JR East shinkansen
Photo: Shortycolossus/Pixabay

JR East now offers half-price shinkansen tickets until December 2021

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

Youka Nagase
Written by
Youka Nagase

The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has put the brakes on pretty much all inbound tourism to Japan. So Japanese tourism agencies have been making an effort to entice residents to travel domestically with special deals. East Japan Railway Company (JR East) has announced that it's offering a 50 percent discount on selected shinkansen and limited express train tickets.

The promotion is currently running until December 15 2021, with the generous discount 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.

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 during 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).


  • 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)

Looking for more train deals to explore Japan for less? Three JR Kyushu rail passes are now available to foreign residents in Japan.

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