|Though Japan is long from north to south, it takes only two hours
to travel by plane from Tokyo to Wakkanai Airport at the northern tip of Hokkaido,
and only about three hours to fly from Tokyo to Naha Airport, located on Okinawa.
But traveling by train or boat is a better way to see the sights, and visitors
with a little extra time might want to consider these transportation options.
The Japan Railways Group, whose rail network extends to every corner of Japan,
offers a Japan Rail Pass for visitors from outside the country. The Japan Rail
Pass not only is priced very reasonably but allows unlimited use of all trains (including the Shinkansen),
buses, and ferries operated by the JR Group. Seven-day, 14-day, and 21-day passes
are available, each with a choice of Green Car (first class) or ordinary car.
Prices are ¥28,300 for a seven-day regular-car pass (Green Car ¥37,800),
¥45,100 for a 14-day pass (Green Car ¥61,200), and ¥57,700 for a 21-day
pass (Green Car ¥79,600). Passes are sold at half these prices for children
aged 6 through 11, and younger children ride free.
To obtain a Japan Rail Pass, visitors must purchase an Exchange Order in their
home country and exchange it for the Railpass when they get to Japan. The pass
can be used only for sightseeing visits lasting 15 to 90 days. More details about
the pass and where to purchase an Exchange Order are available on the Internet at http://www.japanrailpass.net/.