Mark ChadwickOne correction to this article. Japan Rail is allowing visitors to purchase a JR Pass in Japan on a trial basis until March 31, 2018, so if you either forget, or realize once you're there that you really DO want to take a day trip down to Hakata for a fantastic Ramen lunch, then you still can ride the rails.
Note that in-country rail pass purchases are 10% more than buying them out of country.
For those wondering if a rail pass is worth it, a single round trip from Tokyo to Osaka will cost $10 less than the rail pass... so if you're planning on using the train for any more than that, it's totally worth it.
It is NOT worth buying if you stay in the greater Tokyo area; it is nigh impossible to ride the local trains enough in 7 days to recoup the cost. If you are spending time in Tokyo, but want to ride around the trains a lot within the city, your best bet is a day pass. Y600 for the Tokyo Metro Day Pass (Tokyo Metro subways only; Toei subways are not included; you can get a combo pass for both for Y900), Y750 for the Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (aka Tokunai Pass, good for all JR lines within Tokyo's 23 wards), and Y1590 for the Tokyo 1-Day Ticket (aka Tokyo Free Kippu, which basically combines the above three and adds the Nippori-Toneri Liner, Tokyo Toei streetcars and the Toei Bus system).
If that all seems confusing, I understand. Tokyo has one of the most complex and comprehensive mass transit systems in the world, but it suffers a bit from not having a single overarching governance... so you have a number of different companies operating rail lines, not all of which are willing to cooperate with each other. However, overall they interoperate quite well, and if you simply go with a SUICA or PASIMO card, you will not likely have any problems bouncing from one company's line to another.
You can find more information about Tokyo Metro and JR passes here:
Erwin CanlasDo; take advantage of discounts offered at some stores. Show them your passport and they'll give you a ticket.
Do: exchange Yen at your home bank. They give better rates than the airport Foreign Exchange.
Do: bring a coin purse. Coins are widely used in the country and coin purses are handy.
Do: bring some wet napkins and a handkerchief. They will come in handy.
Skye BrownIf you are only there for a week then don’t bother getting the JR Pass. You won’t get your money back unless you travel around a lot by bullet train.
Regular trains around Tokyo are pretty cheap and you can just walk most places anyway.
2 hours ago
Colin VogelDo#1: Go longer. Japan is too amazing for one single week.
Alain GuilbertLe 11 décembre 1997 Le protocole de Kyoto est adopté lors de la 6e conférence des Parties. Il énonce des dispositions à prendre par les pays industrialisés pour réduire les émissions de certains gaz à effet de serre dans l'atmosphère.
15 hours ago
Aileen CloughSuch great memories with our great friends while visiting in beautiful Japan! Kyoto is exceptionally beautiful!
1 day ago · 2
Debbie FinneganI’m so lucky to have visited all of these sites and so much more!❤️
16 hours ago · 2
Catherine RoehrsVisited this temple and the many bulding on the same site. Beautiful.
Raise a glass of limited-edition Hello Kitty sparkling rosé, because the adorable Sanrio character has just been named Ambassador for Osako, Japan, where she might just get to help promote the World ...
Rachel KoldewynI wish the link to the actual race had more English available. I have heard of Kaga onsen and the race looks fun, but it looked like by Google translate they'd already sent out notifications for the April race?
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Candy Hatsune WolffFor an authentic ryokan experience with connections to once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences, I stay only at Ryokan Sawanoya Yanaka near Ueno Tokyo （旅館 澤の屋）in Taito-ku. Check their reviews; they're the greatest. They cater to foreigners who want to see the real, beautiful Tokyo. Not a paid shill, I just love them dearly.
Rachel BarnesMy husband and I honeymooned in Japan 10 years ago. We loved all 3 weeks of travelling around Japan. Fell in love with the people and the sites. Have been back once and planning to go back again in Feb 2018. 😍
3 days ago · 2
Aaron MaloneMy wife and I just did our honeymoon in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Stayed at the Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin-Minamiguchi and, while its not fancy, it was a nice, clean hotel that is cost effective and in a great part of the city.
3 days ago · 2
Julie TinsonYes we did and Tōhoku too. Had a wonderful time.....