Discount Shinkansen Tickets: How to Buy Online
By purchasing shinkansen tickets via Japan Rail’s ‘EkiNet’ website, you can access big savings of between 10% to 50% of the standard fare. This page includes information regarding how to:
A step-by-step process is provided below in English. The EkiNet system is however only in Japanese, therefore to use search and select train lines and stations you will need to be able to recognise some kanji i.e. Hokuriku Shinkansen = ‘北陸新幹線’, Nagano = ‘長野’, Tokyo = ‘東京’, etc.
It is important to note that when buying discounted fares, you can only by one-way tickets. If you wish to purchase a return or additional ticket, you will need to process that booking separately.
Please note, we hope that the information provided below will be of assistance in accessing some great deals with Japan Rail. Information provided is accurate to the best of our understanding however Snow Monkey Resorts is not accountable for any transaction made through the EkiNet website, nor accountable any costs incurred by the user. By purchasing a ticket through the EkiNet website, you are agreeing to Japan Rail’s terms and conditions. Once you have completed payment, make sure to keep a copy of your confirmation and follow the instructions provided regarding issuance, collection and/or use of your ticket. If you cannot read the email, use an online translation app or ask a friend for assistance to ensure you are aware of any further steps required to use your ticket.
The first step of accessing discounted tickets is registering your online account with EkiNet. To do this, you will require: an email account, residential address in Japan , phone number, credit card, and IC card i.e. Suica, Pasmo, etc. (for users who wish to have a digital ticket issued to their travel card).
1 / HOW TO REGISTER AN ONLINE ACCOUNT WITH EKINET
Logging onto the EkiNet website the following steps will have you registered in 5 to 10-minutes:
1 / On the EkiNet homepage, click the dark green button on the middle right-hand side of the page:
2 / This page explains what you need and what you can do on the site. Click the button at the bottom of the page to proceed:
3 / This page provides terms and conditions of use. Tick the box at the bottom and click the button on the right to proceed to the next page:
4 / First step of registration: enter your email address the box boxes and click on the button below:
5 / You will receive an authorisation email for EkiNet. Open that email and click on the link. It will then redirect you to the next registration page.
6 / Second step of registration: complete all data fields including: 1. your preferred User ID; 2. password of 6-12 characters (must be entered twice); 3. your surname followed by first name in ‘kanji’ or ‘hiragana’*; 4. your surname followed by given name in ‘katakana’*; 5. date of birth; 6. gender:
*It is possible to enter your name in ‘romaji’ however, depending on your language input settings, the format might not be accepted. If that’s the case, it will be easier to write your name in ‘hiragana’ and ‘katakana’.
7 / The second half of the page requires you to enter your address and contact details: 7. post code; 8. prefecture; 9. city; 10. street address; 11. building name/no (if applicable); 12. phone number/s. Once you have completed all information, click the button below to proceed.
8 / Third step of registration: you now need to enter your credit card details – firstly the card number followed by month and year of expiration:
9 / Fourth step of registration: the second half of the page requires you to enter your IC Card details. For this, you require a Suica, Pasmo or other such travel card and must provide the following details: letter and number card number on the back of the card, followed by card user name.
If you don’t have an IC Card, you can tick the top box and register one later. Once all details are entered, click the button below to continue:
10 / You are now registered with EkiNet are ready to start searching for tickets.
2 / HOW TO SEARCH FOR & BUY DISCOUNTED SHINKANSEN TICKETS
After completing registration you should be automatically returned to the EkiNet homepage with your account logged-in. If you need to log-in again, click on the log-in button on the top right-hand corner. You care search and buy tickets with the following steps:
1 / Your account should now be logged-in (as shown on the right-hand side of the screen). If for any reason you’ve been logged-out, you can log back into your account in the same area of the screen. To access tickets, click on the tab on the top left:
2 / If you are logged-into your account, you should see the following screen. Click the large button in the middle-left of the screen to continue:
3 / Click through the next screen using this button:
4 / The next screen allows you to search by the line you want i.e. Joetsu Shinkansen Line = ‘上越新幹線’ / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line = ‘北陸新幹線’. Nagano Station is on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. Click the button on the top-right to continue:
5 / You can now search for the train you’d like to book by entering your preferred date and time of travel, and stations you wish to travel between. You also have the option to search by calendar, if you want to check which dates are currently available online. Once you have selected the options you want, click the button at the bottom to continue:
6 / This page displays the available fares. The fares listed in blue are e-tickets for which you must have a registered IC Card and onto which your ticket will be issued. Under the blue heading, you also see the % discount on each fare. The fares listed under green heading will be issued as printed tickets:
7 / At the bottom of the same page you can choose the number of tickets you need (adult / child), and if necessary, search a different time. Once you have the correct fare, click the bottom button to proceed:
8 / You can now select your seat (and carriage should you wish to) but clicking the top option:
9 / On this page, simply select your preferred seat and then click button in the bottom right corner:
10 / You should now see your selected carriage and seat number. This is a chance to review the details and make changes before finalising. Leave the bottom option selected so you receive email conformation after completing your booking. When you are happy with everything, click the button in the bottom right corner:
11 / If necessary, re-enter your IC Card number on this page – allowing your ticket to be issued as an e-ticket to that card – and click the bottom button:
12 / You are now on the payment page. Review everything carefully before proceeding as this will complete payment and finalise your purchase of a ticket. Once you do so you should receive an email with confirmation of your booking, payment and further instructions including a booking number/receipt code if you don’t have an IC Card and will be using printed tickets.
3 / HOW TO COLLECT & USE YOUR TICKET
Once you have completed payment, you should receive an email confirmation of your ticket. This email will also contain further information you need to collect and/or use your ticket. If you can’t read Japanese, try popping the text into an online translation site or ask a friend for assistance. It is important that you are aware of any conditions of use or further steps that might be required to use your ticket.
For users who registered an IC Card and selected the option of an e-ticket, your ticket should have been issued onto your card and you will not need to collect a paper ticket. On the day of your travel, use your IC Card at the ticket gates to access your train. Make sure to keep the confirmation handy so there is no confusion regarding your booking.
For users who did not register an IC Card and/or selected to have a printed ticket issued, you will need to collect this to access your train. Your email confirmation should include a confirmation number/receipt code. This number is used to issue your printed ticket. To do so, go to any shinkansen ticket machine and follow the prompts to enter your number. In a few simple steps your printed ticket should be issued. Ticket machines have English and other foreign language settings, so this step should be simple. If there’s any problem, ask a station attendant for assistance or head into the JR Ticket Office. Make sure to allow plenty of time to do this – ideally, prior to your date of travel – to avoid any unexpected delays.
We hope this information will be of assistance in helping you find some great deals, and of course, we hope to see you soon in Nagano!
Combine Your Discounted Tickets with Travel Package, Tour or Charter
With big discounts currently available on shinkansen services to Nagano, it’s the perfect chance to travel and combine your discounted tickets with a ‘Go To Travel’ package in Central Japan. The only 80 to 110-minutes from Tokyo depending on the service you choose, Nagano Station is ideally-suited as the start and end point for that adventure!
Based in Nagano and operating all year round, Snow Monkey Resorts is a participating travel agent with ‘Go To Travel’, and Nagano’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator.
We offer a range of travel packages including transport, accommodation, tours, restaurants, ticketing and other add-ons; and of course, being based in Nagano we’ve also got you covered for ski packages!
With big savings available for online shinkansen bookings via EkiNet coinciding with our ‘Go To Travel’ deals , there’s never been a better time to plan, book and save on your next trip to Nagano! Contact us and let’s get planning together!