Seishun 18 kippu, Unlimilited ride deal of local and rapid trains on all JR lines

Seishun 18 Kippu. The price is shown at 11,500 yen on this ticket. But now it is sold at 11,850 yen.

I have been asked about Seishun 18 Kippu by readers many times. This ticket gives you unlimited ride for 5 days at only 11,850 yen. It seems to be very very attractive. But it covers local train and rapid train only. It is very affordable. However it has many restrictions too.

In this post, I explain how to use Seishun 18 Kippu.

What is Seishun 18 Kippu

Seishun 18 Kippu is limited time offer by JR group. It is sold usually in spring, summer and winter season. It covers all local and rapid train’s non reserved seat throughout JR trains network.

It is valid for 5 days. But you can use any 5 days in validity period. You can use it in unconsecutive days, like March 30, April 1, 3, 5 and 7. You also can share this ticket with other passengers.

Price, sale location and validity period

11,850 yen for 5 days

This price applies to all ages. Child rate and senior discount are not available.

The day is calculated by day, not time. That means, even if you start using it at 23:00, you will use one day for just one hour from 23:00 to 0:00. If you are on board at midnight, the ticket covers until you get the next station.

Per one day, it’s 2,370 yen. If you use this ticket, you need to get the worth of this amount.

You can purchase Seishun 18 Kippu at reservation window which is called “Midori no Madoguchi” in most of JR stations.

You can use any 5 days in same validity period. If you buy it in spring season, you can pick any five days in spring validity period.

e.g.
You can use it on July 21, 24, August 1, 5 and 20.
But you cannot use summer version Seishun 18 Kippu in other season, such as December.

Please see JR East official site to find the validity period and sales period:

JR East official site, Seishun 18 Kippu

Valid trains

This ticket covers the following trains and other transportation services:

  • Non reserved seat of local trains on JR lines
  • Non reserved seat of Rapid trains on JR lines
  • BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)
  • Miyajima ferry

What are local trains and rapid trains

These run as the commute service trains. In mega cities, such as Tokyo, Osaka, trains are very busy and lots of passengers are standing passengers. Train has long bench seat and it is designed as commute service.

Ordinary commute local trains interior. This photo was taken in very early morning, so there were very few passengers. But in day time, it is much busier.

Most of rapid trains connects city and suburban areas. It runs as rapid service and skip several stations. Ant it runs as local trains in suburban area. Some of this type trains have better interior, especially in Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe).

Special Rapid Service operated by JR West 223 series.
Special Rapid Service connects Maibara, Kyoto ,Osaka, Kobe and Himeji.

Please see the links below to find the rapid train networks in Tokyo and Osaka.

Rapid train network in Tokyo and surrounding area
Rapid train network in Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji and Wakayama)

Green car

Interior of rapid train green car (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Many of rapid trains running in Tokyo and surrounding area have non reserved Green car. Green car has much better seat and interior. If you add some extra fare on top of Seishun 18 Kippu, you can take a seat in Green car.

Green car seat fee is varied by distance and day. It starts from 570 yen.

Reserved seat

Some of rapid trains have reserved seat. These trains mostly are operated by limited express type fleet of specialized train. You can add reserved seat fee on top of Seishun 18 Kippu to take these trains. I will explain about this kind of train later in this post.

JR bus and BRT

JR bus is not covered by Seishun 18 Kippy at all. But BRT is covered. BRT is abbreviation of Bus Transit Service which is a substitute service of local trains along Sanriku coast in Tohoku region. Many rail tracks were damaged by huge earthquake in 2011. Some part of railway lines were not restored but those routes were paved and bus service was started to operated as permanent substitute service of trains.

Ferry service

Ferry to Miyajima is a small ferry. Only 10 minutes cruise.

Miyajima ferry service is owned by JR West and it is covered too. There are two ferry services between Miyajimaguchi and Miyajima. Seishun 18 Kippu covers only JR West ferry service only.

Shinkansen and limited express trains

Limited express Super Ozora
Limited express Super Ozora runs on Sekisho line.

You cannot take Shinkansen and any limited express trains by Seishun 18 Kippu. Even if you pay seat fee to take these trains, Seishun 18 Kippu does not cover even base fare. But there are a few exceptions.

