When you move among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, you may think to take the Shinkansen (a.k.a. bullet train). If you have a round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto/Shin-Osaka, JR pass is the best choice. But even 7 days JR pass price is almost equal to the round trip fare and the seat fee of the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. JR pass is not the best choice for one way movement.
Platt Kodama may be the solution for the traveler who make only one way trip from Tokyo to Kyoto or Osaka (or versa). Because it is a sort of the Shinkansen one way trip discount ticket among Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka.
I would like to show you this ticket in this post.
What is Kodama?
Before I explain this deal, I want to tell you about Kodama.
The Shinkansen runs on the exclusive track. The Shinkansen trains does not share the track with any conventional local commute trains and other conventional express trains. But on the Tokaido Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, there are three types of trains running, Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama. These three trains look exactly same and offers exactly same interior. The only difference is the trip time and stop stations. Kodama is the slowest train and make stops at all stations.
Please read the link below to learn more about the Tokaido Shinkansen.
So if you use this deal, you have to accept the extra trip time. You cannot take the fastest train.
What is Platt Kodama?
Platt Kodama is a sort of the discount tickets for taking Kodama only among the stations between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, such as Shinagawa, Shin-Yokohama, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Nagoya and Kyoto. This deal is not available further than Shin-Osaka to west destination, such as Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata.
Kodama is the slowest Shinkansen train and the trip time is much longer than Nozomi and Hikari. But you can get the lower rate than the regular fare.
I mentioned that Platt Kodama is a sort of the discount tickets. But technically this is not a ticket but a package tour product. You cannot purchase this at the ticket window in JR stations. You have to go to JR Tokai Tours that is JR Central’s travel agent.
You may find the location of JR Tokai Tours office in Tokyo, Shin-Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto and Shin-Osaka at the link below:
Condition of use
There are several conditions. When you use Platt Kodama, please understand these conditions before you use purchase this deal.
- Must purchase it be the day before you use. You cannot buy it on the travel date.
- Fixed trip plan. You have to take the train that is shown on the ticket. You cannot take any other trains.
- Seat assigned. You cannot use any other seat and cannot change the seat.
- No stopover allowed. Once you get off the train, your ticket is expired.
- No trip plan changed. You cannot change the trip plan and refund without handling charge.
Please find the detailed information in the link below:
And you will receive a drink voucher. You can get a free drink at Kiosk before on board. And also if you add 1,000 yen for Tokyo to/from Nagoya, 1,500 yen Tokyo to/from Shin-Osaka or Kyoto, you can take Green seat.
Green seat is much more spacious and very comfortable.
Compare Kodama, Hikari and Nozomi in the trip time
Please see the Tokaido Shinkansen timetable in the link below:
JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable
I have picked up three trains in early morning. (The timetable is varied by the season.)
Please find those trains below in the timetable.
As you see, Nozomi is 1.5 hours faster than Kodama if you travel from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka. Even Hikari is 1 hour faster than Kodama. But one way trip traveler does not pick up Hikari because it is slower than Nozomi. If you use JR pass, Hikari is a primary choice but I cannot find any reasons why one way traveler use Hikari.
Compare Platt Kodama and the regular fare
You can find the price comparison between Kodama single fare and Platt Kodama in the official site. But I would like to show you the fare comparison between Nozomi regular fare and Platt Kodama. As you see, if you take Kodama, you will spend 1.5 hours extra for Tokyo to/from Kyoto or Shin-Osaka. I think you want to know how much you can save to give up 1.5 extra hours.
|Platt Kodama||Your saving|
|Tokyo to/from Shin-Osaka||14,450 yen||10,500 yen||4,150 yen|
|Tokyo to/from Kyoto||13,910 yen||10,300 yen||3,810 yen|
|Tokyo to/from Nagoya||11,090 yen||8,100 yen||2,990 yen|
|Nagoya to/from Shin-Osaka||6,560 yen||4,400 yen||2,160 yen|
|Nagoya to/from Kyoto||5,800 yen||4,300 yen||1,500 yen|
*These above rates and prices are regular season rates. Rates and prices are varied by season. You can find the complete price table of Platt Kodama in the official site. Seasonality of Nozomi regular rate is different from seasonality of Platt Kodama.
Peak season (200 yen higher than regular season fare) – Mar 21 to Apr 5, Apr 28 to May 6, Jul 21 to Aug 31, Dec 25 to Jan 5
Shoulder season (200 yen lower than regular season fare) – Except Fri to Sun and holiday in Jan 16 to end of Feb, all days of Jun, all days of Sep, Nov 1 to Dec 20
These dates are based on 2016 calendar. These periods may be adjusted in each year but it is not much different. You can find the exact fare of Nozomi at Hyperdia.
Hyperdia complete guide
I would like to show you extra time and saving cost again.
Tokyo to/from Shin-Osaka 4,150 yen for 1.5 hours
Tokyo to/from Kyoto 3,810 yen for 1.5 hours
Tokyo to/from Nagoya 2,990 yen for 1 hour 10 minutes
Nagoya to/from Shin-Osaka 2,160 yen for 21 minutes
Nagoya to/from Kyoto 1,500 yen for 21 minutes
It is hard to say that you can accept this trade off. You cannot purchase a ticket at the station and must purchase day before. These conditions may be considerable for you.
I am glad if this post gave you some idea to build your trip plan.