questions & answers: general japan travel

discount shinkansen tickets/cheapest route?

Discount Shinkansen Tickets/Cheapest Route?

I'm planning a trip from Hikone to Fukuoka where I leave on Nov. 22 and stay the night in Fukuoka (Hakata station) to return to Hikone in the evening on Nov. 23. I've heard that you can get some discounts on shinkansen tickets, and I'm wondering what kinds of discounts these are. I am not eligible for a Japan Rail Pass, as I am here for more than 90 days.
Can anyone help me find the cheapest way to do this? Thanks!

sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

Hi there,

There are indeed some (small) discounts available if you make a return trip and buy the tickets at the same time. To do so simply go to a JR ticket office and tell the staff that you want a return ticket. You'll get a 5-10% discount depending on the route traveled.

This would be the best option if you don't have a JR Pass.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you! Two questions, then:

  1. When I buy the return ticket, do they ask me to specify a time or only a day of return?

  2. Second, do you know the word for "return ticket" in Japanese? I can do the rest of the conversation in Japanese, but I can't think of that word. :)

sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

Hi again!

1.) You can specify it bus this is not required. You get a dateless ticket if if you get specify a date which can than be used within an x amount of days.

2.) The word for one one way is Katamichi and return is ofuku. You could just say x wo kudasai to make it polite :)

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hello! So I bought my shinkansen ticket at a discount, but can you help me figure out what it says? I'm at N3/N2 level, but for some reason it's just baffling me. I get that I have to go to the window, but my main concern is this -- can I ride the Nozomi with this ticket?

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sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

Hi There,

I read the ticket and this can be used to reserve the Nozomi. However this is only a voucher! It still has to be turned in at a ticket center / ticket office at the JR Station to get a real ticket (but I guess you got that!).

Does that help?
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Yes, that does help! I'm going to go to Maibara station (I have two vouchers -- one from Maibara to Kyoto and then another from Kyoto to Hakata, and the same on the way back) and then I was going to hand it to the midori no madoguchi guy and I figured he would tell me what to do. I knew that I couldn't put it through the machine at least. Do I need to worry that I'm doing that right before I get on the train? Should I have done it earlier? I can't have been expected to go to Kyoto to get my voucher changed over to a ticket, so I assumed that when I was getting ready to head through to the shinkansen platforms there would be a window.

Is that how it works? From what I read on the ticket it says that I should give it to the man at the window and then I do believe it also says I can do unreserved seating if I want to. Will I get reserved seats though?

sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

You can use it to get a reserved seat. Basically it works the same as buying a normal ticket. However instead of heading over money, you give this ticket (voucher) to the JR staff and they will give you the actual tickets.

This can be done at any time before departure, just leave enough time for the whole process to complete. So I would recommend arriving 20 min early at the station. Or do so at any time beforehand.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks! I have around half an hour in Maibara -- can they change both of my vouchers there, or do I need to wait until I reach Kyoto to change the voucher to a ticket for Kyoto-Hakata? And can they change my return tickets too while I'm still on my way?

Thanks so much for your help!

sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

They can be exchanged at any JR Station or travel center, so doing so at the same time should be no problem. Just be sure to specify the time/date when you want to use them.

Is the rest of the ticket clear?

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

I think I get the gist:

I can do free seating or reserved seating if they give me a reserved seat when I change my ticket.
Going from Maibara-Kyoto-Hakata
Stop at the window to change it in
I can use it within the dates specified except on the days it says I can't
It has Hikone on there, but I'm not sure what that's for

Anything on there that I didn't mention that you think I should know?

Thank you so much!

sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

Well...the one you see doesn't have the Maibara part. Sorry.

sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

Yes indeed. Also you may use a non-reserved seat on the same day, if you miss your reserved seat.

It displays Hikone, as that is the point of sale.

Enjoy your trip!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you! I shall! (I guess I was right -- I assumed that it showed Hikone because that's where I bought it.)

sabledragonrook
sabledragonrook

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