Travellers can book online trains in Japan with the option to pick up the tickets at the station or get the tickets delivered to the address in Japan, ready for boarding.

We support advance ticket booking for the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen trains connecting Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Fukuoka.

Additionally, we support advance ticket booking for Limited Express trains operated by JR Central and JR West connecting more than 100 stations across Chubu, Kansai and Chugoku regions in Central and Western Japan.

Types of trains in Japan

Rail services in Japan are provided by Japan Railways (JR) as well as private railway companies.

Japan Railways (JR) consists of several independent companies that carry on the operations of the former national railway operator JNR. In the present, JR Group id divided in six companies dedicated to provide passenger train services in different regions of Japan: JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Shikoku, and JR Kyushu.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JR_Rail_en.svg

JR Group is in charge of managing the national railway network as well as the ticketing system to guarantee that passengers can travel across different regions of Japan without need of changing trains and purchasing separate tickets.

To achieve a complete coverage of the railway transportation across the nation, Japan Railways (JR) operates several types of intercity trains, including:

  • - Shinkansen, high speed rail
  • - Limited Express, conventional rail

Shinkansen, high speed rail

Shinkansen is the high-speed railway operated with trains running at a maximum speed of 240–320 km/h.

The Tokaido line was launched in 1964 connecting Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Since then, the network has expanded to interconnect most of the major cities in the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido and Kyushu. The current Shinkansen network consists of 2,764 kilometers of dedicated high-speed tracks that use standard-gauge and are separated from the conventional lines that use different gauge.

Book your train tickets in Japan

The main Shinkansen lines are the following:

  • - Tokaido Shinkansen connecting Tokyo and Osaka, operated by JR Central
  • - Sanyo Shinkansen connecting Osaka and Fukuoka, operated by JR West
  • - Kyushu Shinkansen connecting Fukuoka and Kagoshima, operated by JR Kyushu
  • - Tohoku Shinkansen connecting Tokyo and Aomori, operated by JR East
  • - Joetsu Shinkansen connecting Tokyo and Niigata, operated by JR East
  • - Hokuriku Shinkansen connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa, jointly operated by JR East and JR West
  • - Hokkaido Shinkansen connecting Aomori and Hakodate, operated by JR Hokkaido

The Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu lines are interconnected forming a continuous east-west corridor that links Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Kagoshima, and in the practice is used by many through train services operated by JR Central, JR West and JR Kyushu.

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The Tohoku line and the Tokaido line meet in Tokyo but the tracks are not physically interconnected, hence there are no through services between the East and Central regions and passengers are required to interchange trains at Tokyo Station.

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The Hokuriku line operates over the Joetsu and Tohoku Shinkansen tracks between Tokyo and Takasaki, then it separates and continues on its own dedicated tracks to Nagano and Kanazawa.

Book your train tickets in Japan

Shinkansen trains are designated by a code name that identifies the class of service followed by one to three numerals. The fast services stop only at key stations, the semi-fast services stop at the major stations, and the local services stop at all stations:

  • - For the Tokaido and Sanyo lines, Nozomi is the fast service, Hikari is the semi-fast service and Kodama is the local service.
  • - For the Sanyo and Kyushu lines, Mizuho is the fast service, Sakura is the semi-fast service and Tsubame is the local service.
  • - For the Tohoku line, Hayabusa is the fast service, Yamabiko is the semi-fast service and Nasuno is the local service.
  • - For the Joetsu line, Toki is the semi-fast service and Tanigawa is the local service.
  • - For the Hokuriku line, Kagayaki is the fast service, and Hakutaka and Asama are the two semi-fast services.
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Shinkansen trains are powered by electric multiple units and can carry up to 16 cars per train, arranged in Green cars with business class seats that require advanced reservation and Ordinary cars with standard class seats distributed in Reserved cars and Non-reserved cars.

In total, the Shinkansen trains offer three passengers classes: Reserved Seat (Green Car), Reserved Seat (Ordinary Car) and Non-reserved Seat.

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Travellers with Reserved Seat tickets are required to take their booked seat in the Green cars or Ordinary cars. Travellers with Non-reserved Seat tickets are allowed to take any seat available only in the Ordinary cars designated as Non-reserved. On these cars, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. When all the seats are full, passengers are required to stand on the corridor or the coach entrance without blocking the access to other passengers.

