ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Facts of Japan - Transportation

Updated on December 21, 2017

Japan has such a great infrastructure in transport management and it spends a lot on this section as well. There are four major transport systems in Japan. They are the Rail Transportation, Road transportation, Air transportation and Marine Transportation.

Rail Transportation

The first railway in Japan was built in 1872 between Tokyo and Yokohama. In Japan, railways are the primary means of transportation. Between cities the high speed mass transportation system is operated. Between metropolitan cities, the commuter movement happens through railways only. The six Japan Railways Group Companies, known as JR Group, basically cover most of Japan. The seventh one exclusively carries freight. There are other services as well like private companies, regional governments and some companies that are funded by both the regional governments and private companies. There are almost 16 private companies operating the private railways.

Symbols of Japan: sakura (cherry blossom), the Shinkansen, and Fuji-san.
Symbols of Japan: sakura (cherry blossom), the Shinkansen, and Fuji-san.
Shinkansen series: 200 - E5.
Shinkansen series: 200 - E5.
Shinkansen rail network.
Shinkansen rail network.

The total railway coverage is 23,670.7 km. Most of the tracks are electrified in Japan. And the network is well connected and well managed one in the world.

Fukuoka, Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, Sapporo, Yokohama and Tokyo have subway systems. In addition to this, many of the cities have mono rail and streetcar networks.

Shinkansen, known as Bullet trains, are the high speed trains. Japan operates almost 250 bullet trains every day The N700 serious Nozomi are the fastest trains with a speed of 300 km per hour. The punctuality of trains is unmatched. The trains on the conventional line run relatively slow at a speed of 160 km per hour.

Now a local train means a train that stops at every station. A fare ticket is enough for these trains. But the other trains, Rapid, Express and limited express (which is faster than the Express) need some surcharges. The operators usually use names for trains for reservation instead of train numbers.

The railways account for the largest percentage of carriers in Japan.

Mono rail in Chiba.
Mono rail in Chiba.
Expressway running through Tokyo.
Expressway running through Tokyo.
Expressway network.
Expressway network.

Road Transportation

Japan has almost five kinds of roads that come under different agencies. They are City, town and village roads, Perfectural roads, general national highways and National expressways. The roads of Japan cover almost 1,203,600 km in Japan.

The road transport has been growing so well since 1980 because the quality of the national roads is outstanding.  These buses have deluxe seating and the fares are quite low as well. Then the bus service is being operated during nights too when the rail and the air services are limited.

In fact, traffic congestion is so high and it really causes potentially serious problems in the urban areas. The need for high standard networks are being developed and constructed to improve the dependability and reliability of the expressway services in Japan. Apart from these, the international logistics needs are being explored and considered to keep the Japanese roads competitive. Better access to ports and airports are provided. Construction of bypasses and transport nodes take top priority in Japan.

The road transport has been governed by certain set of policies by the Government which guide provides a guideline for the transport agencies in Japan.

Firstly, the ring roads provide urban infrastructure and reduce the traffic congestion. They also reduce CO2 emission as well to provide a better environment for the road users.

Of course, bypasses are the best alternative to ease the traffic congestion.

Nearly 70% of the major harbors and airports are accessible from the expressway interchanges. This is being improved to reach a level of 90%.

The transportation nodes and all station squares are being improved to ensure the smooth transit of pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles and public transportation. The public transportation is encouraged by the Government in order to reduce the private transport users.

With all these facilities the road transportation in Japan is gearing up to the next generation road users with the perfect road transportation network.

The decrease in road fatalities clearly indicate the growing safety and infrastructure in  the road transportation in Japan.

ANA cute Pokémon airplane.
ANA cute Pokémon airplane.

Air Transport

The Air transportation in Japan was so restricted before World War II. But after the foundation of Japan Air Lines (JAL), the air travel to domestic and international has increased so much and it is now it is set to take precedence than the other transport systems in Japan.

Tokyo is the primary center for all the air traffic and it connects every city by air. The next big one is Osaka. The other major airports are in Sapporo, Nagoya and Fukuoka. The growth in phenomenal that even the airports in the artificial islands near Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe are finding it hard to ease the air traffic.

There are currently 97 airports in Japan. The major international airports are the Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Chubu Centrair International Airport. The Tokyo Airport is the domestic hub.

The Japan Airlines and the All Nippon Airways (ANA) are the main airlines. There are other major operators available as well. The Tokyo airport with its expansion has opened an international terminal as well. The Tokyo airport is supposed to handle 407,000 landings and departures now.

The fares are set by the carriers now. But the government can veto it if the fares are high.

With high standards of safety and security and a service that is truly outstanding, the Japan’s air transportation is bound to compete with any airlines in the world today.

Tokio-Haneda airport.

Small local ferry.
Small local ferry.
Ferry network.
Ferry network.

Marine Transportation

Japan has the waterway that spans around 1770 km. Japan has 22 major sea ports and have designated them as special important ports. Japan has an amazing fleet of 662 ships. The variety of these ships and the number of ships are : 146 Bulk ships, 13 Chemical tankers, 49 cargo ships, 16 bulk combination, 45 liquefied gas, 25 container, 9 passenger, 214 petroleum tankers, 2 passenger & cargo combination, 48 roll on and off ships, 22 refrigerated cargos, 60 vehicle carriers and 9 short sea passenger ships.

It is of importance to note that all the small islands are also linked to the main island by bridges and tunnels. So boats might not look the best option if time is limited. For the smaller Islands, boats are the primary option. However, there are jet ferries and hovercrafts available for this purpose. But they really cost more.

In addition, there are slow cargo boats available as well. Though the fare is cheaper, they are less frequent.

There is another kind of ferries called inter-city ferries. They are affordable.

There are classes in the boats. The first class can be comfy while the second class is general and basic.

The prices for the long distance boats are bit higher than the discounted air fares. This is also a reason for the decline in marine transport in Japan.

There are many ferries that connect Honshu and Hokkaido. The other ferries connect the Okinawa Island with Kyushu and Honshu as well. All the smaller islands are connected to main islands by these ferries.

There are many international ferries to Japan. Though the time takes is long in these travels, the experience is worth experimenting. The countries that are connected are:

Korea : The ferries that connect Busan to Fukuoka, Shimonoseki and Osaka.

China : From Shangai it connects Osaka and Kobe. Then Tianjin it connects Kobe. From Qingdao it connects Shimonoseki. From Suzhou it connects Shimonoseki.

Taiwan : From Keelung it connects to Ishigaki and Naha.

Russia : From Sakhalin it connects to Wakkanai. Then there is Russia to Japan via Sakhalin as well. From Vladivostak it connects to Takaoka.

The service in this marine transportation is good and friendly. The hospitality of the crews is truly amazing.

Xinjianzhen - Quick ferry of China Japan International Ferry.
Xinjianzhen - Quick ferry of China Japan International Ferry.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      uh k.......

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      haha it talks about japanese then has an ama ad

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Copied and pasted everything for my geography project!

    • loonyBG profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I'm happy for You :) Where were You exactly?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this is the grate part in japan i went to japan and i hade sooooo much fun and i loved it a lot and i want to go back with my school and people from my school i went with my teachers and every thing


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)