TRANSPORTATION

Air Rail Road Sea

AIR

DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM CANADA TO JAPAN

Air Canada runs direct flights to Tokyo from Vancouver and Toronto.  In addition, Japan Airlines (JAL) runs direct flights to Tokyo from Vancouver.* 
The direct flight time between Toronto and Tokyo is 13 to 14 hours.  The direct flight time between Vancouver and Tokyo is about 9 hours.

For more information:

Air Canada Japan Airlines
www.aircanada.com/ www.ar.jal.com/en/
1-888-247-2262 1-800-JAL-FONE (1-800-525-3663)

*This information is accurate at the time of writing, however please be sure to check with the airline directly to confirm flight information.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

In order to book domestic flights in Japan, you can reserve through your travel agent or contact the airline directly. For more information, including flight schedules, please contact the airlines directly:

Japan Airlines All Nippon Airways
www.ar.jal.com/en/ www.ana.co.jp/asw/wws/us/e/
1-800-JAL-FONE (1-800-525-3663) 1-800-2FLY ANA (1-800-235-9262)

AIRPORT INFORMATION

There are over 80 airports in Japan. Currently direct flights from Canada fly to Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport, Tokyo. These airports have tourist information centres and currency exchange counters. International ATM machines are available if you need to withdraw Japanese yen using debit cards.

Major Airports in Japan

Region Prefecture Airport Distance Directions
Hokkaido Hokkaido New Chitose Airport Approximately 50 km from downtown Sapporo www.new-chitose-airport.jp/
en/access/
Hakodate Airport Approximately 10 km from downtown Hakodate www.airport.ne.jp/hakodate/en/
access.shtml
Tohoku Miyagi Sendai Airport Approximately 15 km from downtown Sendai www.sdj-airport.com/english/access/
index.html
Kanto Tokyo Narita Airport Approximately 60 km from downtown  Tokyo www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/
transportation/airport/naritaAirport.html
www.narita-airport.jp/en/
access/index.html
Haneda Airport
(Tokyo International Airport)
Approximately 20 km from downtown Tokyo www.tokyo-airport-bldg.co.jp/
en/access/
Chubu Ishikawa Komatsu Airport Approximately 30 km from downtown Kanazawa www.komatsuairport.jp/
komatsusypher/www/english/
access/index.html
Aichi Central Japan International Airport Approximately 35 km from downtown Nagoya www.centrair.jp/en/access/
index.html
Kinki
(Kansai)
Osaka Kansai International Airport Approximately 40 km from downtown Osaka www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/
transportation/airport/kansaiAirport.html
www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/
access/index.html
Itami Airport
(Osaka International Airport)
Approximately 10 km from downtown Osaka www.okkbus.co.jp/en/index2.html
Chugoku Hiroshima Hiroshima Airport Approximately 50 km from downtown Hiroshima www.hij.airport.jp/english/access/
now/index.php
Shikoku Kagawa Takamatsu Airport Approximately 15 km from downtown Takamatsu www.takamatsu-airport.com/
access/access_en.php
Kyusyu Fukuoka Fukuoka Airport Approximately 3 km from downtown Fukuoka www.fuk-ab.co.jp/english/
frame_index.html
Okinawa Okinawa Naha Airport
(Japanese only)
Approximately 5 km from downtown Naha www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/
pdf/pg-709.pdf

For more information on airports in Japan, please consult: www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/transportation/

Transportation Top

RAIL

Travelling by train is an excellent option for tourists making their way around Japan.  Efficient, safe, clean and comfortable, trains in Japan run almost anywhere via the extensive rail network that spreads across the country.  Whether visitors are being whisked through the countryside on sleek Shinkansen bullet trains or winding their way through mountain valleys aboard scenic railways, they can expect train service to be punctual, frequent, and dependable.

THE ALL JAPAN RAIL PASS

The ALL JAPAN RAIL PASS offers overseas travellers excellent value and convenience, allowing the passholder unlimited travel on almost* all JR lines as well as many JR buses and ferries and is valid for all regions of Japan.  The All Japan Rail Pass is available for 7, 14, and 21-day periods.  The ‘All Japan Rail Pass’ and must be purchased outside of Japan.

The JR Passes are only available to sightseeing visitors to Japan.