  • Sekisho line between Shin-Yubari and Shintoku
  • Ou line between Aomori and Shin-Aomori
  • Miyazaki Airport line between Miyazaki and Miyazaki airport

On Sekisho line between Shin-Yubari and Shintoku, there is no local train operations. It is the reason of the exception. But many of limited express trains skip Shin-Yubari station. You have to pick the train which stop at Shin-Yubari. Otherwise you need to pay for even Shin-Yubari to/from Shintoku segment base fare and limited express surcharge.

On Ou line and Miyazaki Airport line, local train does not run frequently. This exception is convenience for this ticket user.

You can take only non reserved seat. You cannot take a seat in reserved car even if you pay additional fare.

Hokkaido Shinkansen Option Ticket

This ticket does not cover Shinkansen as I mentioned above. But if you go to Hokkaido, Hokkaido Shinkansen is onlywa to get Hokkaido by train. Therefore “Seishun 18 Kippu Hokkaido Shinkansen Option Ticekt” is available to take Hokkaido Shinkansen from Okutsugaru-Imabetsu to Kikonai (or versa), Donan Isaribi railway from Kikonai to Goryokaku (or versa). This optional ticket includes only one way ride. You can stop over at Kikonai but stopover at other stations is not allowed.

Price 2,300 yen for one way

You cannot take Hokkaido Shinkansen at any stations other than Okutsugaru Imabetsu or Kikonai. If you take Hokkaido Shinkansen at any other stations, you need to pay full fare and this option ticket does not cover even Otsugaru-Imabetsu to Kikonai segment.

This ticket covers ordinary class seat only in Shinkansen. You cannot take any seats in Green class and Gran class. All seats are reserved in even ordinary class. When you find an unoccupied seat, you can take it. Otherwise you have to be standing passengers.

You can purchase this option ticket at same time when you purchase Seishun 18 Kippu.

Non JR trains services, subways and bus

Non JR railways, subways, and any bus services which includes JR bus are not covered. However there are a few exceptions. You can take these following Non JR railway trains by Seishun 18 Kippu.

Aoimori Railway between Aomori and Hachinohe
You can take this railway line but you can exit at Hachinohe, Aomori and Noheji stations only. You cannot exit any other station in this segment. The reason why this railway is covered is access to JR Ominato line and . This JR line is not connected with any other JR lines. And also JR Hachinohe line is connected to Tohoku Shinkansen only. Tohoku Shinkansen belong to JR lines but Shinkansen is not covered by Seishun 18 Kippu.

Ainokaze Toyama Railway between Toyama and Takaoka
You can take this railway but you can exit at Toyama and Takaoka stations only. This is exception is for access to JR Johana line and JR Himi line. JR Himi line is not connected with any other JR lines. JR Johana line is connected with Hokuriku Shinkansen only and Hokuriku Shinkansen is not covered.

Ishikawa Railway between Kanazawa and Tsubata
You can take this railway but you can exit at Kanazawa and Tsubata only. You have to take this train to get JR Nanao line.

You can share this ticket with other travelers

Seishun 18 Kippu offers 5 days unlimited travel by local and rapid JR trains. You can share one or more days with other travelers.

e.g.
1. You will travel with someone for 2 days and you will travel by yourself for one day.
2 X 2 days
1 X 1 day
Total 5 days

2. You will travel with 4 other travelers for one day.
5 X 1 day
Total 5 days

3. You will travel by yourself for 3 days and give it to your friend. Your friend will use for the rest of 2 days.
1 X 3 days
1 X 2 days
Total 5 days

You can share this ticket like these above. But you will get only one ticket for 5 days. You and someone cannot travel to different destination on same day. You and someone must travel together in same day. Otherwise you have to give the ticket to someone after you complete your trip.

Recommended trains

These following trains run as seasonal train. Usually it runs on weekend, holidays and busy period only. But if you can take these trains, those offer very nice interior. These are recommended very much.

Resort Shirakami

Some of Resort Shirakami are operated by the newest Hybrid train.
Resort Shirakami is one of the most popular cruising train in Japan.

This train runs between Akita and Aomori via Gono line. It is a rapid train but it has better interior than ordinary limited express trains. All seat are reserved seat and you need to pay extra 520 yen but it is worth paying.

Please see the link below to find more information about this train:

Resort Shirakami

SL Banetsu Monogatari

This is a cruise train by steam locomotive running between Niigata and Aizu-Wakamatsu. All seats are reserved and you need to pay 520 yen.

