Discover Japan by train! Seishun 18 Kippu
Do you have plans for the next spring in Japan? Do you like travelling by train? Staying in Japan for a few months want to explore without going bankrupt? We have just the solution for you! It’s made from paper, it’s very small, green and its name is Seishun 18 Kippu!
The Seishun 18 Kippu (青春18きっぷ) is a discount ticket issued by the Japan Railway Group (JR). Therefore, it’s valid for all the JR network in Japan. With this ticket, you are allowed to travel on local and rapid trains for the modest sum of ¥2,370 per day. The ticket has a validity for 5 days and they don’t have to be consecutive with a final price of ¥11,850. One person can enjoy the Seishun 18 Kippu for five days or it can be split for use by up to five people.
It is undoubtedly a cheaper option than the Japan Rail Pass unavailable for expats living in Japan and a good alternative.
It is also a wonderful option for backpackers who want to discover Japan by traveling with small local trains. The ticket is on sale only on three periods each year and is available in almost all JR stations around the country.
But this will take a life!
Well, it is true that traveling with local trains requires multiple changes. It is not as quick and convenient compared to the express trains or Shinkansen. However, let’s take a look at the next example. Let’s say we want to go to Kyoto from Tokyo and we are ready to depart at 7:00.
Departure at 07:42 from Tokyo → Atami → Shimizu → Hamamatsu → Toyohashi → Ogaki → Maibara → Arrival to Kyoto at 16:12.
This whole trip would normally cost more than ¥8,000 or ¥13,000 if you were to take the Shinkansen.
owever, with the Seishun 18 Kippu you only pay ¥2,370 and you will be in Kyoto before dinner!
Okay, that sounds cool, but then I will lose the day stuck on a train!
Well, guess what! Some overnight trains are also covered by the Seishun 18 Kippu. For instance, you can reserve a seat in the Moonlight Nagara (ムーンライトながら). It is a train that departs Tokyo to as far as Fukuoka by the end of the day. It also stops in famous cities like Kyoto, Osaka or Kobe! For example, if you take the Moonlight Nagara at 11 PM from Tokyo, you will arrive in Kyoto by 9 AM!
This saves you on accommodation and starts your day early in a new city! Oh, and it’s important to point out that there are also available overnight trains to the northern part of Japan.
Alright, you convinced me! How can I plan my routes with the Seishun 18 Kippu?
Very easy! You can use a planning website like Hyperdia, where you can calculate your routes accurately. To find the routes allowed for the Seishun 18 Kippu click in “More options” and uncheck all checkboxes except “Local Train” and “Japan Railway (JR)”. For more information about other trains and lines included in the Seishun 18 Kippu, you can consult the pamphlet given to you when buying the ticket.
電車が発車します！(All on board!)
Credit CC BY 4.0: Hayato