In most big cities, usually in shopping areas near stations, you can find discount ticket shops, or kinken shoppu (金券ショップ), which sell, among other things, cheap airline and Shinkansen tickets. These shops buy up discount group tickets and sell them on individually, usually at around twenty percent cheaper than the regular prices. These are legitimate operations, but you’ll need to be able to read and speak some Japanese to be sure you’ve got the ticket you need, and there may be some days when travel isn’t allowed. With the Shinkansen tickets you can’t make seat reservations at a discount shop, so you’ll need to go to a JR ticket office to arrange these.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Japan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
11 tips for backpacking Japan

11 tips for backpacking Japan

With its tech-centric entertainment, ancient temples, lightning fast rail system and traditional art forms, Japan offers a fascinating mix of the new and the o…

12 Dec 2016 • Tamatha Roman insert_drive_file Article
Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

With its glittering royal palaces, ancient temples and sacred shrines as well as sandy beaches, some of the world’s best skiing and beautiful national parks, …

14 Nov 2016 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month