Please see the link below to find more information about this train:

SL Banetsu Monogatari

Kira Kira Uetsu

Exterior of Kira Kira Uetsu

This train runs on Uetsu line between Niigata and Sakata. This train has very nice interior which is like limited express trains. It also has the large panoramic window. You can enjoy the great view of the coast line. All seats are reserved and you need to pay 520 yen.

Please see the link below to find more information about this train:

JR East official site, Kira Kira Uetsu

Rapid Holiday View Yamanashi

215 series by-level fleet is used for this train.

This train runs between Shinjuku and Kobuchizawa. If you go to Matsumoto or Nagano, this train is most convenience and the fastest way. It is operated by by-level fleets. The interior is not same level as limited express train. But is is still better than ordinary trains. This train has both reserved seat and non reserved seat. You can take non reserved car by Seishun 18 kippu without extra charge.

Isaburo / Shinpei

Interior of Isaburo/Shinpei

This train runs between Kumamoto and Yoshimatsu. But this train runs as limited express train between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi. You can take this train by Seishun 18 kippu between Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu only.

Please see the link below to find more information about this train:

Izuburo / Shinpei

Moonlight Nagara

This train is an overnight train which runs between Tokyo and Ogaki. It usually runs in same period as Seishun 18 Kippu season. It is very hard to book but if you can make it, this is very convenient to get Osaka and Kyoto.

Please see the link below to find more information about this train:

Moonlight Nagara

Using Senishun 18 Kippu for a long distance trip

If you are okay with taking only local and rapid trains, you can go anywhere in most part of Japan by Seishun 18 Kippu. But the long distance trip is not recommended by this ticket. Most of trains are commute trains and you may need to stand in the train. But you may want to know how much you can move in one day. I would like to show you some sample itineraries.

*These following itineraries are based on the timetable in May, 2017. But trip time will be same. And also there are many many train connections. These sample plans are just a sort of examples.

Tokyo to Osaka

Tokyo 08:18 (JR Tokaido Line Rapid) 09:53 Atami
Atami 09:59 (JR Tokaido Line Local) 11:03 Shimizu
Shimizu 11:09 (JR Tokaido Line Local) 12:32 Hamamatsu
Hamamatsu 12:44 (JR Tokaido Line) 13:17 Toyohashi
Toyohashi 13:33 (JR Tokaido Line Rapid) 15:02 Ogaki
Ogaki 15:09 (JR Tokaido Line) 15:44 Maibara
Maibara 15:47 (JR Special Rapid Service) 17:13 Osaka

Regular fare 8,750 yen (save 5,380 yen)

You need to change the trains many times. All trains are commute train and trip time is 9 hours. You will be exhausted after this trip.

If you use overnight train, Moonlight Nagara, you can get Ogaki from Tokyo directly. It’s very convenient but it is very very hard to book for this train in these days.

Tokyo 23:10 (Overnight train Moonlight Nagara) 05:50 Ogaki
Ogaki 05:53 (JR Tokaido Line Local) 06:27 Maibara
Maibara 06:29 (JR Special Rapid Service) 07:57 Osaka

Tokyo to Nagano

Tokyo 08:02 (JR Chuo Line Rapid Service) 09:11 Takao
Takao 09:17 (JR Chuo Line) 10:52 Kofu
Kofu 10:56 (JR Chuo Line Local) 12:52 Matsumoto
Matsumoto 13:29 (JR Shinonoi Line Local) 14:44 Nagano

Regular fare 5,080 yen (save 2,710 yen)

If you take Rapid Holiday View Yamanashi, departure time is a bit later but you can have an easier trip with better accommodation.

