May 27, 2024
Japan increased the cost of a tourist rail pass on the bullet train.

the bullet train

The price of a 14-day unlimited bullet train pass in Japan has increased from 47,250 to 80,000 ($534). Price increases range from around 65% to 77%. Travelers to Japan will pay more for rail passes after the JR railway network increased costs by an average of 70% for the first time in four decades.

A 14-day train pass that allows for unrestricted travel throughout Japan will cost 80,000 yen ($534) starting at the beginning of this month, up from 47,250 yen. Along with the first class, there are alternatives for one- and three-week passes. Price increases range from around 65% to 77%.

The JR group of six railway companies claims that earlier tariffs were established when there were fewer destinations served by bullet trains and that higher charges are justified because services are now available in the northern areas.

According to Koki Mizuno, a representative for Central Japan Railway Co., “We never raised the prices other than making minor adjustments during consumer-tax hikes.

The fastest shinkansen bullet-train services, the Nozomi and Mizuho, are now available to passengers for a price, as opposed to just the slower ones that make more stops.

For her husband’s 30th birthday, Rachel Wright traveled from San Francisco and stated, “It’s a screaming deal.” Using a 21-day pass, they spent 16 days traveling to the prefectures of Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Gifu, and Kanazawa as well as Hakone, a region with hot springs near Mt. Fuji. They purchased the tickets prior to the fare hike and stated that they would still think about buying the passes at a higher price.

Even if you don’t save money, she said, it is still quite handy since you can merely slide in and go anyplace. Previously, a round-trip ticket on the bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka cost about as much as a week’s pass.

Denise Wong, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said the price hike may affect other travel choices. Given that airfares may cost 10% to 70% less than ordinary rail tickets, some tourists may switch to low-cost airlines, such as Jetstar and All Nippon Airways Co.’s Peach, for long-distance interstate travel, according to Wong.

That description may apply to tourists like the five-member family of Kylie Hone, who is visiting from Australia. Hone, who recently visited Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Kyoto, said she would rather buy individual tickets since purchasing passes at the new, higher price would be inconvenient.

Yet, Wong stated that “trains could maintain a strong edge over airlines for short- to medium-distance trips, where traveling by air is less efficient due to airport access and dwell time, and with modest dollar cost savings.”

When asked if there were any fears about losing consumers as a result of the raise, JR Central’s Mizuno responded, “It continues to be a good deal.”

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