Japan Train JR Travel Hack | The Ultimate Ticket – Seishun 18 Kippu
What do you think is the cheapest way to travel in Japan? JR pass? Nope. IC card? Nope. I know you have read tons of “travel tips” articles that introduce you ways to save on transportation cost during your trip to Japan. Honestly speaking, this is a real hidden travel hack that you probably have not heard of.
In this article, we will introduce you the ultimate hidden method that allows you to travel across the WHOLE COUNTRY of Japan by train for 5 days at a total cost of only 11850 yen!
Does Seishun 18 Kippu (青春18きっぷ) sound foreign to you? It is a seasonal ticket that allows you to take all JR local and rapid trains in Japan on an unlimited basis for up to 5 days! No matter whether you are a tourist or a Japanese citizen, everyone can purchase the ticket at major JR stations and travel agents.
Groups can also use it! 1 Stamp on the Ticket = 1 Unlimited Ride day.
If a group of 5 people use it – that would use all 5 stamps available on the ticket.
Seishun 18 Kippu
The standard price of Seishun 18 Ticket is 11850 yen for all users, unfortunately, there is no student price or children price available.
Number of Users
The ticket can be used by 1 person for 5 days(not necessarily consecutive), it can also be shared by multiple users up to 5 people. (1 additional user uses up 1 day of validity).Group Travelers using this ticket must travel in groups.
When can it be used
However, since it is a seasonal ticket, you can only purchase and use it at certain times of the year.
- Release Period：20th February～31st March
- Usable Period：1st March～10th April
- Release Period：1st July～31st August
- Usable Period：20th July～10th Septemeber
- Release Period：1st December～31st December
- Usable Period：10th December～10th January
Where can it be used?
The ticket can be used for taking all local and rapid trains(普通/各停 and 快速) running on JR lines in Japan.
Valid for taking JR West Japan Miyajima Ferry.
Valid for taking the Aorimori Railway(青い森鉄道線) between Aomori(青森) station, Noheji(野辺地) station and Hachinohe(八戸) station. Alighting at stations other than these 3 along the railway will generate a transportation fee for the parts traveled.
Valid for taking the Ainokaze Toyama Railway (あいの風とやま鉄道線) between Takaoka(高岡) station and Toyama(富山) station Alighting at other stations other than these 2 will generate a transportation fee for the parts traveled. When taking the (Ainokaze Liner) あいの風ライナー liner ticket is needed.
Valid for taking the IR Ishikawa Railway (I Rいしかわ鉄道線) between Kanazawa(金沢) station and Tsumbata (津幡) Station. Alighting at stations other than these 2 will generate a transportation fee for the parts traveled.
Valid for taking Express(急行 Kyukou) and Limited Express(特急 Tokkyuu) trains on JR Ou Main Line (奥羽本線 Ouuhonsen) between Aomori(青森) station and Shin Aomori(新青森) station. You are not allowed to alight at any stations other than these 2.
Valid for taking Express(急行 Kyukou) and Limited Express(特急 Tokkyuu) trains on JR Ishikatsu Line (石勝線 Ishikatsusen) between Shintoku(新得) station and Shinyuubari (新夕張) station. You are not allowed to alight at any stations other than these 2.
Valid for taking Limited Express(特急 Tokkyuu) trains on JR Miyazaki Airport Line (宮崎空港線 Miyazaki kuukousen) between Miyazaki(宮崎) station and Miyazaki Airport(宮崎空港) station. You are not allowed to alight at any stations other than these 2.
Valid for taking Limited Express(特急 Tokkyuu) on JR Sasebo Line (佐世保線 Sasebosen) between Haiki (早岐 )station and Sasebo(佐世保) station. You are not allowed to alight at any stations other than these 2.
* If you want to travel from Honshu to Hokkaido, you can purchase the Seishun 18 kippu Hokaido Shinkansen Option Ticket for 2300 yen. It will allow you to take the Hokkaido Shinkansen between Okutsugaru-Imabetsu(奥津軽いまべつ) station and Kikonai (木古内) station and also the Donan Isaribi Railway (道南いさりび鉄道線) between Kikonai (木古内) Station and Goryoukaku(五稜郭) station. This is only valid for a one-way trip 1 time on each line.
How does it work?
You can use the ticket to pass through the manned gate at any JR station.
Your ticket will get stamped by the station officer the first time you use it each day.
If you are traveling in a group, each time the ticket will get stamped for the number of times equivalent to the size of your group.
Once your ticket gets stamped 5 times, you cannot use it any longer after that day. For example – a group of five friends uses the ticket to travel from Tokyo to Osaka. They would all be able to journey to Osaka on that day – and travel on the JR train lines during that day – but they would need to purchase a separate ticket for a return journey – if they returned the following day.
How to Plan Your Trip
If you are traveling long-distance, you may have to transfer many times. Therefore, you need to know the lines that you will be taking and their timetable. A good tool that gives you all the information is HyperDia. It allows you to search for routes between any 2 station by designated transportation methods.
Here is an example of a route between Tokyo and Osaka by JR local trains suggested by HyperDia.
Take note before purchasing the ticket
The only disadvantage of using this ticket is that you may spend most of your time on transportation, It takes much more time to travel from one place to another on local trains than more efficient transportation express and bullet trains. It may also be troublesome to transfer from line to line. However, it gives you the privilege to take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.
Can you understand Japanese?
Being able to speak and understand Japanese is really necessary for traveling freely in Japan. You don’t want to encounter situations where you are asking a Japanese person for directions and he can’t understand you. Don’t know how to start learning Japanese? We got you covered!
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