How to Save on Shinkansen Tickets: 4 Wise Ideas to Save Your Cost
Shinkansen is very convenient and efficient to travel one point to another. However, it costs more compared to other trains and busses.
How can we save on Shinkansen?
Structures of Tickets
The price of regular tickets depends on distance, the date you take Shinkansen, base fare and optional fare.
Holidays tend to get more expensive and available seats are limited unless you purchase in advance.
Here are fees that make up Shinkansen tickets.
Base Fare (乗車券 Jyosha-ken): Mandatory
This is regular fee paid for trains to travel one place to another. As you can imagine, the greater the distance the more expensive the price will be.
Shinkansen Supplement Fare (特急券: limited express fee): Mandatory
This fee is charged for Shinkansen. Thus you will be charged base fare and Shinkansen supplement fare when you take Shinkansen.
If you travel between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka and take Nozomi, for example, base fare is 8,750 yen and Shinkansen Suppliment fare is 5,700 yen: thus the total is 14,450 yen.
During holiday season, the price might change and the number of seats will be limited.
Seat Reservation Fee (指定席): Optional
This fee is charged if you reserve seats. It’s optional so if you don’t reserve your seat, you won’t be charged this fee.
Green Car Fee (グリーン車): Optional
This fee is charged if you choose Green Car (it’s like business class on airplanes. For more information, see ).
For instance, if you choose a reserved ordinary seat, the cost from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka is 14,450 yen. If you choose a reserved Green Car, the cost is 19,230 yen.
4 Ways to Save on Shinkansen Tickets
Here are 4 ways to save on tickets for Shinkansen.
1. Purchase Online
Tickets for Shinkansen become available a month before the departure date. Although depending on kinds of tickets you might be eligible to get some discounts.
For instance, East Japan Railway Company offers discount service called Eki-Net Tokuda-Ne(えきねっとトクだ値)
Depends on where you go, you would get up to 35% discount. Those tickets are sold for Eastern part of Japan only. That is, you can get discount when traveling from Tokyo to Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, for example, but you don’t get any discount when traveling from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka.
Moreover, Terms and conditions apply, so you need to check carefully before purchasing.
2. Purchase from Ticket Discount Place
You would save some if you purchase tickets from discount shop (金券ショップ), but they usually have terms and conditions. Check the restrictions, and if it is fine with you, purchase and save money!
3. Purchase a Set of Tickets
If you use Shinkansen a lot, this is another option. It comes with 6 tickets and valid for 3 months.
If, for instance, you visit Shin-Osaka from Tokyo, the total fee would be 13,690 yen and you would save 760 yen. You might think it’s not much, but if you use it for 6 times, you would save over 4,000 yen.
You can also share this with your friends. Again, terms and conditions apply so be careful when purchasing.
4. Purchase Package Online
This is probably the best way to save on Shinkansen tickets.
With this option, you would choose date, destination and hotel where you are going to stay. You book Shinkansen and accommodation at the same time and it saves your money and time. Isn’t it great?!
For instance, if you use this package, your cost for Shinkansen and accommodation between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka is as low as 22,000 yen as opposed to cost for Shinkansen is 14,450 yen. If you find hotels you want to stay and they offer this package, you better book!
There are 4 ways to save money on Shinkansen tickets. Purchasing online is an easy option if you know your traveling date, while purchasing a set of tickets is great if you use Shinkansen often.
You can also check Discount Shop and online package to see if there are any available tickets.