Where To Buy Shinkansen Tickets
You can collect your shinkansen tickets in Tokyo or, more conveniently, have them delivered to your hotel anywhere in Japan for a small extra fee. You must order at least 3 days in advance before the day of travel.
where to buy shinkansen tickets
I would advise you to book your shinkansen tickets as far in advance as you can, during peak season like Christmas and New Year, cherry blossom season (April) and fall foliage season (November). It gets extremely busy and trains are often fully booked.
Usually, the ticket can be purchased from one month before travel date (it is a regulation by JR).You can purchase Shinkansen tickets from the pages offered officially by JR Central or JR East, and from the Smart EX, a new reservation App introduced by JR West in 2018. Or, if you use online booking from us, Shinkansen-Ticket.com, you can book your tickets anytime in advance, and our specialized staff will securely purchase on the very first release day for you.
This may be very helpful for those who will be traveling in a group or family, as we always make sure to arrange seats together, and we do take requests such as arranging seats on Mt. Fuji side, a window seat, non-smoking, etc..You can then receive your tickets either at your hotel, your friend's apartment, any post office in Japan, or at your home address in your country.
Pros:- Booking can be made anytime in advance*- You can save your time to purchase tickets in Japan- Any seat requests can be made upon booking*- Your seats are securely purchased even during the peak season- You can have your tickets delivered to any place you wish (in Japan or outside Japan)*
Shinkansen tickets can be purchased at any major JR station from one month prior to traveling date.There are two ways you can purchase your tickets from; a ticket counter, or, a ticket vending machine.Ticket counter at the station is usually located in a Ticket Office (or called "Midori no Madoguchi" in Japanese) in major JR stations, and you can purchase tickets from a salesperson at a counter.Please note that many salespersons at the counter have limited English conversation skills.Most vending machines at the station offer multilingual menus (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean) so you should be able to purchase tickets without any difficulties.
It is quite easy to purchase tickets at a station, but as mentioned earlier, there's a possibility that your designated trains are all booked out especially if your travel falls on one of the peak seasons in the year.Also, you may need to queue up in a long line, as oftentimes ticket counter or vending machine is crowded with people purchasing tickets.Here's a quick review of purchasing tickets at a station
Cons:- You need to be at a station just to purchase your tickets - Seats can be sold out during peak seasons or on weekends- Your seats may need to be split up if you are in a group or family- You may need to wait in a long line to purchase
Proceed to your Shinkansen departure station with your ticket, find your platform (usually there is an electric bulletin board near the ticket gate that shows train and platform number), insert your ticket to the ticket gate, head to your platform, get into the cabin number written on your ticket, and find your own seat also written on the ticket.If you are taking an unreserved seat, you can find the unreserved cabin information from the electric bulletin board.You can have seats at unreserved cabins of any train of any time on a reserved day with unreserved tickets, and seats in the unreserved cabin are the first-come first-serve basis.Make sure that you allow enough time at your departure station before taking your reserved train, as you may have a hard time finding your platform at the station.Since many of the Shinkansen stations are quite complexed, we recommend you to be at the station around 30 minutes prior to your train departure.(Especially, Tokyo station is the most complex of all in Japan.)In case you miss your reserved train, you can still take any later train on the same day, but in an unreserved seat.If there are any more points need to be cleared, please visit our FAQ page, where we have gathered all the questions we have received from our customers in the past, or simply contact us anytime. Our Shinkansen Booking Experts are more than happy to assist you!
You can take any open seats in unreserved cars of any train on the departure date. (No departure time will be indicated on your tickets.)The best seat type if your priority is the cost and are traveling during less-crowded season/time.
Everyone wants to get the best value tickets possible, but without doing extensive research it can be tricky. This guide to Shinkansen tickets will explain the different types, where to buy them from, how to use them, and how you can save money by getting the best-value tickets.
Certain trains may use a single integrated ticket, but often you need both a passenger and express ticket to board your train. Train attendants routinely check for both types of tickets during the journey.
Up to 2 infants can travel for free. The regular child fare (50% of full fare) applies if the child occupies a reserved seat, green car seat, or bed. In parties with more than 2 infants, only 2 may ride for free; tickets must be purchased for all additional children.
Running at speeds of up to 320 km/h, the shinkansen is known for punctuality (most trains depart on time to the second), comfort (relatively silent cars with spacious, always forward-facing seats), safety (no fatal accidents in its history) and efficiency. Thanks to the Japan Rail Pass, the shinkansen can also be a very cost effective means of travel.
The shinkansen network consists of multiple lines, among which the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka) is the oldest and most popular. All shinkansen lines (except the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen) run on tracks that are exclusively built for and used by shinkansen trains. Most lines are served by multiple train categories, ranging from the fastest category that stops only at major stations to the slowest category that stops at every station.
Seat reservations allow you to secure a seat and travel with peace of mind. They can be made for all shinkansen trains, but are not mandatory on the trains that also carry non-reserved seating. Only the Hayabusa, Hayate, Komachi and Tsubasa trains along the Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen, and the Kagayaki trains along the Hokuriku Shinkansen require seat reservations.
For peace of mind seat reservations are always recommended, especially when traveling in groups and preferring to sit together. On a few shinkansen trains along the Tohoku Shinkansen, Hokkaido Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen seat reservations are mandatory.
Regular paper tickets for the shinkansen can be purchased at ticket counters, at ticket machines or online. Alternatively, IC cards can be used. Last but not least, there are several rail passes and other types of discount tickets that can be used on the shinkansen.Fees that make up a shinkansen ticketA shinkansen ticket is made up of the following fees:
Shinkansen passengers typically receive two pieces of tickets: a base fare ticket and a supplement ticket. In some situations the two tickets are combined into a single ticket, while more than two tickets may be issued if multiple trains are involved (one base fare ticket and one supplement ticket for each train).
Shinkansen tickets can be purchased at any ticket office found at all major and many minor JR stations nationwide. Credit cards are accepted at most ticket offices. In order to purchase a ticket, the following information is needed:
If you do not speak Japanese, it is recommended that you write the data on a piece of paper and present it to the salesperson in order to make the purchasing process smoother. Salespersons are generally familiar with the English vocabulary needed for the purchase of train tickets and seat reservations, but many have limited English conversation skills.
Selected ticket machines can be used to buy shinkansen tickets. Most of them offer English menus. Some machines sell only non-reserved seats, while others can also be used to make seat reservations. Although ticket machines can be very useful if you know how to use them, the process of buying shinkansen tickets is not always straight-forward and some machines do not accept credit cards that are issued outside of Japan.
Although such websites exist in Japanese, there is currently no single English website for buying tickets for shinkansen nationwide. Instead, there are multiple systems that each cover only selected lines. Note that these systems (except the one for the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen) do not issue e-tickets. Instead, actual tickets need to be picked up from ticket machines before boarding the train. Furthermore, tickets can be picked up only in the region covered by each system.
In addition to the above-mentioned JR-operated websites, there are other online ticket services, such as Klook's shinkansen booking service, which allow tickets to be purchased online and delivered to an address in Japan. Separately, Klook also sells discount tickets for the Sanyo Shinkansen for oversea tourists to be picked up with a mobile voucher.
The Japan Rail Pass can be used on all shinkansen trains except Nozomi and Mizuho trains and covers all the fees involved. Seat reservations can be made for free at ticket machines and ticket offices. Pass holders will receive a seat reservation ticket that indicates the reserved seat. They need no tickets besides their rail pass when using non-reserved seats. Numerous regional passes also cover some shinkansen trains. 041b061a72