Japan's four major islands, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku are covered by an extensive and
reliable network of railways.
Trains are a very convenient way for visitors and for Japanese citizens to travel around Japan, especially in conjunction with the Japan Rail Pass. About 70 percent of Japan's railway network is owned and operated by the Japan Railways (JR), while the remaining 30 percent belongs to dozens of other private railway companies, especially in and around metropolitan areas. There are some special passes that only visitors are allowed to purchase at a discounted price.
Japan has an efficient, safe, and cost-effective system of city subways, allowing rapid movement around its
inner urban areas. Services are less frequent on weekends and public holidays. Finding your station is usually
easily done as the station name is often displayed on electronic boards in the carriages in both Japanese
Women-only trains: Some subway lines in Japan have women-only passenger cars running in the rush hour period, normally 8am-9am. During the evening rush hours, some lines will have women-only trains in the evening, as well. Look out for the pink sign on the platform for the female only the passenger car. Subways in Japan have announcements on the train in Japanese and frequently in English, too.
Most taxis accommodate for up to four passengers (not including the driver), while larger vehicles are able
to accommodate an additional fifth passenger.
Taxi fares typically start around 600-700 yen for the first two kilometers and increase by roughly 100 yen for every additional 500 meters traveled depending on the city. The cost also increases when the taxi is not moving for a prolonged time. Late in the evening, rates are raised by 20-30 percent, so night taxis tend to cost more than usual.
In Tokyo, Osaka, and some other large cities, buses serve as a secondary means of public transportation,
complementing the train and subway networks.
In cities with less dense train networks like Kyoto, buses are the main means of public transportation. Buses also serve smaller towns, the countryside, and national parks. Plus, major cities are linked by highway and long distance buses.