Seishun 18 Kippu Ticket: A cheap sightseeing solution in Japan!
Source : tourist-note.com
Perhaps you have heard that sightseeing in Japan can be quite expensive, especially when it comes to accommodation and transportation that can rapidly break the budget. In Japan, the main form of transportation is the railway but there are a few options to cut transportation costs so as not to bring about bankruptcy while sightseeing in Japan. One of them is the Seishun 18 Kippu season ticket (pronunciation: Seishun Juuhachi Kippu) from Japan Railways.
In this article, we’ll introduce the Seishun 18 Kippu, when and where you can buy this profitable ticket and how to use it. Hopefully this guide will assist you in planning your vacation to Japan, as well as help you save on transport costs.
What is the Seishun 18 Kippu?
Seishun 18 Kippu tickets are special discount tickets to take the JR train freely within a given time period. The JR train network includes the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, all the way to Kagoshima in the south. So this ticket allows you to travel to many places, as long as it is still valid.
The Seishun 18 Kippu was first sold in 1982 with an initial price of 8,000 yen and has since experienced several price increases. The latest ticket price increase took place in 2014 and it is now 11,850 yen. This ticket is suitable for those who are traveling long distances because it can be used for a five-day trip, which equates to only 2,370 yen per day. It works out very cheap, especially if used for long trips. Please note that the ticket price applies to both adults and children.
When can the ticket be purchased and what is its validity?
The Seishun 18 Kippu is a seasonal ticket that is only sold and valid at certain times during spring, summer and winter. In spring, the ticket is sold from February 20 to March 31 and valid from March 1 to April 10. In summer, it is sold from July 1 to August 31 and valid from July 20 to September 10. In winter, the ticket can be purchased from December 1 until December 31 and used from December 10 to January 10.
Who can use it?
Although these tickets use the word seishun (which means “youth"), they can be purchased and used by anyone, including children and parents, as well as Japanese locals, foreign residents and tourists.
As already mentioned, the ticket price is 11,850 yen and can be used for a five-day trip. But one ticket can also be used for groups up to a maximum of five people. If you are traveling with a friend, that means that each of you can use this ticket for two days and the remaining day can only be used for one person. The time of ticket usage does not have to be in a certain order; the important thing is that the ticket period is still valid. This is what distinguishes it from the JR Rail Pass.
What kind of transportation can the ticket be used for?
Local trains (futsudensha / kakuekiteisha) and JR (kaisoku) fast trains that run throughout Japan, from Hokkaido in the north to Kagoshima in the south, can be boarded freely using this ticket. But the ticket does not apply to Shinkansen, express train (kyuko) and limited express train (tokkyu). In addition to the train, the ticket also applies to BRT (Bus Rapid Train) bus, which can be used as a substitute for trains at Sanriku Beach and Tohoku, as well as the ferry to Miyajima operated by JR West.
Where can I buy it?
The ticket can be purchased at almost all JR stations. Just look for Midori no Madoguchi to buy it. It can also be purchased at any automatic ticket vending machine or at the View Plaza.
How to use it?
This ticket cannot be used at automatic ticket gates. To get into the station, you have to pass a ticket gate that is guarded by a station attendant. Show the ticket and the officer will stamp it. Tickets on the day are valid from midnight to 23:59 on the same day. Outside of major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, the tickets are only valid until the last train time.
・For effective travel, you can plan your travel times by first finding out the train schedule. Please check the train schedules and routes in Japan on HyperDia website, which is also available in English. In the "vehicle type" section, make sure that only the "local train" and "Japan Railway" columns are checked so that the train schedules shown are only for local and fast trains (kaisoku).
・In many cases, the time between the departure of your transfer train and the arrival of the train you are riding will only be a few minutes. For a long trip that many take the whole day, it’s important to plan time to fill your stomach and keep the body fit. In Japan, eating on short distance trains is considered bad manners but for medium or long distance trains, it is okay to eat onboard.
・Be prepared before you travel because with this ticket, you may be required to transfer trains many times, especially for a long-distance trip.
If you are planning to travel around Japan and your dates coincide with the Seishun 18 Kippu's availability, this ticket may be the best choice, particularly if keeping costs down is your main consideration.
Written by: Kanona
Tourist Note JAPAN