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Travel by (local) train for cheap in Japan

There’s a little known ticket in Japan called the Seishun Juhachi kippu (literally “Youth 18 ticket”). While it was originally conceived as a ticket for the young people, nowadays it’s used by anyone and everyone who likes traveling on the cheap. The ticket costs ¥ 11,500 and is good for five (consecutive or non-consecutive) days of travel. That means you only pay ¥2,300 a day!

You just show the person at the ticket gates, get it stamped the first time you use it, and you’re traveling for next to nothing all day. You can even have multiple people traveling on the same ticket (one day per person though).

The one big drawback is that you can only travel by local or local rapid train (and the Miyajimaguchi ferry). Depending on where you are going that could mean a very long train ride. But on the bright side you’ll see a lot more of Japan through the train window. All things considered this ticket is for people who have time to spare or like traveling slowly.

Spring
Sold: Feb. 20-Mar. 31
Valid: Mar.1-Apr. 10

Summer
Sold: July 1-Aug. 31
Valid: July 20-Sep. 10

Winter
Sold: Dec.1-Jan. 10
Valid: Dec.10-Jan. 20

I used it to travel from Tokyo to Kamakura to Kyoto to Nara, and then back up to Fukushima. In US dollars that trip would have cost a bunch, maybe $600 instead I paid about $120.

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