Ticket Types / Train seating

Ticket Types

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There are three types of JR train tickets: Base Fare, Express and Green Car.

Base Fare ticket

Any train travel requires a Base Fare ticket.

a ticket purchased at a ticketing counter

  1. Departure station
  2. Destination station
  3. Beginning date of travel
  4. Valid period (including departure date)
  5. Fare

a ticket purchased from an automated machine (for short distances only)

  1. Departure station
  2. Fare


  • Card typed riding ticket which can be used again and again by recharging.
  • Sales place: Ticket machine or Ticket office inside the available area.
  • Useable place: Trains/Buses/Stores with IC mark in Japan.
  • For more information of available area on JR Kyushu, please click here.
  • For more information of how to use on JR Kyushu, please click here.

In order to travel by Shinkansen or express train, you will need an Express ticket in addition to a Base Fare ticket.

There are two types of Express tickets: one for reserved seat, the other for non-reserved seat.

[ Reserved seats ]

Reserved seats refers to securing your seat before boarding. In order to do this, reserved seat ticket is required.

Reserved Seat tickets are available for purchase at any JR Kyushu ticketing office (Midori-no-madoguchi) .
(In case JR Kyushu Rail Pass holders purchases the “reserved seat ticket” directly at the station counter, then additional fee is not required.)
Please note that you can not take a Reserved Seat unless you have a Reserved Seat ticket.

Example of a Reserved Seat ticket

Content of a Reserved Seat ticket

  1. Departure station
  2. Destination station
  3. Time of departure
  4. Time of arrival
  5. Date of departure
  6. Name of train
  7. Car number
  8. Seat number
  9. Fare
Oversized Baggage

[ Non-reserved ]

Non-reserved seats can be used freely if they are empty.

an Non-reserved ticket

  1. Departure station
  2. Destination
  3. Beginning date of travel
  4. Valid period (including departure date)
  5. Fare

[ Reserved seating only trains ]

Trains listed above only offer reserved seat. Please note that these seats may have already been sold out.

In order to travel in the Green Car* of a Shinkansen or an express train, you will need a Green Car ticket in addition to both a Base Fare and an Express ticket. The Green Car may not be available for some trains.

*The Green Car is a first-class car with wider seats and other upgrades/amenities.

How to find your train/seat

  • Find the name of your train on the board above the ticket gate and check the platform from which train departs.
  • Find your car number indicated on your ticket.
    *On reserved seats cars/sections, “指定席”, “指定”, “指”, or “RESERVED” will be displayed.
  • Find your seat number indicated on your ticket (there is no seat number on express non-reserved seats ticket).

*On non-reserved seats cars/sections, “自由席”, “自由”, “自”, or “NONRESERVED” will be displayed. If any seats are open in non-reserved seats cars/sections, you may have a seat.

When to purchase train tickets

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Base Fare ticket / Express Non-reserved Seats ticket

A Base Fare ticket and Express Non-reserved Seats ticket becomes valid on the day of purchase.
If you purchase a Base Fare ticket along with a Reserved Seat ticket, you can purchase it one month in advance.

Reserved Seat ticket (Express Reserved Seat, Reserved Seat)

Tickets become available for purchase at stations at 10:00am (Japan time) of the day one month prior to the date of departure.

Please make seat reservations at a station after you arrive in Japan.

If you would like to make online seat reservation, there are two ways below.
■One way/ Round trip ticket ⇒ click here.
■Using with JR-KYUHSHU RAIL PASS ⇒ click here.

How to purchase a ticket

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JR tickets are available for purchase at JR ticketing offices (Midori-no-madoguchi) . A ticket for short distance can be purchased at an automated ticketing machine as well.

Ticketing office at station (Midori-no-madoguchi)

JR tickets are available for purchase at JR ticketing offices (Midori-no-madoguchi) with the sign shown on the right.

To purchase a ticket, please provide the following information to the staff:

  1. Departure station and destination station
  2. Date and time of departure
  3. Number of tickets required (# of adults and # of children)
  4. Type of train (Shinkansen, Express or Local)
  5. Type of seating (reserved or non-reserved)

Automated machine

English language display is available on automated ticketing machines.

How to determine Adult and Child for train fares

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Age Fare/fee
Adults Age:12 years and older. Fare/fee:Regular fare
Child Between 6 and 11 years old ・Base Fare and Express ticket prices are half the adult fare.
・Green Car tickets prices are the same as for an adult.
Between 1 and 5 years old ・Free
However, a "Child" fare will apply in the following circumstances:
(1) An Adult or Child is accompanied by more than two toddlers. (A Child fare is applied to the third and any additional toddlers.)
(2) A toddler or an infant requires a reserved seat or a Green Car seat.
(3) A toddler travels alone.
Infant 0

Change of ticket

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*Discount tickets are handled in different manner. Please contact station staff for details.

Timing How it works
Before your trip begins

■ If you have not started travel using the ticket and the ticket is still valid, you can change the ticket to the same type of ticket one time at no charge. If there is any difference in the price between the original ticket and the new ticket, the difference will be charged/refunded.

■ If you wish to change your ticket, please visit a ticketing office at a JR station (Midori-no-madoguchi) during regular business hours.

■ If you need to change your ticket a second time, please cancel the ticket and purchase a new ticket at a JR station.

■ Reserved Seat tickets may be changed only before the departure of the designated train. Please note that a Reserved Seat ticket becomes invalid once the train has left your departure station.

After your trip begins

■ If you wish to change the ticket that you have already started using, the difference in price between the original ticket and the new ticket will be assessed. If the purchase price of the new ticket is less than the price of the original ticket, the difference will NOT be refunded.But, if the valid remaining portion of the base fare ticket you holding exceeds 100 km (actual JR service distance), you may be entitled to a refund.

If you miss a train

■ Reserved Seat tickets and Green Car tickets become invalid and nonrefundable once the designated train departs.

■ If you have a reserved seat on an missed express train, you can still use your ticket for non-reserved seat on a train for travel the same day as the originally designated on your ticket. If you need to repurchase a new reserved seat ticket, an express charge along with a reserved seat charge will apply.


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Tickets may be refunded at fee adjustment counters at JR stations.

*Discount tickets are refunded in different ways depending on the ticket type. Please contact the station staff for details.

Before your trip begins

Type of ticket Refund period Refund handling charge
Base Fare ticket
Express Non-reserved seat ticket
Ticket is still valid and travel has not yet commenced 220 yen
Reserved seat ticket Express Reserved Seat ticket
Green Car ticket
Reserved Seat ticket
Until 2 days prior to departure date of the designated train 340 yen
From the previous day to the time of departure of the designated train 30%
340 yen)

*For a refund for Reserved Seat ticket combined with an Express or Green Car ticket, you will only incur a handling charge for the Green Car ticket.

*Refund of a Reserved Seat ticket that was changed on the day or the day previous to departure is subject to a 30% refund handling charge.

After your trip begins

(Base Fare ticket)

Once the trip begins, if the valid remaining portion exceeds 100km (actual JR service distance), you may be entitled to a refund. The amount of refund will be the value of the ticket less the distance that has already been used less a 220 yen refund handling charge.

In case of delay or cancellation of operation

Situation Refund
Cancellation of operation If you need to call off your trip due to the cancellation of a train, the train fare and all other fees will be refunded. If you need to cancel the remaining portion of your trip after you have departed, the remaining portion of train fare, including express fare and other charges, shall be refunded.
Delay of operation If an express train is delayed for 2 or more hours, the express fare shall be refunded.
*The refund only applies for express fare. There is no refund for base fare.