*The pass cannot be used on the superexpress, called Nozomi.

Where to purchase a JR Pass Exchange Order in Canada

The ‘All Japan Rail Pass’ must be purchased outside of Japan.  It is necessary to purchase an Exchange Order before your departure. After entering Japan, you will have to obtain your JR Pass by submiting  your Exchange Order at a JR office or designated Rail Station. In Canada, you can purchase a JR Pass by contacting your travel agent or one of the following travel agents or tour operators:

Sales Outlets for the JR Pass Exchange Order in Canada

Province Company Address Phone
Alberta Nippon Travel Ltd (Calgary) #104, 1011-1rst Street S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2R 1J2
403-294-0694
British Columbia H.I.S. Canada Inc Vancouver Suite 488, 1090 West Georgia Street Vancouver, B.C. V6E 3V7 604-685-3524
JTB International (Canada) Ltd. Suite Lower Arcade, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia St.
Vancouver B.C. V6C 2W6
604-688-0315
Nippon Travel Agency Canada Vancouver Branch Office Suite #310, 1100 Melville St.
Vancouver, B.C. V6E 4A6
604-662-8002
Silk Holidays 8899 Odlin Crescent
Richmond, B.C. V6X 3Z7
604-879-8000
Ontario Carlson Wagonlit Travel 147 Liberty Street, Toronto, ON M6K 3G3 416-595-9960
Elite Orient Tours Inc. #4-112 Elizabeth Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1P5
416-977-3026
G Adventures Inc. 19 Charlotte Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2H5 416-260-0999
H.I.S. Canada Inc Toronto 65 Queen St. West, Suite 212,
Toronto, ON M5H 2M5
416-216-0937
JTB International (Canada) Ltd. Carlton Tower
Suite 1510, 2 Carlton St.
Toronto ON M5B 1J3
416-367-5824
Kintetsu International Express (Canada) Inc. Toronto 1450 Meyerside Drive, Suite 305
Mississauga, ON L5T 2N5
905-670-8710
Tokyo Tours Ltd. 3160 Steeles Ave. E., J-Town, Unit 1A Markham, ON L3R 4G9 905-305-1222

Japan Rail Pass Exchange Offices (in Japan)

You cannot use an Exchange Order when you travel on JR lines. Turn in your Exchange Order and obtain your JAPAN RAIL PASS at one of the JAPAN RAIL PASS exchange offices listed here. (Please note the service hours and holidays.)

For more information about the ALL JAPAN RAIL PASS: www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en003.html

Regional Japan Rail Passes

There are also REGIONAL JAPAN RAIL PASSES which offer the passholder unlimited travel on most* JR lines within specific regions of Japan.  Regional JR Passes can be purchased in Japan. 

Select appropriate region:
JR Hokkaido
JR East
JR West
JR Kyushu

*The pass cannot be used on the superexpress, called Nozomi.

Seat Reservations

For information on how to reserve seats with your JR Pass in Japan, please click here.

JR Routes

For a PDF map of the major Japan Rail routes click here

JR Timetables and Fares

JR Hokkaido
JR East (Tokyo-Tohoku area, Tokyo-Niigata, Tokyo-Nagano)
JR Central (Tokyo-Nagoya-Kyoto-Osaka-Hiroshima-Hakata)
JR Kyusyu

Plan your route! You can search for transportation routes, fares and travel times through the JNTO Travel Planner (click on JNTO Travel Planner in the Utility Zone).

In addition, digital timetables, routes, and fare searches are available here.

SUBWAY

Subway lines are available in all major cities, and provide prompt, efficient transportation. The JR Yamanote-sen loop line in Tokyo and the Osaka Kanjo-sen loop line both circle the centre of their respective cities. In Tokyo, JR rates start from 130 Japanese yen, subway fares at 160 Japanese yen for Tokyo Metro and Toei (Metropolitan) lines, and both increase with the distance traveled. Almost all stations have vending machines for tickets and automatic ticket-checking machines at their entrance/exit gates.

