Travel Asia by Rail

Asia is easy to explore by high-speed rail By: Janeen Christoff
Japan's Hikari shinkansen (high speed rail) arrives at the Nagoya JR Station // (c)  2006 James Long/
Japan's Hikari shinkansen (high speed rail) arrives at the Nagoya JR Station // (c)  2006 James Long/

It’s well-known that traveling Europe by rail is one of the best ways to get around from country to country, and the Eurail pass is a tradition there.

However, many people do not know that similar passes can be purchased for high-speed travel in Asia as well.

Japan Rail
The Japan Rail Pass is a discounted ticket allowing unlimited rail travel throughout Japan over a seven-, 14- or 21-consecutive-day period. It is available in either an Ordinary (second-class) or Green (first-class) version. The pass is valid to travel almost anywhere in Japan, along the 12,400 miles of track of Japan Railways.

A seven-day consecutive pass is $239 for second-class seats. A 21-day consecutive pass is $670. The best way to utilize the pass is to use it on longer journeys where the fare would typically be expensive.

The Japan Rail Pass is specifically designed for international travelers and can only be booked outside Japan.

Japan Rail Pass

China's High Speed Rail System
Additionally, China is going through a period of great modernization when it comes to its railway system. A new high-speed railway now connects Beijing to Shanghai. The 819-mile bullet train journey takes just under five hours onboard the High Speed Electric Multiple Units (EMU) Train known as the Gaotie in Chinese. There are two services: a direct connection stopping only in the city of Nanjing and a slower service with 24 station stops between Shanghai and Beijing. High-speed rail service is also available between Wuhan and Guangzhou.

Travel China Guide — a leading China-based tour operator — provides an up-to-date China train schedule and a ticket booking service for trains departing from more than 30 major Chinese cities. Clients can read train reviews, learn about different types of trains within China, purchase train tickets, view railway maps and more on the site.

Travel China Guide