New app lets tourists book Japan bullet train tickets from overseas

New app lets tourists book Japan bullet train tickets from overseas

Shinkansen japan bullet train
A Shinkansen bullet train passes over a street in Tokyo on Jul 1, 2017. (Photo: AFP/ Toru Yamanaka)

TOKYO: An English-language reservation app for Japan's Shinkansen will soon be launched, making it easier for tourists to reserve tickets from overseas, Japan Today reported on Friday (Oct 27).

Currently there is only an online reservation system for trains heading north from Tokyo, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). 

The app, which will launch on Oct 30, will now allow tourists to book tickets for journeys heading south from Tokyo, along the "Golden Route" which includes Mt Fuji, Kyoto and Osaka. 

SmartEX app
The SmartEx app will allow tourists to book Shinkansen tickets from overseas. (Photo: JR West)

Users can reserve tickets using the free SmartEX app with their credit card. Once in Japan, they need to swipe their registered credit card at a special dedicated machine before receiving the ticket.

If the user has a transport IC card from previous trips to Japan - either Pasmo or Suica - they can opt for a ticketless reservation.

The app can also be used to make changes to a reservation, reported Japan Today. 

Users in America, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong will have access to this app, but more countries will join the list. 

Japan Today also reported that the app cannot be used in conjunction with the Japan Rail Pass for now.

Source: CNA/ad