (shaken) (every 2 years) and insurance are also moderately costly. For your vacation trip on holidays, you may want to rent a car, but be prepared for narrow and crowded roads and driving on the left.

Motorcycles and bicycles are suitable means of transportation particularly for short commutes and recreation, especially in smaller cities where the traffic is not so heavy. Many Japanese people ride a bicycle to a nearby station for morning and evening commutes. Usually stations have designated bicycle parking areas for commuters who live beyond certain distance. A parking marker must be bought at a region office. Check with the office if you are eligible for a marker.

For a driver's license, it is best to get an international driver's license before you leave your country. Getting a license in Japan is a complicated, time-consuming process. Contact a prefectural driver's license testing center if you need to get a Japanese one.

Automobiles, Bicycles and Driver's License