Getting around Kyoto with the Japan Rail Pass

You’ve read about all the engaging attractions Kyoto has to offer – from its famous temples to its transcendent botanical gardens. After all, Kyoto is considered the premiere sightseeing location in Japan. But as an international traveler, you are also concerned with how to get from place to place once you arrive in Kyoto. Does Japan’s maze of rail and bus lines intimidate you? It doesn’t have to.

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How to use the local city bus in Japan

When most people think of transportation in Japan, they envision the vast railroad network and the Shinkansen bullet trains. While the trains are a primary means of transportation throughout the country, the train lines do not go everywhere. Sometimes, the traveler has to take a bus to get around town or from the train station to their destination.

The use of local buses is especially useful in large cities such as Kyoto. Additionally, local buses are at times the only way to access some of Japan’s greatest secrets, getaways to small towns located deep within the countryside.

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Japanese night trains with the JR Pass: Sunrise Express and more

While many people choose to fly or take a bullet train, the still-popular overnight trains are a real treat for international travelers. Why take a night train? These trains allow you to travel quickly overland, arriving at your destination by the following morning. Also, you will be able to sleep while you travel, more comfortably than on an airplane or an overnight bus. If you are planning a visit to Japan, consider booking travel on one of these trains, using the following tips.

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Staying in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese guest house

Would you like to relax and unwind during your international travels? Are you interested in a traditional Japanese experience? If you answered yes to either of those questions, a stay at a ryokan may be for you.

What is a ryokan? A ryokan is a traditional style Japanese inn or guest house. Typically small in size, these inns have often been run by the same family for generations. Ryokans are usually located near onsen, or hot springs used for therapeutic bathing, and their design, décor, and setting often focus on the simplistic beauty of nature.

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Transporting luggage in Japan: Luggage forwarding and coin lockers

You’re using your Japan Rail Pass to tour Japan. You depart your train in a new town, and you want to see some of the sights before settling into your next location. What, though, will you do with all of that luggage?

Fortunately for you, Japan has the solutions for just such a travel dilemma. International travelers may be unfamiliar with the luggage forwarding services and coin-operated lockers available in many places throughout Japan. Consider the following travel tips to make your stay in this beautiful country easy and hassle free.

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How to use Onsen: apanese hot springs

The Japanese word onsen refers to the hot springs that dot the islands of Japan, fed by warm, mineral-rich spring water. Japan hosts a volcanic geography, so the water is heated naturally by geothermal forces. It bubbles forth from the ground, filling pools with water that is somewhat hotter than a standard Jacuzzi or hot tub.

Onsens are a popular attraction for Japanese tourists, due to both their cultural significance and their relaxing, recreational nature. Onsens play a significant role in Japanese culture, and they are used extensively by Japanese residents. It is thought that onsen have healing and rejuvenating qualities, helping conditions such as skin ailments and cancer.

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Osaka Loop Line: Getting around Osaka with the JR Pass

Osaka City is a bustling metropolitan area popular among international tourists. Osaka itself is home to many unique attractions, including vast parks and gardens, historic Osaka Castle, the Tenmangu Shrine, Osaka Aquarium, and the National Bunraku Theater.

Visitors to Osaka also enjoy the Dotonbori district, where travelers can experience the local nightlife with restaurants and shopping centers open twenty-four hours a day; the covered Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street; and the Kitashinchi entertainment district.

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Himeji Castle and city travel guide with the JR Pass

Himeji Castle – also known as the White Heron Castle due to its unique coloration – may be the most widely esteemed castle in Japan. It has been named both a National Heritage Building and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Himeji Castle and the surrounding city is a popular day trip among tourists to this area of Japan.

The city can be easily accessed using your Japan Rail Pass, and a visit to Himeji Castle is like a trip back in time. Consider the following travel tips to make your visit to Himeji memorable.

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