Limited Express, Conventional rail

Besides high-speed rail, JR Group operates many intercity and regional lines with trains running on conventional rail at a maximum speed of 130-160 km/h.

Given the limited coverage of the Shinkansen network, passengers may need to use conventional trains to reach certain regions of Japan or travel directly between two cities.

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Conventional rail services are classified depending on the stop pattern:

  • - Limited Express is the fastest service
  • - Express is a semi-fast service stopping at major stations
  • - Rapid is a fast service stopping at most stations
  • - Local is a slow service stopping at all stations
Book your train tickets in Japan

When travelling on conventional rail, the base fare ticket depends on the travel distance and it is the same for all the trains regardless of the number of stops or transfers. The base fare ticket allows the passenger to access the platform. Additionally, Limited Express trains require an extra ticket for Reserved Seat or Non-reserved Seat, which is purchased separately from the base fare ticket and is inspected by the train conductor on board.

In total, the Limited Express trains offer three passengers classes: Reserved Seat (Green Car), Reserved Seat (Ordinary Car) and Non-reserved Seat.

Book your train tickets in Japan

Travellers with Reserved Seat tickets are required to take their booked seat in the Green cars or Ordinary cars. Travellers with Non-reserved Seat tickets are allowed to take any seat available only in the Ordinary cars designated as Non-reserved. On these cars, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. When all the seats are full, passengers are required to stand on the corridor or the coach entrance without blocking the access to other passengers.

Getting around Japan by train

Japan has 27,268 kilometres of railway network, which includes 2,764 kilometres of Shinkansen lines.

We support advance ticket booking for the Tokaido Shinkansen and the Sanyo Shinkansen. Ticket sale is available from 1 month in advance.

  • Tokaido Shinkansen (東海道新幹線) serving Tokyo, Yokohama, Fuji, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka.
  • Sanyo Shinkansen (山陽新幹線) serving Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Hiroshima, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, Kitakyushu and Fukuoka.

We also support advance ticket booking for Limited Express trains operated by JR Central and JR West. Ticket sale is available from 1 month in advance.

The Limited Express trains operated by JR Central provide access to stations in Chubu region:

  • Shinano (しなの) serving Nagoya, Matsumoto and Nagano.
  • Hida (ひだ) serving Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Gifu and Takayama.

The Limited Express trains operated by JR West provide access to stations in Kansai and Chugoku regions:

  • Thunderbird (サンダーバード) serving Osaka, Kyoto, Fukui, Kanazawa and Wakuraonsen.
  • Haruka (はるか) serving Maibara, Kyoto, Osaka and Kansai International Airport.
  • Kuroshio (くろしお) serving Kyoto, Osaka, Wakayama, Shirahama and Shingu.
  • Maizuru (まいづる) serving Kyoto and Maizuru.
  • Kinosaki (きのさき) serving Kyoto, Fukuchiyama and Kinosakionsen.
  • Kounotori (こうのとり) serving Osaka, Fukuchiyama and Kinosakionsen.
  • Hamakaze (はまかぜ) serving Osaka, Kobe, Himeji, Kinosakionsen and Tottori.
  • Super Hakuto (スーパーはくと) serving Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji and Tottori.
  • Yakumo (やくも) serving Okayama, Yonago and Izumo.
  • Super Inaba (スーパーいなば) serving Okayama and Tottori.
  • Super Oki (スーパーおき) serving Yamaguchi, Masuda, Yonago, Izumo and Tottori.
  • Super Matsukaze (スーパーまつかぜ) serving Masuda, Yonago and Tottori.

Kanto region

Kanto region comprises Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures. This region is served by the Tohoku Shinkansen, the Joetsu Shinkansen and the Tokaido Shinkansen.

Chubu region

Chubu region comprises Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama and Nagano prefectures. This region is served by the Tokaido Shinkansen, the Hokuriku Shinkansen and the Limited Express trains operated by JR Central and JR West.

Book your train tickets to Matsumoto

Train routes to Matsumoto

Book your train tickets to Nagano

Train routes to Nagano

Book your train tickets to Kanazawa

Train routes to Kanazawa

Kansai region

Kansai region comprises Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Shiga prefectures. This region is served by the Tokaido Shinkansen, the Sanyo Shinkansen and the Limited Express trains operated by JR Central and JR West.

