New online booking service from 2017 summer
JR Central and JR West announced that they are planning to start new online booking service for Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen from next summer. It will enable travelers out of Express Services membership to book seats through their smartphones and travel by Shinkansen with IC cards.
This new booking service requires a transportation IC card, such as Suica, TOICA, ICOCA etc., and a credit card. These cards must be registered at first through smartphones or PC. Then passengers can book seats through smartphones, purchase tickets with credit cards and go through the ticket gates with their transportation IC cards without queuing at ticket counters.
This registration of credit card and transportation IC card is very easy. No signing up to credit card firm are necessary and there are no annual fees. The cards of VISA, MasterCard, JCB, American Express and Diners Club are available. The transportation IC card interchangeable across the nation such as Suica, TOICA and ICOCA can be used.
According to the published reports, the price of ticket purchased through this new service will be as same as regular fares, whereas Express members can get membership discount. Even so, the new service is useful because many kinds of credit cards are acceptable, no annual fees are charged, booking through smartphones are available and riding Shinkansen trains with IC cards are allowed. It will be also usable for inbound non-Japanese travelers.
This service will be good on Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen between Tokyo and Hakata.
More information will follow before the start of he service by JR Central and JR West.