Once you start planning your trip to Japan, you will no doubt come across the unlimited Japan Rail passes (JR passes; valid on JR branded trains, buses, and ferries only).
Although most people find that if you do a round trip (say you land in Tokyo, take the Shinkansen to Kyoto/ Osaka, hop back on the Shinkansen to Tokyo to fly out-- it should save you some bucks by getting the Nation-wide pass).
Note, JR passes does NOT work on local subways or buses so if you are not planning to travel long distance, just buy the regional IC cards/ discount passes. More info about the difference between JR and private railways here.
Once you nail down all the places you plan to visit and you have booked your accommodation, use Hyperdia to map out all the routes and it will give you a near exact amount of how much you will spend on transportation.
- ( I made a short tutorial on using Hyperdia and getting around in Japan). Though you will need to separate fares of the JR trains from local subways (non-JR) manually yourself.
Sometimes, its inevitable that you may need to use both JR and Private Railways!!
- Once you land, find a Japan Rail Pass Exchange Station that will take the voucher and issue the actual pass for you (you must show your passport).
Will you be getting a JR pass for your Japan Trip?