Book your train tickets to Wakayama

Train routes to Wakayama:

Chugoku region

Chugoku region comprises Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Shimane and Tottori prefectures. This region is served by the Sanyo Shinkansen and the Limited Express trains operated by JR West.

Kyushu island

Kyushu is the third largest of Japan's five main islands. This region is served by the Sanyo Shinkansen.

How to book Shinkansen train tickets in Japan

Booking your Shinkansen train tickets in Japan is very quick and simple. Search for train routes between any two cities for your travel dates.

Select your route

After search, we will display the results for your itinerary.

Find the Shinkansen services operated by JR available for your itinerary. Select the most convenient option.

We accept reservations from 1 month in advance up to 1 day before the departure date. For departures on the same day, tickets must be reserved directly at the station.

How to book train tickets in Japan

Click to expand the details of the route, you will find the available fares. JR offers various types of fares for Shinkansen trains:

  • Green Car, Reserved Seat, arranged in 2+2 row configuration
  • Ordinary Car, Reserved Seat, arranged in 3+2 row configuration
  • Ordinary Car, Non-reserved Seat, does not require seat selection

Fill in the passenger, contact and ticket pickup details

Next, provide the passenger(s) information and select your seats.

Don't forget to provide the contact details of the person responsible for booking. We will send the ticket confirmation by email.

How to book train tickets in Japan

Also, select the date that you wish to pick up the tickets at the station. We will send the reservation code valid to pick up the physical tickets at the ticket vending machines in the railway station, so you are ready for boarding.

Complete your payment

Select your payment method. We accept international credit or debit cards and Alipay.

Check your itinerary and price breakdown. Confirm that the booking information is correct. Before you proceed to payment, you must read and accept the terms and conditions of booking.

How to book train tickets in Japan

Pick up your tickets at the station

Once your payment is complete, your reservation will be processed.

In the following 24 hours you will receive the itinerary and booking confirmation by email.

How to book train tickets in Japan

The ticket confirmation sent by email is not a valid boarding pass. Passengers are required to pick up the physical tickets by scanning the reservation code at the ticket vending machines in the railway station and use the tickets to enter the platform and board the train.

How to book train tickets in Japan

How to book Limited Express train tickets in Japan

Booking your Limited Express train tickets in Japan is very quick and simple. Search for train routes between any two cities for your travel dates.

Select your route

After search, we will display the results for your itinerary.

Find the Limited Express trains operated by JR Central and JR West available for your itinerary. Select the most convenient option.

We accept reservations from 1 month in advance up to 5 days before the departure date. For departures in less than 5 days, tickets must be reserved directly at the station.

How to book train tickets in Japan

Click to expand the details of the route, you will find the available fares. JR offers various types of fares for Limited Express trains:

  • Green Car, Reserved Seat, arranged in 2+2 row configuration
  • Ordinary Car, Reserved Seat, arranged in 2+2 row configuration
  • Ordinary Car, Non-reserved Seat, does not require seat selection

Fill in the passenger, contact and ticket delivery details

Next, provide the passenger(s) information and select your seats.

Don't forget to provide the contact details of the person responsible for booking. We will send the ticket confirmation by email.

How to book train tickets in Japan

Also, provide the address in Japan where you wish to receive the tickets. Our team based in Japan will issue the physical tickets and deliver to your hotel or your workplace by Japan Post Registered Mail so you are ready for boarding.

Complete your payment

Select your payment method. We accept international credit or debit cards and Alipay.

Check your itinerary and price breakdown. Confirm that the booking information is correct. Before you proceed to payment, you must read and accept the terms and conditions of booking.

How to book train tickets in Japan

Receive your tickets securely by post mail

Once your payment is complete, your reservation will be processed.

In the following 24 hours you will receive the itinerary and booking confirmation by email. The tickets will be issued 4 days before the expected delivery date indicated during the reservation process, in case you wish to make any change or cancellation.

Once the tickets are issued, you will receive the physical tickets by Japan Post Registered Mail at the address indicated in Japan.

How to book train tickets in Japan

The ticket confirmation sent by email is not a valid boarding pass and it cannot be used to board the train or collect the tickets at the railway station. Passengers must use the physical tickets received by post mail to enter the platform and show to the train conductor on board.

How to book train tickets in Japan




 

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