JR East shinkansen
Photo: Shortycolossus/Pixabay

JR East now offers half-price shinkansen tickets

Limited express and bullet train tickets from Tokyo to Akita, Aomori, Sendai and even Hakodate are 50 percent off

Youka Nagase
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Youka Nagase
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Japanese tourism agencies and railway companies are still offering some truly amazing domestic tourism discounts. East Japan Railway Company (JR East) has 50 percent off deals on selected shinkansen and limited express train tickets to and from Tokyo.

The promotion is currently running with no end date advertised. The generous discount is available on selected JR East shinkansen and limited express lines travelling to Nagano, Niigata and the Tohoku region. 

Do note that this half-price deal only applies to tickets purchased through the official JR East website with a registered account between 20 days and one month prior to your departure date. Also, only a limited number of tickets are available per train. Not to worry if you can’t secure a 50 percent discount – you can still get a 30 percent or 10 percent deal if you’re lucky. 

This really is one of the best shinkansen deals we've seen so far. A one-way shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Akita usually costs ¥17,920, whereas if you buy the ticket in advance with the promotion, you’ll be able to snag it for just ¥8,950, so it’s worth planning ahead and going online. 

Check the list below for the trains and destinations that are part of the campaign. For more information, see this link (in Japanese only).

Shinkansen

  • Hayabusa, Hayate (between Tokyo and Morioka/Shin-Aomori/Shin-Hakodate Hokuto)
  • Yamabiko (between Tokyo and Sendai/Morioka)
  • Nasuno (between Tokyo and Nasushiobara)
  • Tsubasa (between Tokyo and Yamagata)
  • Komachi (between Tokyo and Akita)
  • Toki/Tanigawa (between Tokyo and Niigata)
  • Kagayaki (between Tokyo and Kanazawa)
  • Hakutaka (between Tokyo and Shin-Takaoka)
  • Asama (between Tokyo and Nagano)

Limited Express Trains

  • Hitachi/Tokiwa (between Tokyo and Sendai)
  • Inaho (between Niigata and Tsuruoka/Akita)
  • Azusa/Kaiji (between Tokyo and Matsumoto)
  • Odoriko (between Tokyo and Izukyu-Shimoda)
  • Wakashio/Sazanami/Shiozai (between Tokyo and Choshi/Awa-Kamogawa)
  • Kusatsu (between Tokyo and Naganohara-kusatsuguchi)
  • Tsugaru (between Akita and Shin-Aomori)
  • Nikko/Kinugawa/Spacia Nikko/Spacia Hachioji Nikko/Spacia Hachioji Kinu (between Tokyo and Tobu Nikko/Kinugawa Onsen)
  • Narita Express 
  • Ayame Matsuri (between Tokyo and Sawara/Itaka/Kashima Jingu)

Looking for more train deals to explore Japan for less? These are some of the best discount passes for trips from Tokyo.

This article was published on August 27 2021 and updated on May 20 2022.

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