In one of the biggest (positive) news in Japan this year, the JR East Railway Company has decided to offer a half price discount on all bullet trains travelling from August this year until March next year.
This news may not bring immediate joy to those patiently waiting out this period at home. However, those residing in Japan right now can definitely reap the benefits of this fantastic offer. The promotion is set to begin on the 20th of August 2020.
The discount can be applied across almost all JR East Shinkansen lines until the end of the promo period. Note that the Kagayaki and Hakutaka trains on the Hokuriku line will only be offering the discount until September 30 2020.
To get the discounted tickets, you will need to book them through the official JR East website here. They will need to be purchased between 20 days and one month prior to your travel dates.
Due to the dynamic nature of the pandemic, we recommend that you keep an eye out on the news section once you’ve purchased your ticket. Things can (and have) been changed due to unforeseen circumstances without much prior notice. We believe it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
This offer comes as the Coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately taken its toll on the Japanese tourism community. The Japanese government has closed off its borders to the rest of the world in an effort to control the spread of the virus. As a result of this, international tourists have become almost non-existent.
However, Japan is carefully discussing a travel bubble with a few countries, so we may hear some news about this soon in the coming few months (details here). This means that those still looking to visit Japan when borders open may still be able to take advantage of this offer if it’s within the promo period. Fingers crossed!
Here is a table of all the available lines and destinations where this discount will be applicable.