Travelers exploring Japan via its famed high-speed rail network now face higher costs. The Japan Rail (JR) Pass, which allows foreigners to purchase and reserve Shinkansen tickets in advance, saw a significant price increase on October 1. The seven-day pass now costs ¥50,000 ($337), up from ¥29,650 ($200). However, children aged 6 to 11 can still access half-price tickets across the train network.
This price adjustment follows Japan’s reopening to tourists last fall and is part of an effort to manage overcrowding and address concerns related to overtourism. The move may affect the budgets of tourists planning to explore Japan through its efficient rail system.
Bullet Train Snack Service Reduced
While the Japan Rail Pass’s cost increase might be a financial burden for some travelers, there’s another change impacting train passengers. The popular Tokyo-Osaka bullet train has decided to scale back its onboard snack cart service. Passengers are now encouraged to bring their snacks for the journey, so don’t forget to pack your favorite ramen or other munchies before boarding.
Historic Shrine Introduces Visitor Fee
Japan’s iconic Itsukushima Shrine, located outside of Hiroshima and famous for its vibrant torii gate seemingly floating on the water, recently began charging entrance fees for visitors.
This marks the first time in its history that the shrine introduced such fees, with visitors paying 100 yen for a single visit or 300 yen for multiple visits. The reason cited for this change is crowd control, highlighting the ongoing challenge of managing overtourism in Japan. President Joe Biden managed to visit the shrine just in time before these fees were introduced during his recent trip to Japan.
Revisiting Misconceptions about Sri Lankan Cuisine
The diverse and flavorful cuisine of Sri Lanka is often misunderstood as a variation of Indian food. However, a group of young Sri Lankan chefs is taking their culinary traditions around the world, introducing international audiences to unique Sri Lankan flavors.
From egg hoppers in London to creamy coconut rice in Kentucky, these chefs are working to honor traditional recipes while introducing unexpected flavors to diners. It’s a delightful journey that showcases the richness of Sri Lankan cuisine beyond the misconceptions.
Sagrada Familia Nears Completion
In Barcelona, Spain, the iconic Sagrada Familia basilica, designed by renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, is finally nearing completion. Despite being under construction for over 140 years, the basilica is incredibly popular with tourists and was named TripAdvisor’s top attraction in 2022.
The recent completion of the fifth central tower marks a significant milestone, with the final, sixth central tower scheduled for completion in 2026. Considering the complex design, it’s remarkable how quickly construction has progressed since the basilica was granted a building permit in 2019.
Successful Group Trip Planning
Organizing a group trip doesn’t have to end in chaos and frustration. Planning ahead can ensure that everyone enjoys the vacation. To make your group trip memorable and harmonious, it’s essential to have open and honest discussions about budgets and expectations.
Allowing each member of the group to play to their strengths and understanding that everyone might need some personal time during the journey are keys to success. Once you return, consider turning your favorite vacation photos into gifts for your travel companions to cherish the good times you had together.