Tickets, Coupons, Discounts, All Kinds|
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Shopping in Japan:
Tickets, Coupons, Discounts, All Kinds
By Cornelia on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 4:24 pm:
Discount ticket shops -- ticket shoppu
They are usually around the corner off a major street. They are often found near major stations but sometimes they are further away. What are they selling?
All kinds of tickets. Here's a list as far as I know it:
Shinkansen destinations on JR (usually only 5% off)
Domestic flights (destinations vary)
taxi tickets/coupons (good only for the taxi company printed on the coupon)
kyotsu depato shohinken (those Y1000 or more yen coupons to be used at a variety of department stores)
toshoken (usually in denominations of Y500 yen -- but you pay Y450 --, coupons for buying books and magazines at bookstores or book departments inside department stores)
io card -- JR trains
sf card -- a group of other trains (the little running man icon)
movies, sports events such as baseball games, concerts, museum exhibits
highway toll cards (these run Y50,000 at face value and have expiration dates, so at 10% discount may not be worth while if you can't use them up in time)
In some cases the tickets are sold for more than face value. (Scalping?)
ticket = kippu
expiration date = kigen pronounced "key-gain"
Be warned, these places do not as a rule have fluent English speakers on staff. I have seen many of these shops in Tokyo and also in Osaka. But don't ask me to give you names and addresses. They are usually small, have vertical strips of place names and prices wallpapering their windows and sometimes a line out the door (or from the window as the case may be).
These shops are not the only ones that have promotions. For example, right now you may still find Y1300 yen tickets for Spiderman at Family Mart (a savings of Y500 per adult). You pay Y1300 yen to Family Mart and then when you go to the movie theater showing Spiderman, you hand over your Family Mart ticket, if there are seats. Children usually cost about Y1000 yen at the theater. These are available until sold out. One Family Mart may be sold out but another one might still have some. Needless to say once the movie stops showing, your ticket is invalid. You'll have to get a friend to translate the fine print on the back.
JR also offers a variety of discounts only available at their travel centers. For example they have Donichi kippu which are "SaturdaySunday tickets". A friend of mine recently went to Yamagata Prefecture on one of those, saving Y6,000 off the face price of Y22,000. This included a reserved seat, a portion of the trip on the shinkansen and the ability to get on and off multiple times along the route. Special promotion tickets are similar called Tokutoku kippu (= "profitprofit ticket"). For example a special fare for travelling to a ski resort. The problem of course is understanding all the advantages and restrictions. JR does have an English help line but those folks are not always aware of all the promotions. Keep trying!
For more on sf and io train cards look at my post under Traveling to/from and in Japan: Trains
By Cornelia on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 11:05 am:
More discounts tickets and coupons (not all shops stock all types):
amusement park tickets
Postage stamps, revenue stamps and pre-stamped postcards
Bungu-ken (Bungu is short for Bunbogu which means stationary store) coupons for some stationary shops
Biru-ken - beer coupons
Sake-ken - sake coupons (for about 3-5% discount)
Shokuji-ken - some restaurants
Okome-ken - rice coupons
Ryoko-ken - travel package tour coupons, for example JTB ken would only be good at a Japan Travel Bureau shop
Hoteru-ken - for some hotels like Prince hotel group
giftcard "gifto-ken" or "shohinken" - there is no change given on these so the discount is a bit bigger
shohinken gift certificate "saitifiket" - change is given on these
Yutai-ken - complimentary ticket for a stockholder which give you some percentage off on merchandise when purchasing at certain department stores