Fukuoka Subway Network
Kobe Subway Network
Kyoto Subway Network
Nagoya Subway Network (PDF 528KB)
Osaka Subway Network (PDF 645KB)
Sapporo Subway Network (PDF 678KB)
Sendai Subway Network
Tokyo Subway Network (Tokyo Metro Lines)
Tokyo Subway Network (Toei Lines)
Yokohama Subway Network

Transportation Top

ROAD

BUSES

JR operates long-distance buses between Tokyo and other major cities (JR Bus Network). Though travel takes longer, the fares are cheaper than Shinkansen train fares. Other bus companies provide bus travel between major cities as well.

Highway Buses

Highway buses run mainly on expressways. There are many bus services linking cities to cities or cities to tourist spots. Traveling by highway bus is generally less expensive than by  air or rail. Highway buses are also called long distance buses or overnight buses (they run at night). 

By using the contact information that we provide here as a reference, please contact each bus company information centre for further information such as how to book tickets.

Bus Routes and Fares

You can purchase tickets or ask for information at any ticket offices of JR stations (for the routes run by JR affiliated bus companies) or travel agencies. In addition, below are a list of selected web sites providing English information about various bus services in Japan.*

*The information on this website is provided for reference only.  Please be sure to check directly with the bus company when planning your trip.

Nihon Bus Association

This site provides a database by which you can check nationwide express bus services. An English version is also available.

JR Bus Kanto

This is limited to the highway buses of JR Kanto (departure or arrival at Tokyo). The timetable and detailed information on vehicle types etc., are available in English.

Raku Bus

You can search this site and book highway buses which depart or arrive in the Kyushu area (excluding JR buses). Fantizi and Chinese information is also available.

DRIVING IN JAPAN

Visitors who intend to drive in Japan should note the following:

On main roads most major destinations are sign-posted in English. In rural areas this may not be the case. If you are planning to drive in more remote areas, it is advisable to purchase a reliable English-Japanese road atlas before you depart. Companies such as Shobunsha and Kodansha publish these atlases.

Driving in Japan is on the left.  Parking can be difficult to find in some urban centers.  An International Driving Permit is required.  Tolls are levied on expressways and other major routes. Toll charges will depend on how far you wish to travel and which roads you intend to take. Example: Tolls for one route from Tokyo to Kyoto cost approximately ¥4,770.

The Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) publishes an English guide to driving in Japan called "Rules of the Road". These are available at JAF offices throughout Japan. For further information go to the JAF website or contact the International Affairs Department of JAF on Tel. +81 (0)3 3436 2811 / Fax. + 81 (0)3 3588 6055.

A Metropolitan Expressway map in English is available within Japan from the Metropolitan Expressway Public Corporation:

Metropolitan Expressway Public Corporation
Address: Nittochi Bldg 9F, 1-4-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8930
Phone: +81 (0)3 3539 9259
Fax: +81 (0)3 3503 7678

International Driving Permit

If you wish to drive a car while in Japan, you must obtain an International Driving Permit prior to departure. You will also need to be in possession of your national license while driving in Japan.

In Canada, International Driving Permits are issued by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).  For additional details please consult the CAA website.

Car Rental

Car Rental services are available in most large and medium-sized cities as well as at airports and major train station, with international driver's licenses recognized. You will be required to produce your International Driving Permit when renting a car in Japan.

Prices*

Rental prices may vary from company to company. Average rates for 24 hours rental with unlimited mileage are as follows:

Size Yen per Day
Sub-compact (1000-1300cc) 5,000 - 11,100
Compact (1500-1800cc) 9,000 - 13,500
Intermediate (2000cc) 14,000 - 30,000
Standard (3000cc) 29,500 - 31,000
The above rental charges do not include fuel costs. Fuel in Japan costs approximately 100 yen per liter.

*This information is provided for reference only, please be sure to check directly with the rental car company to confirm rates.

Rental Companies

Companies offering vehicle rental at various locations throughout Japan include:

Budget Canada: 800-268-8900
Japan: (03) 5776-1543
Hertz Canada: 1-800-654-3001
Japan: Toll-free 0120 489 882
Japan: Fax (03) 5401-7656
Japaren Co., Ltd Phone: 0120 20 5543
Reservations outside Japan can be made through Avis.
Mazda Car Rental Mazda Car Rental Corporation Overseas Reservation Center
Phone: 0120-08-5656
Nippon Rent-A-Car Phone: (03) 3485 7196
Email: htmintlres@nipponrentacar.co.jp
Toyota Rent-A-Car Toll-free: 0800-7000-815
Phone: (03) 5954-8020
Transportation Top

SEA

Japan consists of four major islands, surrounded by over 4,000 smaller islands.  An impressive network of ferries connects its numerous ports.  Ferries provide visitors an opportunity to view Japan’s stunning coast and can be less expensive than rail travel if you don’t mind the extra transit time.  Accomodations on ferries ranges from a simple futon in a shared room to private cabins.  Ferry schedules change depending on the season and weather, so it is best to check with the ferry company directly when planning your trip.