Tokyo 08:32 (JR Chuo Line Rapid) 08:46 Shinjuku
Shinjuku 09:02 (Rapid Holiday View Yamanashi) 11:59 Kobuchizawa
Kobuchizawa 12:40 (JR Chuo Line Local) 14:00 Matsumoto
Matsumoto 14:28 (JR Shinonoi Line Local) 15:41 Nagano

Tokyo to Aomori

Tokyo 05:01 (JR Keihin-Tohoku Line Local) 05:09 Ueno
Ueno 05:13 (JR Takasaki Line Local) 06:55 Takasaki
Takasaki 07:12 (JR Joetsu Line Local) 08:17 Minakami
Minakami 08:24 (JR Joetsu Line Local) 10:20 Nagaoka
Nagaoka 10:27 (JR Shinetsu Line Local) 11:27 Niigata
Niigata 11:43 (JR Hakushin-Uetsu Line Local) 12:57 Murakami
Murakami 13:31 (JR Uetsu Line Local) 15:56 Sakata
Sakata 16:30 (JR Uetsu Line Local) 18:19 Akita
Akita 18:31 (JR Ou Line Local) 20:02 Odate
Odate 21:20 (JR Ou Line Local)22:50 Aomori

Regular fare 11,130 yen (save 8,760 yen)

This is a quite long trip and very hardcore. Do you want to challenge this?

Osaka to Kanazawa

Osaka 07:45 (JR Special Rapid Service) 09:50 Tsuruga
Tsuruga 09:53 (JR Hokuriku Line Local) 10:47 Fukui
Fukui 11:13 (JR Hokuriku Line Local) 12:42 Kanazawa

Regular fare 4,750 yen (save 2,380 yen)

Osaka to Nagano

Osaka 07:03 (JR Special Rapid Service) 08:30 Maibara
Maibara 08:33 (JR Tokaido Line Local) 09:05 Ogaki
Ogaki 09:41 (JR Tokaido Line New Rapid Train) 10:13 Nagoya
Nagoya 10:24 (JR Chuo Line Rapid) 11:39 Nakatsugawa
Nakatsugawa 12:00 (JR Chuo Line Local) 13:49 Shiojiri
Shiojiri 14:10 (JR Chuo-Shinonoi Line Local) 15:41 Nagano

Regular fare 7,340 yen (save 4,970 yen)

Osaka to Hiroshima/Miyajima

Osaka 07:56 (JR Special Rapid Service) 09:04 Himeji
Himeji 09:11 (JR Sanyo Line Local) 09:30 Aioi
Aioi 09:32 (JR Sanyo Line Local) 10:38 Okayama
Okayama 10:49 (JR Sanyo Line Local) 12:17 Itozaki
Itozaki 12:18 (JR Sanyo Line Local) 13:43 Hiroshima

Regular fare 5,620 yen (save 3,250 yen)

Tips of travel by Seishun 18 Kippu

As I mentioned many times in this post, most of trains are local commute trains. It does not have any special accommodation.

So do not expect to have a seat. Even in country side, train may be busy and crowded. It’s not rare that all seats are occupied. You may be standing passenger.

Next, do not expect to eat on board. Many trains have long bench seats. Even if you can sit down, you cannot eat. You should have lunch stops in your trip.

Most of trains have washroom facility other than local trains in the cities. But some trains do not have it. You should use a washroom in the station.

Local train trips are very interesting but you may be very tired. Do not travel too much. Keep your pace and enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Seishun 18 kippu, Unlimilited ride deal of local and rapid trains on all JR lines”

  1. Hi, so per day for this pass is ¥2,370 right? Is the amount strictly followed? What if I use more than that amount in a day?

  2. Hello,
    About the days you can use seishun kippu, actually the ticket is valid till the last train of the day which can be till 01:00 in big cities. For example, you had your ticket stamped for 4th of August and you can take the last train at 00:25 of 5th of August with the same stamp. Am I wrong?
    Cheers.

  3. Hello!

    I’ve been reading and learning a lot on your site! However a lot of the information are for tourists coming to visit Japan and I was wondering if you know of any other passes or discount train tickets that foreign residents of Japan are able to use to get around with more convenience and on a budget? So far, from your site, I got that we can use the seishun 18, the Tokyo wide pass, and maybe the Kansai thru pass? Is that right? Are there any others?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Olivia,

      Actually most of deals are not available for residence. Actually even Kansai thru pass is available for foreign tourist with short term stay status only now.

      As long as I know, Seishun 18 and Tokyo wide pass are available. And also there are huge numbers of deals available for Japanese residence. But there are too many to tell you. I guess the number of deals is more than thousands. But there is no deals to cover whole part of Japan. Most of deals are like intercity round trip deal. If you are in Japan now and can communicate station staff in Japanese, please ask them to find it.

      I recommend you to decide where you want to go before you will ask them. Otherwise they cannot help you.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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