10 Things You Need to Know About Japan’s Seishun 18 Ticket

For starters, you need to show it the station attendant as it won't go through the automatic ticket gate.

With Seishun 18, you can take the JR Conventional Line (any JR Line except for shinkansen) all over Japan. Although the ticket is well-known, there are some who may not know how to use it. To help you maximize your use of Seishun 18, which is quite different from other train tickets, here are a few tips:

The Seishun 18 ticket is sold when schools are on long breaks. 

Typically, this happens every spring (end of February to March), summer (July to August), and winter (December). It’s available at JR stations and in some automatic ticket vending machines as well as at Japan travel agencies.

It costs ¥11,850.

You can use it for a five-day trip by yourself or you can split it with five friends for a day trip together. You can use it anytime as long as you do so within the valid period.

Anyone can use it.

Although the name of the ticket is Seishun 18, there is no age limit for the purchase of it. These days, more and more people from the older generation are reportedly making use of it as well. However, just be aware that there are no discounts for children.

It’s kind of old school. 

You have to show this ticket to the station attendant, as it won’t go through the automatic ticket gate. 

You get a lot of bang for your buck.

You can use it as an all-you-can-ride pass with JR’s local, rapid, and limited express trains. You can get off anywhere you like, and even take the Miyajima Ferry that’s run by JR West Japan. 

Some trains are an exception.

However, you can’t use this ticket with shinkansen (bullet trains) and the express third sector. They can’t be taken even if you pay the express fees. Extra fees are needed to take the Chizu Express and Shigaraki Kogen Railway.

Don’t force yourself to take the long way just because you have a Seishun 18 ticket.

Use your time wisely by taking the shinkansen and express trains. There’s no need to travel all the way only by local and limited express trains just because you’re using Seishun 18. In areas where there aren’t many trains due to the schedule, paying for the shinkansen and limited express trains will save you time. Train railway fans call this high-level technique “limited express warp.”

Know where the reserved seats and green cars are.

The local car reserved seats and free seats in local train green cars are available with the Seishun 18 as well. Your trip will surely be more comfortable if you make use of these for long trips or crowded trains.

It can also be used for hotel discounts.

Using Seishun 18 can also get you discounts on hotel fees can be discounted. If you make a reservation, you can get a discount from the JR hotel group.

It's perfect for when you want to explore Shin-Osaka. 

To help you maximize those unlimited train rides, check out our sample itinerary here

Provided by Kansai Walker™, Japan Walker™, and Walkerplus™ (26 February 2018)

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