Seishun Juhachi Kippu – providing cheap train travel in Japan

I’m not entirely sure why these cheap railway tickets, that you can get in Japan, have the name Seishun Juhachi Kippu, which literally means “Youthful Eighteen Ticket”, but I think it has something to do with the age eighteen, the implication being that this is some kind of youth fare. But rest assured that you can use these cheap travel tickets at any age.

So, the first thing to know about Seishun Juhachi Kippu is that you can’t buy them all year round, they are available only three times a year during the school holiday seasons. They give you five days of unlimited travel, anywhere in Japan, on the local and rapid JR trains for only 11,500 yen, which given Japan’s prices, is really saying something.

The local and the rapid trains are the slower trains, so as long as you don’t mind stopping at all the stations on the way, this way of getting about provides good value for money.

The ticket consists of one small card with five spaces, one of which gets stamped for each day that the ticket is used.

Using these tickets, a friend and myself had five enjoyable day trips away from Kyoto one summer, including trips to Kobe, and to Himeji Castle.

If you are in Japan for a vacation, and you are there at the right time, the Seishun Juhachi Kippu can provide a bargain method of covering long distances over five days, and I met one woman who had traveled from Tokyo up to Hokkaido by this method. The advantage of Seishun Juhachi Kippu is that they are available to anyone, and you don’t have to order them in advance.

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