5 Tickets You Want to Buy Before Traveling To Japan

Dec 20, 2023

When you are coming to Japan, you probably have your bucket list of things you want to see and places you want to go. A trip to Japan, or anywhere else for that matter, requires planning. To avoid disappointment at Japan’s most popular attractions, make sure to buy tickets in advance. Otherwise, you might end up paying (a lot) more money or, worse, you won’t be able to go anymore!

Here are our recommended tickets you should consider getting before your trip to Japan!

Japan Rail Pass

Consider the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) as your go-to ticket before arriving in Japan. This rail pass is only available for overseas visitors and is valid for travel on all major forms of transportation provided by the JR Group, with a few exceptions. The JR Group has a transportation network throughout Japan, so if you have this pass, you can travel economically all over Japan.

There are 2 types of seats on the Japan Rail Pass: Ordinary and Green. The green will have more comfortable seats, extra personal space, and increased chances of reserving a seat during busy seasons when Ordinary seats fill up quickly.

  • Ordinary 7 Days: 29,110 JPY
  • Green 7 Days: 38,880 JPY

If your travel plans include one or more major cities within seven days (or 3/4 in 14 days), the JR Rail Pass will save you money. Currently, the JR Pass is sold temporarily in Japan, but purchasing it online before your travel will save you much more money!

Costs can be kept down considerably by buying a Japan Rail Pass. 

On our 11 Day Best of Japan, the Japan Railway Pass is included for our train transfers between cities. We will select the optimal time and seat option to purchase the Japan Railway Pass at the best price.

24/48/72 Hours Subway Pass

This specific ticket is only for subways in Tokyo, making it a convenient option if you plan to stay within Tokyo during your trip. These subway passes are 24hours/48hours/72hours tickets that give you access to All Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines.

It doesn’t give you the easiest access around Tokyo, since the popular lines such as Yamanote and Sobu lines are Japan Rail and not Subway. But still, 24Hour ticket is only 800 JPY, 48Hour 1,200 JPY. Also, as long as you can read the line map, subways cover almost all of the areas in Tokyo. 

Compared to the Japan Rail Pass, it will be very convenient if you stay in Japan for less than a week.

Like the Japan Rail Pass, it is recommended that you buy it before you arrive in Japan because this ticket is not sold in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, and Yamanashi. As long as you live outside those Prefectures, you can purchase them even if you are Japanese. 

Seishun 18

This is an incredibly affordable way to travel around Japan if you have plenty of time. The ticket allows you to board all local and rapid Japan Rail trains for 5 days, excluding bullet trains and limited express trains. Priced at only 11,850 JPY for 5 days, it’s a cheap option for those with a flexible schedule. 

Also, another great point about this is that it does not have to be 5 consecutive days. As long as it’s within the validity period, you can you it for whichever 5 days you want.

Reference link: https://bit.ly/48opUUS

Buses + Metro Trains

Buses might be a little bit confusing, but if you prefer a relaxed-pace exploration of the city, this can be a good option. The Metro 1-day ticket lets you ride on: 

  • Tokyo Metro trains
  • Toei bus
  • Toei subways
  • Toei Streetcar
  • All routes of Nippori-Toneri Liners
  • All JR lines within the Tokyo metropolitan area

Toei Streetcar (Toden) Arakawa Line

Priced at 1,590 JPY for an adult, this ticket is suitable for short stays in Tokyo without plans to take a bullet train. To find out where to buy and restrictions, check here.

Tickets to popular events/attractions

Some events or museums in Japan, popular among both tourists and locals, sell out quickly. For example, sumo tickets for Grand Tournaments can sell out within an hour. To ensure you don’t miss out, you can purchase tickets online in advance. If locations like the Ghibli Museum are on your bucket list, it’s advisable to secure tickets 2-3 months before your visit to avoid disappointment.

The sumo tickets for the Grand Tournaments sell out within the hour

Ghibli Museum Tickets

The museum of Japan’s nr. 1 famous animation studio Studio Ghibli is a very popular activity and tickets are tricky to get. The museum is located in Mitaka, Tokyo, about 30 minutes from the center. Tickets for a particular month go on sale (in Japan) on the 10th of the month before. For overseas this can be even 3 months before! So when the Ghibli Museum is on your list, you best buy tickets 2-3 months before you visit Japan. Will you visit Japan sooner, no worries there are still ways to get your entrance tickets.

It’s advisable to secure Ghibli Museum tickets 2-3 months before your visit

Studio Ghibli is the museum of Japan’s famous animation studio and securing tickets can be challenging. Located in Mitaka, Tokyo, approximately 30 minutes from the center, tickets for a specific month go on sale (in Japan) on the 10th of the preceding month. For overseas visitors, ticket availability may open even 3 months in advance. If the Ghibli Museum is on your itinerary, it’s advisable to purchase tickets 2-3 months before your planned visit. If your trip to Japan is sooner, don’t worry, there are still ways to secure your entrance tickets.

Reference link: https://l-tike.com/ghibli/

Other tickets you will want to look into: 

Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo)

Universal Studios Japan (Osaka)

Yayoi Kusama Museum (Tokyo)

In some cases there are more tickets available when you are in Japan or speak Japanese, or sometimes extra tickets go on sale. Therefore it is always worth it to contact a local travel agent and ask for options. Don’t hesitate to contact Asia Vacation Group at 1800 229 339. 

We are happy to help you with buying tickets at reasonable prices and available shipping. 

Reference article: Transportation in Japan: Everything you need to know