Japan is steeped in legend and myth, perhaps the greatest of which is the popular misconception that the country is simply too expensive to visit. The truth is that flights to Japan are cheaper than they've ever been, accommodation can be great value, while the warm hospitality which awaits every visitor costs nothing at all. The real secret to travelling around the country on a budget, however, is the Japan Rail Pass. With this pass you can travel on some of the fastest trains in the world as often as you like for as long as you please - and all for one bargain price. Use this comprehensive guide in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of your trip to Japan. ? Practical information - planning your trip; what to take; getting to Japan from Europe, North America and Australasia ? City guides and maps - where to stay (all budgets), where to eat, what to see in 30 towns and cities; historical and cultural background ? Kilometre-by-kilometre route guides - covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert; 34 route maps ? Railway timetables - Bullet trains and all routes in this guidebook ? Customs, etiquette, Japanese phrases and 40 colour photos* ? Extended new edition - All routes have been retravelled for this new edition which includes the Tohoku and Kyushu shinkansen extensions, opened in 2011.