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Japanese Railways

 2016/02/13 Travel in Japan   23 Views

Today’s contents

1.About Japanese Railways

2.Types of operators

3.Tickets, fare and surcharges

4.summary

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Rail transport in Japan is a major means of passenger transport, especially for mass and high-speed travel between major cities and for commuter transport in metropolitan areas.

I will tell you about Japanese Railways.


About Japanese Railways

Rail transport services in Japan are provided by more than 100 private companies, including Six Japan Railways Group (JR) regional companies (state owned until 1987) which provide passenger services to most parts of Hokkaido, Honshu,Shikoku, and Kyushu, The nationwide JR freight company and 16 major regional companies which provide railway services as part of their corporate operations. There are also dozens of smaller local private railways.

Many of the private rail companies rank among the top corporations in the country. Railways were built by private corporations developing integrated communities along the railway lines, allowing them to achieve profitability by diversifying into real estate, retail, and numerous other businesses. Regional governments, and companies funded jointly by regional governments and private companies, also provide rail service.

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Types of operators

JR ( Japan Railways Group )

The Japan Railways Group, more commonly known as JR Group, is a group of successors of the government-owned Japanese National Railways (JNR). The JR Group lies at the heart of Japan’s railway network, operating almost all intercity rail services and a large proportion of commuter rail services.

The six passenger operating companies of the JR Group are separated by region, but many operate long-distance train services beyond their regional boundaries. The six companies are Hokkaido Railway Company, East Japan Railway Company, Central Japan Railway Company, West Japan Railway Company, Shikoku Railway Company, and Kyushu Railway Company.

Freight service belongs to Japan Freight Railway Company or JR Freight which operates all freight network previously owned by JNR.

Major private railways

Japan also features multiple competing private railway systems. In post-war Japan, the Japanese government encouraged private corporations to develop their own mass transit systems in order to quickly rebuild the country’s urban transport networks.

Private rail lines were encouraged to compete with each other as well as the national rail lines with the government’s role limited to regulation of fares. In exchange for developing rail lines, private corporations were given business opportunities to diversify their operations and develop the real estate surrounding their railway networks.

By allowing private corporations to control transit oriented developments as well as railway lines, planned communities were facilitated allowing private railway operators to establish a vertically integrated business of developing residential, business, industrial and retail land and the commuting methods used by the populace to travel between such areas.

As such, through diversification of their business, the majority of the private railways in Japan are financially independent and their railway operations are usually profitable, in sharp contrast to most transit networks in other countries

The 16 companies are classified as the major private railways such as Tobu Railway, Tokyu Corporation, Keikyu Corporation,  Hankyu Corporation.

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Tickets, fare and surcharges

Rail transport in Japan is usually for a fee. In principle a fare is pre-charged and a ticket is issued in exchange for a payment of fare. A ticket is inspected at a manned or automated gate in the station where a travel starts and is collected at the station where the travel ends.

A ticket required for a travel by railway is called a fare ticket, the price of which is fare. The fare ticket is valid regardless of number of transfers. Long-distance travellers are allowed unlimited number of stopovers  along the route subject to the duration of the validity of the fare ticket. In addition, a ride on a specific train may require a surcharge ticket.

Except for very short railways and some tram systems with a flat fare, fare varies by distances or number of zones travelled. The pricing based on the time of travel (peak or off-peak) is not common in Japan. Children fare between 6 and 12 is half of adult fare. Recent development in the fare collection system is the stored-value card systems shared by multiple operators in large cities, such as Suica and PiTaPa, by which passengers can avoid consultation with complicated fare tables and lineups for ticket machines before each train ride.

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Summary

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Rail transport in Japan is a major means of passenger transport, especially for mass and high-speed travel between major cities and for commuter transport in metropolitan areas.

Rail transport services in Japan are provided by more than 100 private companies,

Types of operators are JR ( Japan Railways Group ) and multiple competing private railways.

Rail transport in Japan is usually for a fee. In principle a fare is pre-charged and a ticket is issued in exchange for a payment of fare. A ticket is inspected at a manned or automated gate in the station where a travel starts and is collected at the station where the travel ends.

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