Japan Bullet Rail Pass : Significant Price Hike for Tourists

Japan Bullet Train Pass Price Hikes

In October, Japan’s bullet train fares surged by a significant 70%, marking the first price increase in 40 years. The 14-day unlimited travel pass, previously priced at INR 26K, now costs INR 44K. Children aged 6-11 still qualify for half-price tickets.

The JR group, consisting of six train operators, argues that previous fares were established when there were fewer bullet train destinations. They assert that the price hike is justified due to expanded services, especially in the northern regions. The extensive JR network spans over 19K kilometres (11,800 miles) throughout Japan’s archipelago.

Japan Bullet Train Fare Changes for Tourists

Koki Mizuno, a spokesperson for Central Japan Railway Co., emphasized that they had seldom raised prices, aside from minor adjustments during consumer tax hikes. He pointed out that system upgrades, such as introducing online seat reservations and automatic ticket gates, had not been factored into pass prices.

Denise Wong, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, suggested that the price hike could influence travellers to explore alternative options. For long-distance intercity journeys, there may be a shift towards low-cost carriers like Jetstar and All Nippon Airways Co.’s Peach, which offer more affordable travel alternatives.

The Itsukushima shrine, famous for its vibrant orange torii gate that appears to float on water near Hiroshima, has introduced an entry fee for the very first time. They are now charging visitors 100 yen for a single visit or 300 yen for multiple visits, citing the need for crowd management.

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