(Updated September 2018) Travel on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) for Cheap
Japan boasts an amazing train network, and major cities are exceptionally well-connected with its extensive Shinkansen (bullet train) system. While taking the Shinkansen is arguably the nicest way to travel through the country, tickets for these slick vehicles don’t come cheap.
However, there are huge savings of up to 34% when you book a Shinkansen & hotel package with JAPANiCAN! Take the highly popular Tokyo-Kyoto route, for example.
How much does it cost to go from Tokyo to Kyoto via Shinkansen?
|Ticket type||Cost of one-way ticket (per person)|| Cost of round-trip ticket with 1 night’s|
stay* (per person)
|JPY 13,910||JPY 33,920||0|
*Using a base hotel price of JPY 12,200 per night, based on 2 adults in a twin room (= JPY 6,100 per person).
What is the difference between Nozomi and Hikari?
The line that runs the distance between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka is known as the Tokaido Shinkansen, and on it are 3 types of train services: Nozomi, Hikari, and Kodama. The difference mostly lies in their stopping pattern and speed, which is summarized in the table below.
|2 hrs 35 mins||3 hours||4 hours|
| Stops |
(see table below)
|Only at major stations||Major stations and some others||All stations|
○ All trains stop △ Some trains stop × Doesn’t stop
Adapted from: http://azumichannel.com/tokaido-shinkansen-ryokin/
How about the Japan Rail Pass?
The Japan Rail Pass is aimed at foreign tourists and can currently only be purchased outside of Japan. However, from March 2017 to March 2019, JR is selling the pass at selected stations within Japan. However, the pass will cost slightly more if purchased within Japan (refer to table below). So, you’ll save more by making the most out of JAPANiCAN’s special deals.
|Type: Ordinary Adult||Cost if purchased outside Japan||Cost if purchased within Japan*|
|7-day pass||JPY 29,110||JPY 33,000|
|14-day pass||JPY 46,390||JPY 52,000|
|21-day pass||JPY 59,350||JPY 65,000|
* Will be available for purchase at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Kansai Airport, Shin-Chitose Airport, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Niigata, Yokohama, Hiroshima, Takamatsu and Hakata Stations
The Japan Rail (JR) Pass is recommended if you are travelling to at least 3 or 4 cities, or long distances, within a fixed period of time (the pass is sold in 7-day, 14-day and 21-day periods). With prices starting from JPY 29,110 for single adult, they don’t come cheap either. In general, a return trip from Tokyo to Kyoto would make the purchase of a Nationwide Japan Rail Pass worth your money. Any distance less than that and you would be better off with single-trip tickets purchasable in Japan or an applicable Regional Japan Rail Pass.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the fastest Shinkansen train, Nozomi, is not covered by the JR Pass. This means that if you wish to take Nozomi, you will need to pay the basic fare and limited express charge (for more information, please visit the official Japan Rail Pass page). JAPANiCAN’s discounted e-vouchers and train & hotel packages, however, allow you to take even the Nozomi, giving you even more value for money!
Why choose JAPANiCAN?
Besides saving yourself a lot of money, here are some other reasons to book your train tickets through us.
- You can make use of our train packages even if traveling alone
Most tour packages require at least 2 people to make a booking, but with JAPANiCAN’s train & hotel packages, even solo adventurers on a budget can travel in style and comfort.
- Guaranteed seat during peak season
JAPANiCAN’s train & hotel packages include reserved seats on your selected train type, which means you are guaranteed a seat regardless of whether it is sakura season, Golden Week, or summer holidays. (Please note that if booking train tickets only, the seats are non-reserved).
- You can pick your hotel and number of nights
If booking a train & hotel package, you can choose from a fine selection of hotels in your destination city, with prices and locations to cater for all tastes. Stay overnight, 2 nights, or even 5 nights!
- No fuss delivery to your address/hotel in Japan
We’ll send the ticket to a specified Japanese address beforehand (including hotels), so you can head straight onto the train on the day – no need to waste time lining up at the ticket counter.
- Trustworthy company
As part of JTB, Japan’s largest travel agency, you can rest assured that we at JAPANiCAN will do our best to ensure your journey is a worry and stress-free one.
Browse and book one of our train & hotel packages today!