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Buying Shinkansen Tickets
How to Board the Shinkansen (1), Train Travel in Japan

Outline of Tickets

About Reservation
Reserved seats can be purchased at JR Reservation Ticket Offices ( "Midori-no-madoguchi") , from the same day of 1 month before departure. You should make reservations in Japan. Travel agencies which are not in Japan may not make JR reservations. Please use "Train Seat Reservation Application Form". Most of the JR station staff do not speak English. This Japanese&English form must be useful! And you will not wait for a long time at the Midori-no-madoguchi. Literally speaking, Midori-no-madoguchi also means "Green Window". Depending on days, "Super Express charge (Reserved)", "Limited Express charge (Reserved), and Reserved Seat charge" are different.

Look for the
"Midori-no-madoguchi" mark.
  • boarding on 18 November ===> sold from 10:00, 18 October
  • boarding on 29 March, 30 March, or 31 March ===> sold from 10:00, 1 March
  • boarding on 31 May ===> sold from 10:00, 1 May
  • boarding on 31 July ===> sold from 10:00, 1 July
  • boarding on 31 October ===> sold from 10:00, 1 October
  • boarding on 31 December ===> sold from 10:00, 1 December


Passengers need fare tickets if they do not have any passes.
EX:
Local train without reservation: "fare ticket"
Limited express without reservation: "fare ticket" and "limited express ticket (non-reserved)"
Fare tickets for local trains can be purchased from automatic ticket vending machines. Machines with a slanted display provide information and instructions in English. At first, press "English" button.


Charge Tickets You Need to Buy (cf: tkt = ticket, rsvd = reserved)
----- Sleeping Car Reserved Car Non-reserved Car
Sleeping Car A Sleeping Car B Gran Class Green Car Ordinary Car Green Car Ordinary Car
Shinkansen ----- ----- Shinkansen Super exp tkt,
Gran Class tkt (rsvd)
Shinkansen Super exp tkt,
Green tkt (rsvd)
Shinkansen Super exp tkt (rsvd) ----- Shinkansen Super exp tkt (Non-rsvd)
Limited EXP. Limited exp tkt,
Sleeping tkt A
Limited exp tkt,
Sleeping tkt B
----- Limited exp tkt,
Green tkt (rsvd)
Limited exp tkt (rsvd) ----- Limited exp tkt (Non-rsvd)
Express Exp tkt, Sleeping tkt A Exp tkt, Sleeping tkt B ----- Exp tkt, Green tkt (rsvd) Exp tkt,
Rsvd tkt
Exp tkt,
Green tkt (Non-rsvd)
Exp tkt
Rapid or Local ---- ----- ----- Green tkt (local rsvd) Rsvd tkt Green tkt (local Non-rsvd) (fare tkt only...)
Ship ----- ----- ----- ---- ----- ----- (fare tkt only...)


Reservation tickets are sold as long as a train you want to take has not departed your station yet.
EX:
the "Nozomi 1": Tokyo (6:00) ==> Shinagawa (6:07) ==> Shin-yokohama (6:18) ==> Nagoya (7:40) ==>Kyoto (8:16) ==> Shin-osaka (8:32) ==>...
Mr. Shonan is in Nagoya, and it is 7:32 now. He wants to take this train from Nagoya through Shin-osaka with seat reservation. It is only 8 minutes before departure of this train, and he does not have tickets of this train. This train has departed Tokyo starting station already. Of course he can reserve a seat because this train have not departed Nagoya yet. But he should be careful of missing this train!

About ticket information, Rail Passes, "Changes to Tickets and Refund Policy"...:
JR-East English Website: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/index.html
Japan Rail Pass: http://www.japanrailpass.net/
Japan Railways Group: http://www.japanrail.com/


Fare Tickets & Charge Tickets

Fare Ticket
fare ticket (1) Paid by Credit Card (There is no code in ticket if you pay by cash)
(2) Departure Station
(3) Arrival Station
(4) Routings (Via...)
(5) Boarding Date
(6) Validity (Valid for 3 days, including departure day)
(7) Total Amount
Caution: Tickets are not always issued with some English.

Shinkansen Super Express Ticket for Reserved Car
super express ticket reserved (1) Departure Station
(2) Arrival Station
(3) Boarding Date
(4) Departure Time
(5) Arrival Time
(6) Train Name
(7) Car Number (Car 5)
(8) Seat Number (Seat 3A)
(9) Non Smoking Sign
(10) Total Amount
Caution: Tickets are not always issued with some English.

Shinkansen Super Express Ticket for Non-reserved Car
super express ticket (non reserved) (1) Departure Station
(2) Arrival Station
(3) Boarding Date
(4) Validity (Valid for 2 days, including departure day)
(5) Total Amount
Caution: Tickets are not always issued with some English.
Note: Passengers with this ticket should proceed to "Non-reserved Car", and cannot sit or stand in "Reserved Car".


ticket counter and vending machine Ticket Office
You should buy tickets at the ticket office, and can also buy with ticket vending machine. With vending machine, passengers can buy fare ticket and super express ticket which are the same portion. If you have any rail passes which include super express charge (such as Japan Rail Pass), you cannot buy ticket with vending machine (Buy at the ticket office). If you change trains from present line to Shinkansen without super express ticket, you can buy ticket counter by Shinkansen transfer gate.

Photo: Passengers who ride a wheel chair can also buy tickets easily because these vending machines are situated at low place.


Shinkansen Map
Train Seat Reservation Application Form
How to Write "Train Seat Reservation Application Form"



star How to Board the Shinkansen,
Train Travel in Japan
Go to (2)
Go to (2)
(1) Buying Shinkansen Tickets => (2) Proceeding to the Shinkansen Platform => (3) Waiting for a Train at the Platform => (4) Boarding Shinkansen => (5) Getting off Shinkansen
INDEX of "Train Travel in Japan"
Interesting Train Travel in Japan
Shinkansen Map
Train Seat Reservation Application Form
How to Write "Train Seat Reservation Application Form"
How to Board the Shinkansen
  1. Buying Shinkansen Tickets
  2. Proceeding to the Shinkansen Platform
  3. Waiting for a Train at the Platform
  4. Boarding Shinkansen
  5. Getting off Shinkansen

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