An unlimited-ride ticket offered by Japan Railway (JR) companies that can only be used on local and rapid JR trains at present will be utilized on a stretch of the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line when it starts in March, JR firms announced Jan. 5.
It will mark the first time the special one-day Seishun 18 ticket can be used to ride a bullet train although the additional purchase of “an option ticket” will be required, they said.
Currently, the seasonal Seishun 18 ticket can be used for one-day unlimited rides on JR local and rapid trains throughout Japan. The ticket is valid five times during its designated time period.
The Seishun 18 ticket can also be used for unreserved seats on limited express trains only in sections where local and rapid trains are not running.
The sections include one between Kanita in Aomori Prefecture and Kikonai in Hokkaido on the Tsugaru-Kaikyo Line. The section runs through the underground Seikan Tunnel, which links Aomori and Hokkaido.
Because those limited express trains will be shut down when the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line opens on March 26, Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) decided that the Seishun 18 ticket can also be used for the new bullet train’s stretch between Okutsugaru-Imabetsu in Aomori Prefecture and Kikonai.
The ticket can also be used between Kikonai and Goryokaku on a local line to be operated by South Hokkaido Railway Co. The company will take over the operation of the line from JR Hokkaido after the start of the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line.
The option ticket will be priced at 2,300 yen ($20) for one way, 1,730 yen cheaper than conventional tickets for the same sections.
The Seishun 18 ticket is priced at 11,850 yen. It will cover the period from March 1 through April 10. They will be sold between Feb. 20 and March 31.
Source and image: Asahi