Well here’s a great deal (if we can all get there of course!): JR East Rail are offering half price shinkansen tickets from August through to March 31, 2021.
They are available for point – to – point travel on all major routes within JR East’s own network, plus as far north as Shin-Hakodate in southern Hokkaido for two island Japow missions.
Individual shinkansen tickets are expensive, no question.
Whereas the various pass options are great value already – and work perfectly for multi stop itineraries as we shown you with our JR East Nagano-Niigata Pass itinerary options or JR East Tohoku Pass itinerary options features.
But the 50% off deal announced last week does NOT cover the passes. But it does give big savings. For example, scooting up to Akita from Tokyo on the quirky Akita Shinkansen (which is the only one that actually does part of the journey on an upgraded single track regular JR line, not a dedicated dual track system) would normally set you back ¥17,920 but with the discount deal it’s ¥8,950.
Remembering it’s for one way point to point travel that means you can work out itineraries using local transport (rail &/or buses) or self-driving between your shinkansen legs.
So for example head to Morioka, do some of the amazing still not overrun options there like Appi, Shimokura and Shizukuishi, then head over to the Akita areas or down to Geto Kogen and/or the Aizu region to discover more still mostly off-the-grid stashes.
There are so many options you can come up with for which making 2 or 3 point-to-point shinkansen trips will work out considerably less than the rail pass would be to cover similar territory.
You can also get to all the big names further south like Myoko and Lotte Arai Resort via Joetsu-Myoko, Madarao-Tangram and Nozawa via Iiyama City, Hakuba and Shiga Kogen via Nagano, Naeba via Gala Yuzawa etc.
The discount passes can only be booked online at JR East, between 20 days and a month ahead of your travel dates.