questions & answers: general japan travel

how to purchase single leg train tickets

How to purchase single leg train tickets


I am travelling to Japan in July for 2 weeks. I have looked into the cost of a 7 day JR pass versus individual train tickets for each leg of our itinerary and it looks as though it may be cheaper to buy individual tickets.

Please can someone advise regarding the following: -

  1. Can tickets be purchased in advance from the UK? and If so how do you collect these?
  2. If tickets are purchased when in Japan do the cost of the tickets increase closer to the departure date (like it does in the UK)?
  3. Do train prices vary depending on the time of day (ie. around rush hour)
  4. Are the tickets refundable and are there any other considerations or additional costs?

Any other information to assist will be appreciated.

Many Thanks


Hi there!

Here are some answers:

  1. You may be able to purchase JR tickets in advance through a Japanese Travel agent, however they will charge a fee for doing so. If you speak/read Japanese you are able to make rail reservations online through

  2. The cost of train tickets in Japan is a constant and does not change closer to departure. In fact, JR prides itself on price stability.

  3. JR prices do not vary during time of day, and are standardised based on distance, line and seat type.

  4. Tickets I have purchased in Japan have been refundable under certain conditions (eg refunded before the date of use). Please check with the JR clerk when you purchase your tickets for the precise conditions on the tickets you purchase.

Hope this helps!

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