JR Group sell “Railway anniversary day’s unlimited ride ticket (鉄道の日記念 JR全線乗り放題きっぷ)” in October. Because the first railroad was open between Shinbashi and Yokohama in October 14, 1872. October 14 is railway anniversary day in JR Groups. Especially this year, 2012 is 25th anniversary of JR Group founded. In commemoration of the 25th year, this ticket will be sold at 7,500 yen for three consecutive days. This ticket basically will be sold for the local. So anyone can purchase it. Even though there are some restrictions, such as ticket do not cover any express trains, the residents who cannot purchase special discount ticket, like JR Pass, maybe consider to use this pass. I will show you the details about this ticket.
Adult : 7,500 yen
Child (6-12yrs) : 3,750 yen!
In last year, this ticket was sold at 9,180 yen. It is much cheaper in this year because of 25th year anniversary.
This ticket is valid for three consecutive days between October 6, 2012 and October 21, 2012. The ticket must be finished to use by October 21.
Basically this ticket gives you unlimited ride for non reserved ordinary seat of rapid train and local train. You can take Miyajima ferry by this pass as well. This pass do not cover any express trains and Shinkansen at all. You need to pay full fare by this ticket. But you can take limited express trains on some limited sections. And also I would like to tell you other exceptions.
List of available limited express trains
You can take non reserved seat of limited express trains on these following sections:
- Tsugaru Kaikyo line between Kikonai and Kanita (津軽海峡線 蟹田-木古内)
- Sekisho line between Shintoku and Shin-Yubari (石勝線 新得-新夕張)
- Ou line between Shin-Aomori and Aomori (奥羽本線 新青森-青森)
- Miyazaki Airport line between Miyazaki and Miyazaki-Airport (宮崎空港線 宮崎-宮崎空港)
There is no local trains available on Tsugaru Kaikyo line and Sekisho line. Since local trians are very limited, even basic ticket holder can take limited express trains on Ou line and Miyazaki Airport line.
List of major rapid trains that have reserved seat
Some of local trains are operated as seasonal cruising trains. Most of these trains have specialized accommodation and mostly all seats are reserved. It gives you almost same level of comfortableness as express trains. If you take these types of trains, the ticket cover basic fare. All you need to pay is reserved seat charge. It is 300 to 800 yen. It depends on the area and the season. I show you very popular trains in this type.
- Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train (Kushiro-Toro / Hokkaido)
- Furano Biei Norokko train (Asahikawa-Furano / Hokkaido)
- Resort Shirakami (Akita-Aomori via Gono line / Tohoku)
- Resort Minori (Sendai-Shinjo via Naruko Onsen / Tohoku)
- SL Banetsu Monogatari (Niigata-Aizu Wakamatsu / Tohoku)
- SL Yamaguchi (Shin Yamaguchi-Tsuwano / Chugoku)
- SL Hitoyoshi (Kumamoto-Hitoyoshi / Kyushu)
- Isaburo / Shinpei (Hitoyosi-Yoshimatsu / Kyushu)
List of available Green seat
If you pay Green seat supplement, you can take NON RESERVED GREEN SEAT. Non Reserved Green seat is available in Greater Tokyo only. Please see the details at No express surcharge! Fast, economical and convenient! Rapid service network in Greater Tokyo.
Some of rapid trains in other areas have Reserved Green Seat. This ticket do not cover Reserved Green at all. You need to pay full fare if you take Reserved Green Seat.
Not available for any Third Sector company’s line, Private lines, JR Bus
Some of JR trains go through third sector lines (such as IGR Iwate Galaxy Railway, Aoimori Railway, Hokuetsu Kyuko line) and private companies (such as Tokyo Metro, Fukuoka subway). This ticket cover JR lines only, You need to pay exact fare for other than JR lines.
Any JR Bus lines are not covered by this ticket at all.
This ticket is available for three consecutive days. If you are on the train after midnight on day 3, the ticket cover until the first station that the train stop. But if you are on board in Tokyo or Osaka commute train area, you can use a ticket until the last train.
How to buy
This ticket can be purchased from October 5, 2012 to October 19, 2012 at major stations throughout Japan. You can pick any three consecutive days between October 6, 2012 and October 21, 2012 to use. You cannot share this ticket with other persons. You need to use three days all by yourself.
You cannot get any refund in case of lost. If you don’t start to use a ticket and present it before expiration date, you can get refund. However you need to pay some handling charge.
If you are interesting in trip by local commute trains…
If you can accept long time transfer with very reasonable fare…
you are able to use this ticket.
I show you some samples.
If you travel from Tokyo to Sendai by Tohoku Shinkansen, it takes about 100 minutes.
Hayabusa #3 Tokyo 9:36 -> 11:12 Sendai
If you travel on same section by local trains, it takes 7 hours.
Tokyo 09:32 -> 16:36 Sendai
And you need to transfer the trains 5 times at Ueno, Utusnomiya, Kuroiso, Koriyama and Fukushima.
But one of my frequent visitor, Takuji suggested me much more comfortable plan. If you combine to use with flight, you can use this ticket much easier. Thanks, Takuji san!
Tokyo > Narita Airport 1280yen
Shin Chitose Airport > Sapporo > Niseko 2870yen
x 2 = 8120 yen, so that’s already more than 7500yen
This ticket is not suitable for anybody. If you can make your plan by yourself, you can save lots of your Japanese yen.