Step 2: Train Pass and Bike Cover

Picture of Train Pass and Bike Cover
I had a JR rail pass which is only for tourists. It must be bought outside of the country. It's still expensive, but a lot cheaper than individual train tickets. When bringing your bike onto a train, you have to put a cover over your bike. I used this big brown bag. Later I bought a much lighter bike cover in a dollar store. In the station I partly folded the bike as seen here for ease in wheeling it around.
the whole buying individual tickets is more expensive is a well perpetuated myth, It does save you the hassle dealing with people if you don't speak the language and if you plan on going up and down the country on 5 hour train rides for a week it may be a deal, but the last time i was in japan my tickets for getting around came in well under $100 usd which is significantly less than a JR pass.