DOMESTIC FERRIES

Reservations for domestic ferry services can be made within Japan at major travel agencies or directly through the relevant ferry company.

Prices and Journey Times

The following table is a guide to the cheapest one-way fares and journey times for some of the most popular domestic ferry routes.
Long Distance Ferry
From To Approx. Price in Yen Approx. Journey Time
Osaka Beppu (kyushu) via Kobe and Shikoku ¥8,800 12 hrs
Osaka Miyazaki (Kyushu) ¥10,400 13 hrs
Kobe Nishi Oita (Kyushu) via Shikoku ¥8,800 12.5 hrs
Nagoya Sendai ¥7,000 21 hrs
Tokyo Shinmoji-Kitakyushu (Kyushu) via Shikoku ¥14,470 34 hrs
Sendai Tomakomai (Hokkaido) ¥8,000 15 hrs
Niigata Tomakomai (Hokkaido) ¥6,000 18 hrs

Note: Prices and journey times are estimates only. 

*This information is provided for reference only, please be sure to check directly with the ferry company directly to confirm rates.

INTERNATIONAL FERRIES

International ferry services are very popular and advance reservations are recommended. Reservations can be made through major travel agencies within Japan, directly with the ferry company or at your port of departure.

Osaka - Shanghai

The Shanghai Ferry Company

The Shanghai Ferry Company operates a weekly service between Osaka and the Chinese port city of Shanghai. One-way tickets cost between ¥20,000 and ¥40,000 with discounts of up to 40% on return fares. A 10% discount for students is also available. The journey takes approximately 48 hours. Please contact the Shanghai Ferry Company for further information.

The Shanghai Ferry Company
Address 5F DAI Building, Midosuji, 4-1-2 Minami Kyuhoji-cho, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0058 Japan Room BCF, 4F The Panorama Shanghai, No 53 Huangpu Road, Shanghai 20080 China
Phone +81 (0)6 6243 6345 +86 (0)21 6537 5111
Fax +81 (0)6 6243 6308 +86 (0)21 6537 9111
Email pax@shanghai-ferry.co.jp sfco@shanghai.cngb.com

Japan-China International Ferry Company

The Japan-China International Ferry Company connects Osaka and Kobe with Shanghai. The ship departs on a weekly basis, alternating each week between Osaka and Kobe. Fares range between ¥20,000 and ¥50,000 one-way with discounts of up to 40% on return tickets. A 10% discount for students is also available. The journey takes approximately 48 hours. Please contact the Japan-China International Ferry Company for further information.

Japan-China International Ferry Company
Address 2F Sanai Building, 1-8-6 Shin-machi, Nishi-ku, Osaka, Japan Daikanyama Parkside, Village 204, 9-8 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone +81 (0)6 6536 6541 +81 (0)3 5489 4800
Fax +81 (0)6 6536 6542 +81 (0)3 5489 4788
Email gifcot@dream.com

Kobe - Tanggu Port (Tianjin)

China Express Line

China Express Line ships sail once a week between the Chinese Port of Tanggu, near the city of Tianjin, and Kobe. Fares start at ¥20,000 one-way with discounts of up to 40% on return tickets. A 10% discount for students is also available. The journey takes approximately 48 hours. Please contact China Express Line for further information.

China Express Line
Address 4-5 Shinkocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0041 Japan C/O- Tianjin jin-Shen Ferry Co. Ltd, N.1 22/F Ocean Shipping Plaza, Hebei District, Tianjin, China
Phone +81 (0)78 321 5791 + 86 (0)22 2420 5777
Fax +81 (0)78 321 5793 + 86 (0)22 2420 5970
Email pax@celkobe.co.jp

Shimonoseki - Qingdao

Orient Ferry Ltd.

