Advantages of Buying a Connecting Train Ticket (連続乗車券) in Japan


Some railway companies sell and issue a train ticket called “Renzoku-joshaken; ‘連続乗車券’ in Kanji” other than a one-way ticket (片道乗車券) and a round trip ticket (往復乗車券) in Japan, which is another journey type of regular train ticket.
It is a connecting train ticket that is issued if neither one-way nor round trip tickets are applicable for the journey.

I will discuss about the train ticket in this article. I will also how to purchase the ticket at JR ticket counters.

What is a connecting train ticket (連続乗車券)?

A connecting train ticket is sold if your entire journey is not one-way nor round trip (If the journey is unicursal, you can purchase a one-way ticket).
Its sections shall be two. Therefore, if a number of sections in your journey is more than two, you will have to purchase both a set of the connecting train ticket and a one-way train ticket.

It is rather difficult to understand what it is, so I will show you typical examples.

If you make a trip from station A to station C via station B (Trip 1), and from station C to station D via station B (Trip 2), you can purchase a set of connecting train ticket instead of buying each one-way ticket.

Trip 1: A -> B -> C
Trip 2: D <- B <- C

In this case, you can also purchase a set of connecting ticket, or an one-way ticket (A -> D) and a round trip ticket (B <-> C) instead.

Trip 1: E -> F -> G -> E (a unicursal journey)
Trip 2: E -> F (additional one-way journey)

You can also purchase a connecting ticket in the case above.

How to purchase a connecting train ticket

You can purchase the connecting train ticket only at manned ticket counters (ticket offices; Midori-no-Madoguchi) during their operating hours.

Note you can not buy the ticket with ticket vendor machines at this moment.

An example of connecting train ticket

Following is an actual example of JR connecting train ticket.

The first section of the journey is from Shibuya station in Central Tokyo to Omiya station in Saitama Prefecture via Akabane station.

Another section is from Omiya station to Ueno station in Tokyo via Akabane station.

These tickets are good for two days. These sections are treated as a set of ticket.

This is off topic, but you will also have to purchase express tickets if you are riding on express trains such as Shinkansen.

Small but interesting advantages of purchasing a connecting train ticket!

If you are a resident and a student in Japan, you are eligible for student discount which journey is more than 100km. Basic fare is discounted up to 20% (note that express tickets are not discounted) using student discount.

You always need to submit a certificate obtained from your university, etc. when applying student discount.
Normally you will have to submit two copies of certificates for purchasing two sections of one-way ticket. If you purchase the connecting ticket, you will have to submit ONLY a copy of certificate. This is one of the advantages.

Another advantage is that refund charge is only JPY220 for the connecting ticket (usually it costs JPY440 for two of one-way tickets) for cancelling your trip.
Also, duration of the journey is summed up, therefore it is usually longer than each one-way ticket.
For example, duration of section 1 is for one day and section 2 is for three days, total duration becomes four days.

It is worth purchasing a connecting ticket if you are not using any discount passes.