|Above, yours truly at Osaka Castle.|
Having the JR Rail Pass while in Japan opens up many places to visitors. What is also great about having the Rail Pass, it can be used on most shinkansens (bullet trains). There are some restrictions and the Rail Pass cannot be used for some trains.
The NZ Herald has posted an article on "Mad Day Trips On Japan's Bullet Train".
I have taken some day trips utilizing the bullet train. The first was when I went to Atami from Tokyo in 2001. The next was a day trip from Kyoto to Hiroshima with G-TOUR in 2004. Generally, the trips I take are overnighters.
The longest trip I've taken aboard a bullet train was going to Fukuoka from Tokyo and back.
The NZ Herald begins their article with:
Public transport is slick in Japan. Travelling from Tokyo to the historical city of Hiroshima 806km away takes just four and a half hours.
Driving from Sydney to Melbourne - a similar distance of 876km, meanwhile - would take the average driver just over nine hours without stops.
Tokyo is a city lit up with technology, where public transport is refreshingly efficient.
While queues of passengers pushing one another onto an already-packed train is a common vision in Japan, so is the charming Shinkansen, or bullet train, which over time has become an icon to impact Japan's economy, business and society.
The slick, silver-tinted Shinkansen travels at 300km/hr and is one of the fastest trains in the world.The writer took the shinkansen to the cities of Kyoto, Hiroshima, Naoshima and Osaka.
To read more, go here.