Picture the scene; you're hurtling through a valley of vibrant Japanese maple trees, whilst to your left is a lake that looks so calm that the lightest pebble would send ripples across all sides. Japan's a multifaceted country, with ample transport facilities in place to help you tackle it. Get your journey planned down to a tee, and you'll be rewarded with a remarkable trip you won't be forgetting anytime soon.
Once you've braved the long haul, the next step is to try and establish a route which works for you. To save yourself a few yen – Japan's currency – consider buying a ticket pass and exploring the country via bullet train. This'll mean no sleepless nights booking multiple fares online, and gives you a "hop-on, hop-off" spontaneous edge to your trip. Not only that, but bullet trains are one of the country's proudest exports, ranking alongside sushi. One day you'll be in Tokyo, marvelling at Le Corbusier's architecture or eating some delicious Japanese cuisine, the next you'll be immersed within Kyoto's temples.
With such diverse destinations on offer, you want to ensure that getting between them is as easy as possible. Japan's lucky enough to be blessed with an array of culture and scenic wonders that draw in hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. There's just one catch - they're all spread out across the whole island. However, travelling by bullet train cuts out long journey times, so you can speed between Hiroshima, in the south, to central Osaka in a few hours, and soak up the breadth of the country simultaneously.
Japan's attractions aren't just man-made; far from it, in fact. Spectacles such as Lake Ashi are best viewed from afar, riding in a luxury carriage with a coffee to hand. Seeing the country's natural scenery from the comfort of a bullet train adds a whole new side to your time away. You'll return with a social media account stacked full of Insta-gold. Speeding through countryside while you watch the world pass you by sure beats taking the bus, and is a sure-fire way of an injecting some extra excitement to your holiday.
Before you even think about purchasing a ticket, here are a few essential tips to get the most out of your bullet train experience. If you're travelling from Tokyo, to either Osaka or Kyoto, ask the staff what time the train will be passing Mount Fuji. The summit of Fuji is the highest point in the whole of Japan, but even from ground level this makes for an iconic sight. These trains also contain power points, so you'll be able to keep all your electrical appliances charged - now there's no excuse for not getting any photos!
Bullet trains are fast (geddit?) becoming a staple part of any holiday to Japan, and have been since first launching in the 1960s. Bon voyage, or as the Japanese would say – anzen'na tabi!
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