Orient Ferry Ltd. operates a regular service between Shimonoseki, on the western tip of the main island of Honshu, and the Chinese port city of Qingdao. One-way tickets cost between ¥18,000 and ¥70,000 with discounts of 10% on return fares. Passengers departing from Shimonoseki are also required to pay a passenger facility service charge of ¥600. The journey takes approximately 40 hours. Please contact Orient Ferry Ltd. for further information.

Orient Ferry Ltd.
Address 1-10-64 Higashi-Yamato-cho, Shimonoseki 750-0066 Japan Qindao Office, Haitian Hotel, Room 1267/1268, 48 Xiang Gang Xi Road, Qingdao 266071 China
Phone +81 (0)832 32 6615 + 86 (0)532 389 7636
Fax +81 (0)832 32 6616 + 86 (0)532 389 7637
Email orient.f@crocus.ocn.ne.jp aolin@public.qd.sd.cn

Ferries to / from Korea

Shimonoseki - Busan

Kampu Ferry Company

The Kampu Ferry Company sails daily between Shimonoseki, on the western tip of the main island of Honshu, and the South Korean port of Busan. Fares range between ¥8,500 and ¥18,000 one-way. Passengers departing from Shimonoseki are also required to pay a passenger facility service charge of ¥600. Discounts of 10% are available on return fares. The journey takes approximately 14 hours. Please contact the Kampu Ferry Company for further information.

Kampu Ferry Company
Address 1-10-60 Higashi Yamato-cho, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi-ken, Japan 4-15 Jungang Dong, Jung-Gu, Busan, Korea
Phone +81 (0)832 24 3000 +82 (0)51 464 2700
Fax +81 (0)832 24 3006 +82 (0)51 463 7020
Email ryokaku@kampuferry.co.jp

Fukuoka (Hakata) - Busan

There is a choice of two services on the route between Fukuoka (Hakata), on the southern island of Kyushu, and Busan in South Korea.

JR Kyushu 'Beetle' Hydrofoil

The journey between Fukuoka and Busan on this high-speed service takes just 2 hours and 55 minutes. The Hydrofoil operates daily and costs ¥13,000 one-way (¥26,000 return). Please contact JR Kyushu for further information or visit the JR Kyushu 'Beetle' web site.

JR Kyushu
Address Senpaku Department, 3F Hakata-ko Kokusai Terminal, 14-1 Nakahama-cho, Hakata-ku Fukuoka 812-0031 Japan C/- Korea Marine Express, International Ferryport 15-3 4-Ga, Jungang-Dong, Jung-Gu Busan 600-014 Korea
Phone +81 (0)92 281 2315 +82 (0)51 465 6111
Fax +81 (0)92 272 5219 +82 (0)51 465 6115
Email beetle@jrkyushu.co.jp jbb2@jbb2.co.kr

Camellia Line Ferries

Camellia Line ferries operates three times a week on this route The journey takes approximately 15 hours and 40 minutes and costs between ¥9,000 one way and ¥17,100 round trip. Discounts of 10% are available on return fares. Please contact the Camellia Line Company for further information.

Camellia Line Company
Address 3F Hakata-ko Kokusai Terminal
14-1 Nakahama-cho, Hakata-ku Fukuoka, Japan
International Ferryport
15-3 4-Ga, Jungang-Dong Jung-Gu, Busan 600-014 Korea
Phone +81 (0)92 262 2323 +82 (0)51 466 7799
Fax +81 (0)92 262 2332 +82 (0)51 466 7161
Email passenger@camellia-line.co.jp

Nikkan Kyodo Kippu

The Nikkan Kyodo Kippu is a discount ticket allowing passengers on either the Kampu Ferry service from Shimonoseki, or the JR Kyushu 'Beetle' service from Fukuoka, to travel between a number of Japanese cities and Seoul, Korea at a significantly reduced fare. Prices for the ticket vary according to the city of departure and include travel by JR train (including the Bullet Train) to the port of departure, travel by ferry or jetfoil to Busan, and rail travel from Busan to Seoul within Korea. The Nikkan Kyodo Kippu is valid for 7-days one way and is available within Japan from major travel agencies and at JR Travel Centres in major JR railway stations.
Transportation Top