Japan is renowned for its transportation, whether it's the always-punctual trains, endless local flight options (67 airports in all) and modern expressway road system, whichever you choose there is always a way to get you to your game on time!
Getting to a golf course in Japan by train
The train system in Japan is immense and impeccably reliable, all major cities have extensive local train systems and intercity travel is made easy and enjoyable with the indomitable Shinkansen (bullet train). Depending on where you are traveling from the expense will vary, and do keep in mind that reserved seating can be costly. Slower local trains are also an option but they are busier and have a lot of stops.
You can check train times and best route options, including price, at Jorudan. Google Maps also works just fine.
Dragging your clubs on the train? Don't!
It is popular to take the train and ship your clubs via Takubin. This service is super convenient and very easy to set up. The Yamato transport company who operate the service have it down to a fine art, and they have an English website. Just remember you need to allow two days if shipping your clubs to any course within Japan, and the same for the return journey.
Getting to a golf course in Japan by car
Japan's road network is extensive and serves over 70 million motorists. As that number would suggest, it can get congested and if there is an accident on the expressway, you will get stuck. But if all goes well then you have a great way to travel to the course in style. The cost for road tolls can add up so be sure to have cash in the car when traveling on the expressways.
Renting a car is an easy option in Japan. You just need your own country's driver's license together with an international driver’s licence. There are many international car rental companies here as well as local operators. Toyota operates a full service in English and has the most extensive locations nationwide.
Navigation in English is available from rental companies but these days any smartphone with Google maps will take you to your destination, even if you enter the address in English.
Tips for driving to a golf course in Japan
- Cars drive on the left in Japan, the steering wheel is usually on the right.
- Always allow an extra hour for driving to your destination. It's better to have an extra hour on the driving range than to be stuck in traffic when your tee time comes around.
- Keep plenty of cash in the car for tolls.
- It's best to fill the tank up outside of the car rental as they will charge a premium to refill.
- Keep your driver's license and passport with you, and if possible the telephone number of a Japanese speaker just in case!