Guide to renting a car In Japan

Although it’s possible to take in almost all of Japan using the Shinkansen bullet trains, there may be times when the traveler wants to explore attractions off the main routes, or just try out driving in Japan for themselves.

There a number of different vehicle rental companies in Japan that foreign travelers can choose from, but those traveling with the Japan Rail Pass should take note that only one offers special discounts for JR Pass holders.

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Public holidays in Japan: 2020 dates and meaning

Holidays in Japan are unique, spectacular occasions which visitors, as well as locals, can enjoy. However, they are also very busy times of the year so travelers should expect crowds on Japan’s transportation system and higher prices for accommodation.

Visitors should also be aware that events such as the Obon Festival, the cherry blossom season, Golden Week, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are also very busy times of year to visit Japan. Add to that the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Japan is about to become an even hotter spot for holidaymakers.  

People catching shinkansen bullet trains should make early reservations during these periods when possible.

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Chuo Shinkansen: Tokyo to Osaka by Maglev

The fastest way to get around Japan is to use the Shinkansen high-speed train lines which cover practically all of the country as part of the Japan Railways (JR) network. There are currently 9 different Shinkansen lines which can take you to different parts of Japan and can be accessed with the Japan Rail Pass. The most popular line is the Tokaido Shinkansen, which connects the Japanese capital with Osaka in the South.

In addition to being the oldest high-speed train line in the world, the Tokaido Shinkansen is also one of the most heavily used. Accordingly, the Japanese government has begun construction on a new maglev train line to ease congestion that will eventually connect Tokyo and Osaka: the Chuo Shinkansen.

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Autumn Colors in Japan: 2019 Fall Foliage Forecast

Japan is famous for its four distinct and breathtaking seasons. Though the cherry blossom in the spring is probably the most iconic, for many the fall is just as beautiful.

Last update (November 7, 2019): In 2019, the best time to appreciate the colors of koyo in northern Japan has already begun and will be reaching eastern Japan between now and mid-November, finally, extending south from Tokyo from the end of November and throughout the first days of December.

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