Photo: JR West
travel

Tourists can (finally) make shinkansen reservations from overseas with new app

8 Comments
By Jessica, SoraNews24

Up to now, it has been a real hassle making advance reservations for Japan’s bullet trains from overseas. JR East finally set up an online reservation system a while back, but that was only for trains heading north from Tokyo. If you wanted to head south along the so-called “Golden Route” to Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka, you had to wait till you arrived and cross your fingers.

Well, JR Central and JR West have finally got their act together. This week, they announced that they are launching an English-language reservation app for the popular Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen line, which connects Tokyo and all points south.

Users just download the free SmartEX app and register their credit card information. Then, they can use it to buy shinkansen tickets and reserve seats. Once in Japan, they can pick up their tickets at the station by swiping their registered credit card at special dedicated machines. Or, if the rider has an IC card such as Suica or Pasmo, they can register that and use it for ticketless travel. The app can also be used to make changes to a reservation.

sapp.png

The app will initially be available for download beginning on October 30 at 10 a.m. Japan Standard Time to users in America, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, with a more extended roll out slated to follow.

At the moment, it does not appear that the app can be used in conjunction with the Japan Rail Pass.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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At the moment, it does not appear that the app can be used in conjunction with the Japan Rail Pass.

Then I wonder just how useful it will be!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you are unaware, the Japanese version of this app is out now. Has been for about 6 weeks now. Heavy advertisements on some TV channels. The fact that they are releasing an English version is wonderful. Am somewhat curious as to why they would limit the markets though. If it's English and uses a credit card, then why the limit?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great but 10 years late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

n IC card such as Suica or Pasmo, they can register that and use it for ticketless travel.

The Suica or Pasmo part is incorrect. It requires a special IC card such as the "EX IC" for express travel (the card has the ability to record seat reservations etc unlike the regular suica or pasmo.

Suica/Pasmo is only used for local/medium basic amount trips.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Suica or Pasmo part is incorrect. It requires a special IC card such as the "EX IC" for express travel (the card has the ability to record seat reservations etc unlike the regular suica or pasmo.

Suica/Pasmo is only used for local/medium basic amount trips.

The website isn't clear, but it looks like it will work on the newer iPhones with NFC.

The translation says: If your mobile Suica apps and Suica application can check the traffic system IC card number, you can register by entering the 17-digit alphanumeric starting with JE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like new technology is going beyond me!

Looks like so, however they must be registered (reviewing Japanese site).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need to allow JR Pass holders to obtain tickets using this app. Even if it does not allow you to get tickets until you arrive in Japan and exchange your Exchange Voucher for the actual JR pass, it would be a huge help by not requiring us to queue up at the counter every time we wish to book a train.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another a year iOS users? Oh God!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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