The Japanese railway system
Japan’s passenger rail system is so well-developed , punctual, extensive, and diverse that you can take it for granted that there will always be a train to take you where you want to go.
The first thing you should know is that the train lines in Japan are not operated by a single company. Japanese National Railways , a government-owned company, used to be in charge of the entire railway network in Japan, as well as everything related to it.
However, in 1987, the JNR was privatized and divided into 6 independent railway companies :
Together they form the Japan Railways Group or JR Group
The JR Group owns about 80% of the railways , but the Latest Mailing Database rest are privately owned companies.
For this reason, you will see that some lines that go in the same direction have different rates. This is because each company has its own price list.
The discount multi-use ticket (Japan Rail Pass) is part of the National JR Group and can be used on the vast majority of major rail services.
For more information on national, regional and local lines , see our maps page .
Privately owned railway companies
There are dozens of private railway companies in Japan. Some operate just one line, while others manage larger networks.
According to the Japan Private Railway Association, these are the main private railway companies currently available in the country:
Meitetsu operates a rail network around Nagoya that also gives access to
Central Japan Airport Central Japan Airport
Hankyu: Oversees the lines in the north of Osaka, connecting UK Cell Number Osaka with Kobe and Kyoto
Hanshin: runs a line between Osaka and Kobe, as well as some shorter routes
Keihan – Operates a main line connecting Osaka and Kyoto.
Kintetsu – manages the largest non-JR rail network, connecting Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Ise and Nagoya
Nankai: has lines in the south of Osaka and in Wakayama prefecture, facilitating access to Kansai airport
Nishitetsu: Fukuoka Prefectural Line Network Manager
Combined, these companies serve more than 2,870 kilometers of railways throughout Japan.