This secret Japan travel hack lets you travel huge distances for next to nothing. 

Savvy Japanese travellers will know all about the Seishun 18 kippu, a special discounted ticket bundle from Japan Railways, the largest train operator in Japan.

Priced at 11,850 yen (US$106.66), each bundle contains five unlimited-use one-day rail passes, which passengers can use on unreserved seats on JR local and rapid (though not limited express) trains.  

This works out to roughly 2,370 yen per day, and as our reporters have shown in the past, one day’s travel on a Seishun 18 kippu can get you all the way from Tokyo to Fukuoka, on the southwestern island of Kyushu, making it one of the best travel deals in the country.

Now, though, we’ve stumbled across an even better deal, with a travel hack that gets you a discounted Seishun 18 kippu for just 500 yen!

This remarkable discount comes from Daikokuya, a discount ticket seller, and while there’s a measure of luck and good timing involved in being able to take advantage of such an offer, this tweet shows the type of cheap Seishun 18 kippu that are sometimes available.

Seeing as Daikokuya is essentially a resale store chain, these seishun kippu are obtained from passengers who’ve had changes to their travel plans, so there can be five, four, three, two, and one-day passes available. While availability varies from day to day, it’s really worth checking them out, especially if you’re making last-minute plans and need something to get you on the rails on the day of purchase, as the three, two, and one-day passes shown in the tweet above all retail for 500 yen because they have one day left until expiry.

Our Japanese reporter Masanuki Sunakoma heard about the great deal on Twitter and immediately headed out to pick up one of the 500-yen tickets. He then decided to squeeze the most value out of his 500-yen investment with a trip from Tokyo to Hiroshima, using the following itinerary.

  • 10:37 Tokyo Station – 12:11 Atami Station
  • 12:35 Atami Station – 13:49 Shizuoka Station
  • 13:52 Shizuoka Station – 14:19 Shimada Station
  • 14:29 Shimada Station – 15:15 Hamamatsu Station
  • 15:24 Hamamatsu Station – 15:57 Toyohashi Station
  • 16:02 Toyohashi Station – 15:32 Ogaki Station
  • 15:37 Ogaki Station – 18:11 Maibara Station
  • 18:17 Maibara Station – 20:49 Himeji Station
  • 21:40 Himeji Station – 23:03 Okayama Station
  • 23:09 Okayama Station – 00:07 Fukuyama Station

The Seishun 18 kippu are sold in seasonal bursts, with the current spring season tickets valid until 10 April. So if you feel like going on an epic train journey for 500 yen, be sure to keep an eye out for some last-minute specials at Daikokuya in the lead-up to 10 April. And if you do get to travel down to Hiroshima or even further on one of these cheap tickets, be sure to let us know!

Photos © SoraNews24
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