Japan Rail Pass
The top trump of rail passes, this will get you on all JR trains – including shinkansen – as well as local JR bus services and a ferry service (to Miyajima Island in Hiroshima) during the validity period (7, 14 or 21 consecutive days after first use). Only visitors to Japan are eligible; it is highly recommended that you buy your pass outside of Japan (check here for a list of authorised sales offices), as there are only a few vendors within Japan, who sell passes at a mark-up.
Japan Bus Pass
Run by Willer Express, which operates highway buses across Japan, this pass gets you three, five or seven non-consecutive days of travel (which can include weekends with the right pass) – within a two-month period. There are some blackout dates (namely, Golden Week and the Obon holidays in August), but other than that you can pretty much ride whenever you want within two months of your first journey. The deal is only available here, and to those with a foreign passport, including residents.
JAL oneworld Yokoso/Visit Japan Fare
Flying can sometimes be cheaper than taking the shinkansen. Especially if you’re travelling to Japan on any oneworld member airline – including Japan Airlines (JAL), British Airways, American Airlines and Qantas – which allows you access to discounted domestic flights. The Visit Japan Fare costs only ¥10,800 per sector and can be used for travel to the 30-plus cities JAL flies to within the country, including the use of Japan Transocean Air (JTA) flights based in Naha, Okinawa.
JAL Welcome to Japan Fare
If you’re not arriving on a oneworld flight, you can still bag a bargain. This option brings the cost of flights to JAL cities down to ¥14,040 per sector.
ANA Visit Japan fare
The ANA fare allows you to fly to any destination across Japan for only ¥13,000 per flight, including code share ones. You must live outside of Japan, but your international ticket to or from Japan can be with any airlines. This fare is limited to a minimum of two to a maximum of five segments, and must be issued outside of Japan. Blackout dates apply.
ANA Super Value
By reserving and purchasing in advance through the airline’s dedicated website, you will enjoy substantial fare discounts on ANA domestic flights to any major city in Japan. Fares start from ¥6,400 (Tokyo to Sapporo, as of Feb 16 2019). The fare may differ depending on the date of departure, date of purchase and destination.