About Japan Railways
Japan Railways is an overall corporate body consisting of the East Japan Railway Company, Tokai Railway Company, West Japan Railway Company, Hokkaido Railway Company, Shikoku Railway Company, Kyushu Railway Company and Japan Freight Railway Company. Services in Kyoto are managed by the Tokai Railway Company (Shinkansen) and West Japan Railway Company (regular train lines).
Shinkansen bullet trains arrive and depart from JR Kyoto Station which connects to Nagoya, Tokyo, Hioshima and Hakata. The limited express train, "Haruka," directly connects Kyoto Station and the Kansai International Airport. The Kyoto line connects to Osaka, Tokaido Line (Biwako line) to Nagoya via Shiga, Nara line to Nara via Uji. The Sanin line (Sagano line) goes through famous Arashiyama.
There is an essential "Japan Rail Pass" to travel around Japan by JR trains. Six Japan Railway companies provide this useful pass.
Though the pass doesn't cover some trains (Nozomi and Mizuho Shinkansen on Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu line), it is very economical to travel around Japan by trains with this pass. The pass can be purchased before visiting Japan only by foreign visitors or Japanese people who have lived in out of Japan for certain period of time.
More information: http://www.japanrailpass.net/
In the western Japan, the JR West Japan Pass is also available. Unlimited ride for two or three days on all non-reserved seats on JR West Japan, JR Shikoku and some lines of JR Kyushu is covered.
Three-day pass: 22,000 yen, Two-day pass: 18,000 yen
The pass can be purchased in Japan but no available for people with Japanese citizenship.
More information: http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html
JR-West has launched the FAQ service on their foreign language website!
To provide better service for the foreign tourists who visit Japan, the FAQ page is added to the foreign language website to make it more easy and efficient to use.
Due to rapid increase of tourists especially from Asian countries, this new FAQ page, "How to use JR-West" provides about 140 frequently-asked questions and answers. Users are able to acquire useful and necessary information before and during their travel in Japan so that their time in Japan will become more smooth with less troubles. The page shows necessary information for foreign tourists when using JR, for example, how to by train tickets, how to get on the trains.
JR-West has launched the "How to use JR-West" service on their foreign language website!