Source: © Pakutaso JR East Announces Half-Price Shinkansen Tickets until March 2021 2020-07-29 Wed 2020-07-29 Wed Japan’s tourism industry has suffered this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Cherry blossom season in March and April saw parks closed to curb the spread of infections. Golden Week in early May was also quiet as the government urged residents to “Stay Home.” Living in Kyoto, my daily bus ride to work takes me past tourist hot spots like Gion and Kiyomizu Temple, before arriving at Kyoto Station. I have personally enjoyed the lack of tourists lugging their heavy suitcases onto the bus and making it difficult for everyone to get on and off. But the contrast is certainly striking. © Pakutaso We find ourselves in a difficult situation as Obon holiday week approaches. While many Japanese receive time off from work and may return to their hometowns or go on vacation with their families, the recent spike in coronavirus infections is a bit concerning. That being said, JR East and even the Japanese government have come up with ways to entice residents to travel domestically, hoping to revitalize the economy. JR East Half-Price Shinkansen Tickets The East Japan Railway Company, also known as JR East, has announced 50% discounted tickets for Shinkansen lines running from Tokyo to the northern and northeastern parts of Japan. Check here (Japanese only) or the list below for trains and destinations eligible for this discount. JR East Shinkansen Lines Hayabusa, Hayate: between Tokyo and Morioka (Iwate)/Shin-Hakodate Hokuto (Hokkaido) Yamabiko: between Tokyo and Koriyama/Fukushima/Sendai/Morioka Nasuno: between Tokyo and Nasushiobara (Tochigi) Tsubasa: between Tokyo and Yamagata Komachi: between Tokyo and Akita Toki, Tanigawa: between Tokyo and Jomokogen/Niigata Kagayaki: between Tokyo and Toyama/Shin-Takaoka/Kanazawa Hakutaka: between Tokyo and Itoigawa/Kurobe-Unazuki Onsen/Toyama/Shin-Takaoka/Kanazawa Asama: between Tokyo and Nagano Limited Express Trains Hitachi: between Tokyo and Haranomachi/Soma/Watari/Iwanuma/Sendai Azusa: between Tokyo and Haranomachi/Chino/Kami-Suwa/Matsumoto Kaiji: between Tokyo and Kofu/Ryo Wakashio, Shinjuku-Wakashio: between Tokyo and Oamishirasato/Ohara/Katsuura/Awa-Kamogawa Sazanami, Shinjuku-Sazanami: between Tokyo and Goi/Anegasaki/Kisarazu/Kimitsu/Tateyama Shiosai: between Tokyo and Sakura/Yachimata/Naruto/Yokaichiba/Asahi/Choshi Inaho: between Tokyo and Tsuruoka/Amarume/Sakata Nikko, Kinugawa, Spacia Kinugawa: between Tokyo and Tobu-Nikko/Kinugawa Onsen The promotion will begin August 20 and run until March 31, 2021. Some important fine print to note is that Hokuriku Shinkansen’s Kagayaki and Hakutaka trains (for destinations like Toyama and Kanazawa), which will be half price only until September 30 this year. In addition, the discount only applies to tickets purchased from the official JR East website and must be reserved from 20 days to one month prior to your departure date. Many of you may be thinking, “Hey, what about JR West trains?” Perhaps because they are more popular travel destinations JR doesn’t see fit to extend the discount westward, but we can wait and see. Here’s hoping! By - Mujo. Tags: Bullet Train / JR East / reduced fare / Shinkansen / Tickets grape Japan Goods JR East Announces Half-Price Shinkansen Tickets until March 2021 Related Article Get Transported Into A Sci-Fi Movie with the Nagano Shinkansen Harajuku Station to be demolished after 2020 Tokyo Olympics 5G tech makes switching between public and private networks easy JR East releases first-ever rail pass for foreign residents in Japan Hello Kitty Bullet Train Will Bring Kawaii To West Japan In Summer 2018 A Guide to Japan’s Bullet Trains New Luggage Reservation Rules – Don’t Get Hit With Extra Charges!