Transport: Getting there & away

Ferry boat

Boat from Tsushima, Nagasaki to Pusan,Korea
Many international ferries are under operation. The most frequent route is between Kyushu(九州) and Busan, Korea(釜山).
From Taiwan(Kelong,Gaoshung) (基隆,高雄) or China(Shang-hai,Tian-Jin,Qingdao)(上海,天津,青島) also useful.

Also from Russia(continental, Sakhalin island) are available, although they are not scheduled regularly or seasonally.

>>Ferry for Japan


The most busy international air ports are TOKYO NRITA AIRPORT(成田空港(新東京国際空港)) about 70km east from the center of Tokyo and KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT(関西国際空港) about 40km south west of Osaka.

There are also many international flights to other cities.

Following is the international flights for Hokkaido
>>Area guide>Hokkaido>transport


See more detail informations;
>>Airport Informations

How to carry your bike

Any air transport company may accepts bicycle as checked baggage. The policies about a bike varies according to each company. Some companies accepts as it is, in this case you don't need to disassemble a bike. Other companies may demand to disassemble it like Rinko.

Baggage clerks tend to handle it roughly. Perhaps they couldn't aware of what they were carrying. So it's well worth not covering a bike even if the company demand to disassemble it.

Take care of weigh limit for checked baggage. I heard that additional charge for overweight is very expensive.

From an airport to a city

Taking an airport limousine(rimujin basu,リムジンバス) is the best good idea, since they accept your bike without asking you to take all to pieces.

If you choose a train, private train company other than JR is cheaper, in case you don't have any JR rail pass.

From Narita airport, take a Keisei railway(京成電鉄)limited express, which is the cheapest. Sky liner(special express) can save only 15 minutes by 1000 Yen.
Then get off at Nishinippori(西日暮里) change to JR lines, which is more convenient than exchange at Ueno(上野) station.

Transport:Getting Around


You can search the route by train, air and/or bus. It's very convenience.


Special discount fares for overseas travelers!

JAL offers discount fares to overseas traveller. This service is for domestic flights and they allow you to fly anywhere within Japan, 42 cities, in Y12.000. ANA also offers the same service named "Visit JAPAN Fare", but it seems that they don't provide it for all countries.

To take advantage of these fares, it must be purchased before entering Japan.

link.gifJAL[E] > Welcome To Japan Fare


Purchase tickets within Japan

It is better to seek for discount tickets at discount stores near the station, because domestic air tickets are normally very very expensive.

Some newly established air lines are alternative way to save your money. As they still don't have English web site, it is more convenient to ask travel agencies for tickets.

Between Tokyo and Hokkaido(Sapporo(Chitose)(札幌(千歳空港)) or Asahikowa(旭川))
link.gifHokkaido International Airlines(AIR DO)[J]
Between Tokyo and Kyushu(Kumamoto or Miyazaki)(九州(熊本 or 宮崎))
link.gifSky Net Asia Airways[J]
Between Tokyo and Kyushu(Hukuoka,Kagoshima)(九州(福岡,鹿児島)),Shikoku(Tokushima)(四国(徳島)).
link.gifSkymark Airlines[J]
Mainly from Nagoya (名古屋)
link.gifNakanihon Airlines[J]

Ferry boats(ferii, フェリー)

Many domestic ferries are available from one island to another island in Japan. Taking ferry boats are the easiest, the most relaxed and cheapest transportation for cyclist.
So, if you are not in hurry, try ferries.

Rider's report > Bill's "Ferrys...How Nice They Are! "

How to carry your bike

You can carry your bike as it is. They charge around 20% of passenger fee for your bike.


Many cyclists love traveling by train. It is good idea to escape from busy city area by train, using plenty different kinds of passes. Fortunately Japan Railway company has good multilingual web site. So, please check them.

Japan Rail Pass

Many foreign tourists buy this ticket.
7days pass:28300Yen(14 and 21 days ticket are also available) This pass is very useful for short term visitors.

link.gifJapan Rail Pass[E]

Seishun ju-hachi Kippu

Japanese cargo train, Hokkaido This is a wonderful seasonally ticket.
A set of 5 one-day railway passes is 11500 Yen. You can not take express, limited express, bullet train.

Spring(from 1st March to 10th April)
Summer(from 20th July to 10th September)
Winter(from 20th December to 20th January)

The period is not same each year. Please check in advance.

link.gifJR EAST[E] [J] > Seishun ju-hachi Kippu[E] [C(s)] [K]

The ticket is invalid for Shinkansen, Limited Express, Express and sleeping car even if you could pay for additional charge. So it's supposed to make local line connection one after another. To save timetable reading headaches, access link.gifHyperdia and uncheck the boxes of Shinkansen, JR-Ltd.Exp and JR-Exp before search. Then you can get the most efficient route and timetable.

How to carry your bike

Japanese trains don't have any cargo cars with passengers' cars. So you have to take all to pieces.
You have to cover your bike by bike bag.

Rinko page for more information.


Short distance bus is called Noriai bus (乗り合いバス) Rosen bus (路線バス)in Japan. The buses don't have a trunk for passenger's baggage and don't have external bike rack. So, you are supposed to do Rinko and bring it into the inside of a bus. Most of bus companies charge for the bike. It costs about a half or one times as much as normal fare.

Long distance bus is called Kosoku bus (高速バス). It's just the cheapest way to get around Japan! They have trunks differently from short distance bus. You can drop the bike into the trunk by Rinko style. In that case, you don't have to pay additional charges.

But their trunks are not so large. If you have to bring the bike into cabin, because the trunks are filled with other passenger's baggage, you might have to pay additional charges for the bike as is the case with short distance bus. At this moment, it's difficult to say that long distance bus is the cheapest.

Only in Japanese guide...

link.gifJapan Bus organization[J] > Highway Bus search[J]

uploaded:19, 11, 2005