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Rail Travel

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Traveling by rail is one of the best ways to see Japan. There is an extensive rail network throughout the country which allows convenient access to almost any sight-seeing destination. A large portion of Japan's rail network is operated by Japan Railways (JR). For more information on rail travel in Japan, please visit the JR web site . Japan Rail Pass
The Japan Rail Pass is a special ticket that is available only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing. To be eligible to purchase a Japan Rail Pass you must meet one of the following two conditions.

  1. You are a foreign tourist visiting Japan from abroad for sight-seeing,under the entry status of "temporary visitor."
  2. You are a Japanese national living in a foreign country,
    a. who is qualified to live permanently in that country, or
    b. who is married to a non-Japanese residing in a country other than Japan.
  • Note: "Temporary Visitor" entry status, according to Japanese Immigration Law, allows a stay in Japan of 15 days or 90 days for "sight-seeing, etc." If you apply for a "stay for sight-seeing" when you enter Japan, entry personnel will stamp your passport as "Temporary Visitor," as shown below. Only persons who have a passport bearing this stamp can use a Japan Rail Pass.

Japan Rail Pass types and Prices
There are two types of Japan Rail Pass: Green (for superior-class Green cars), and Ordinary. Each of these types is available as a 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day Pass.

Type: Green Ordinary
Duration Adult Child Adult Child
7-day 37,800 YEN 18,900 YEN 28,300 YEN 14,150 YEN
14-day 61,200 YEN 30,600 YEN 45,100 YEN 22,550 YEN
21-day 79,600 YEN 39,800 YEN 57,700YEN 28,850 YEN

Edit by: Ryan


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Air Canada US tel 1-800/776-3000, www.aircanada.ca Daily nonstop to Osaka's Kansai airport from Vancouver, with connections possible from Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary.

Air France US tel 1-800/237-2747, Canada tel 1-800/667-2747, www.airfrance.com Flights from several US cities, as well as Montréal and Toronto, to Narita via Paris.

Air New Zealand US tel 1-800/262-1234, Canada tel 1-800/563-5494, www.airnewzeland.com Flights to Narita and Kansai twice weekly via Sydney.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) tel 1-800/235-9262, www.allnipponairways.com Daily nonstop flights to Narita from New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC.

American Airlines tel 1-800/433-7300, www.americanairlines.com Nonstop flights from San José to Narita six times weekly. Daily nonstops to Narita from Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Seattle.

Asiana Airlines tel 1-800/227-4262, www.flyasiana.com Flights from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle - all via Seoul - to Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kansai, Nagoya, Narita, Okinawa and Sendai.

British Airways US tel 1-800/247-9297, Canada tel 1-800/668-1059, www.britishairways.com Flights to Tokyo's Narita airport from several US and Canadian cities, via London. Best value of the routes via Europe.

Cathay Pacific tel 1-800/233-2742, www.cathaypacific.com Daily flights from New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Fukuoka, Kansai, Nagoya, Narita and Sapporo, all with stopovers. Also sells the good-value All Asia Pass ($999-1399), valid for a round-trip flight to any Asian city they serve from North America.

Continental Airlines tel 1-800/231-0856, www.continental.com Daily East and West Coast flights to Fukuoka, Kansai, Nagoya, Narita, Sapporo and Sendai via Honolulu and Guam.

Delta Airlines tel 1-800/241-4141, www.delta.com Daily non-stop flights to Nagoya and Narita from Portland, Oregon, with connections across the US.

Japan Airlines (JAL) tel 1-800/525-3663, www.japanairlines.com Daily nonstop flights to Narita from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as nonstop flights to Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya from Los Angeles. Departures to Tokyo and Nagoya from Vancouver five times a week.

Korean Airlines tel 1-800/438-5000, www.koreanair.com Daily nonstop flights to Narita from Los Angeles. Flights to Narita via Seoul from New York and San Francisco (daily), Chicago (5 weekly), Atlanta and Boston (3 weekly).

Malaysia Airlines tel 1-800/552-9264, www.malaysiaaurkubes.com Non-stop flights to Tokyo from Los Angeles three times weekly, flights to Osaka's Kansai airport and Nagoya from Los Angeles via Kuala Lumpur three times weekly.

Northwest Airlines tel 1-800/447-4747, www.nwa.com Daily nonstop flights to Narita and Osaka's Kansai airport from Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, with extensive connections from other American cities.

Singapore Airlines tel 1-800/742-3333, www.singaporeair.com Daily nonstop flights to Narita from Los Angeles.

Swissair tel 1-800/221-4750, www.swissair.com Expensive flights to Osaka, Sapporo, Nagoya, via Zürich or Geneva five times weekly.

United Airlines tel 1-800/241-6522, www.united.com Daily nonstop flights to Osaka's Kansai airport and Narita from Los Angeles and San Francisco, with numerous connections from other American cities.

Edit by: DougW
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