Shinkansen tickets on sale for half regular price until spring of next year in east Japan travel push

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

The tourism industry in Japan came to a screeching halt earlier this year with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as pretty much the whole country stayed home for both cherry blossom season and the Golden Week vacation period, two of the spring’s busiest travel periods.

Things aren’t looking much rosier for the Obon celebration in early August, when people in Japan traditionally take a week off from work to go back to their home towns (or, if they feel like they’ve already seen enough of their relatives lately, go somewhere else). But Japan Railways has faith that eventually people will be able to travel again, and when they do, the rail operator wants to make it easier on their wallets with massive 50-percent-off discounts for shinkansen (bullet train) tickets.

The deal is being offered by East Japan Railway Company, also known as JR East, the division of Japan Railways that connects Tokyo with the Tohoku, Joetsu, Hokuriku, and Yamagata Shinkansen lines that stretch north and northwest from the capital. Travelers taking the following shinkansen trains between August 20, 2020 and March 31, 2021 will be able to purchase their tickets for half-price.

● Hayabusa: To/from Tokyo Station and Morioka (Iwate Prefecture)

● Hayabusa: Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station (Hokkaido)

● Yamabiko: Tokyo and Fukushima

● Nasuno: Tokyo and Nasushiobara (Tochigi)

● Komachi: Toyko and Akita

● Tsubasa: Tokyo and Shinjo (Yamagata)

● Toki: Tokyo and Jomo-Kogen (Gunma)

● Tanigawa: Tokyo and Niigata

● Asama: Tokyo and Nagano

● Kagayaki: Tokyo and Kanazawa (Ishikawa)

● Hakutaka: Tokyo and Itoigawa (Niigata)

The most expensive one-way fare on that list is between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, which ordinarily costs 23,230 yen, meaning the discount saves you 11,620 yen, since JR East is generous enough to round down when calculating the price of the half-off ticket. Even the least-expensive tickets, to/from Tokyo and Nasushiobara or Jomo-Kogen, become 2,910 yen cheaper, which is a nice chunk of change to have added to your budget for seeing the local sites and enjoying regional delicacies.

While they may not represent the same level of potential savings as JR’s multi-day unlimited-use rail passes, these discounted tickets are excellent options for travelers who won’t be bouncing back and forth across the whole country, and are instead looking to take one or maybe two side-trips while spending a lot of their time in Japan in Tokyo. If that sounds like the sort of trip you’re planning, the half-off Shinkansen tickets, which are being offered as part of JR East’s Tabi ni Deyou (“Let’s Go on a Journey”) campaign can be purchased through its Eki Net online ticketing service, and must be reserved between 20 days and one month ahead of the date you intend to ride on.

Related: Eki Net

Source: JR East

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Travel tip! Japan Railways to offer awesome new three-day unlimited pass for Tokyo and east Japan

-- Shinkansen will require reservations for large suitcases, charge penalty fees for those without

-- The ultimate Shinkansen trip: Riding Japan’s bullet train network from one end to the other

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Hope this spreads to JR West.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While they may not represent the same level of potential savings as JR’s multi-day unlimited-use rail passes...

"... which are only available to non-resident foreigners, who are not even allowed into the country right now, so it makes mentioning this statment utterly pointless..."

There, I fixed it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

 it makes mentioning this statment utterly pointless..."

No it's not pointless. The point is that for a brief window of time the locals can travel JR East Shinkansen at a discount. Normally the only savings available are the passes for non-resident foreigners. Therefore, even though the discount is not at the same level as the JR Pass, it is some enticement to locals to travel during this period. Especially if you have family living some distance away and have to waste far too many hours on cheaper modes of transport.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most people don't want to go in that direction, the want to go to Izu or Shimoda, kyoto or Osaka!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Outstanding! Will definitely stimulate some demand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Would've liked to have seen these price reductions pre-covid.

Now I don't really want anyone encouraging more travel especially FROM Tokyo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Are JR salaries going to remain the same or are they being cut?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Was happy till I didn’t see Shin Osaka.

Osaka Kobe (Hyogo) Kyoto Nara. Best little square in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is this offer just for Japanese people in Japan? or does it stretch to the JR rail pass for foreign travellers? can we get 50% off cheap rail pass to?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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