Pre-order or reduced price shinkansen tickets?

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Me and my girlfriend who works in Japan want to go from Tokyo to Osaka with the Shinkansen. I don't want to buy a JR railpass because firstly I'm just travelling one distance (I'm flying out of Osaka), and secondly my fiancé can't get one since she is working in Japan. 

So is there a way to get a lower price if you preorder for Nozomi or any or the pricier/best shinkansen lines?


Halvor Halvorsen
kunoichi kunoichi, Living in Japan

Answered over 3 years ago

If your girlfriend can read & understand Japanese, there is the internet ticketing website operated by JR called "Ekinet" (えきねっと) . The service is pretty complicated and even me being a native Japanese always encounter troubles when I try to purchase, but they have pre-order discounts and also internet purchase discounts.
Matt Watson Matt Watson, Living in Japan

Answered over 3 years ago

This is a great question. I often had problems with shinkansen tickets when I first arrived. You have several options.

If you want to preorder shinkansen tickets, you can do so at the Midori Madoguchi at most JR stations.

If you want to try and get discount tickets, there are usually stores close to the larger stations. Most often the store is called Daikokuya, but it could be different depending on your location. You will usually see advertisements for plays and museums as well. You can save JPY 1000 or more on shinkansen tickets usually.

Lastly, and my preferred way to travel if you really want to save money, the night bus. You can book a night bus from Tokyo to Kyoto for about JPY 5000. If you are really good, you might even be able to find tickets for the night bus at the discount ticket shop.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!