Is a Public Transport Holiday Really Possible?

With Tokyo’s Narita International Airport now offering a high-speed rail connection to the city, it seems as if Japan’s monumental railway plans are nearing completion. The country boasts is home to the most developed and efficient public transportation network on the planet, moving millions of people across the country (and through its cities) on a daily basis and fuelling the nation’s economy.

Given the pristine state of public transportation in Japan, it’s becoming increasingly common for visitors to spend months in the country without stepping foot inside a single taxi car or organised tour bus. Ultra-efficient subway networks make cross-city transportation effortless, while a large and accessible high-speed national rail network links the country’s largest cities and tourist locales.

Is it really possible to spend a month in Japan without stepping foot inside a car? We think so, and we’re fairly certain it’s more of an activity than it is a challenge – one that’s made simple due to the country’s immensely successful public transport options. With ‘green’ travel gaining popularity and low-cost getaways becoming a necessity, ‘public transport vacations’ could soon become the norm.

Japan already enjoys a safe-sleep culture – one that stresses the possibility of sleeping on public transportation without fear of theft or violent crime. Due to the nation’s low crime rates and large rail network, a growing number of domestic and international travel bloggers have suggested that Japan’s large train network could become an ideal low-cost hotel, complete with rapid transport.

It’s an idea that, as strange as it may seem, is already popular within the country. Japanese teens regularly use the country’s train network as an overnight sleeping locale, booking tickets between two cities and using rail passes to save money on accommodation. As travel prices continue to increase, it seems as if Japanese innovation and creativity may lead the way in low-cost travel.