Tickets and travel

If you do not already have one of the IC cards used for public transport in Japan, we recommend that you look for a Suica or Pasmo ticketing machine where you are planning to catch your first local train. Either of these cards will only cost you a few hundred yen, but will let you ride any local transit with the money charged on the card, without needing to buy a ticket in advance.

To buy a ticket for the shinkansen, look for a green “Shinkansen & Express tickets” machine when you are at the Japan Railway station. These machines support a number of languages, including English, and will conveniently find the next available train to Toyama for you.

Riding the shinkansen requires a set of two tickets: A basic fare and a Super-Express upgrade. You will want to purchase both when the machine asks you. The Super-Express upgrade will usually include a seat reservation. The car and seat is shown on the ticket. When you are on the platform, look for the numbers that show where your car will stop!

The ticket machine will probably print a receipt or confirmation along with the tickets, but only these two tickets are needed to travel. When you get to the ticket gate at the station, insert both stacked together. At the location of your departure, the gate will return the tickets to you. You will need them again to exit the station on arrival! When you have reached your destination and no longer need your ticket, the gate will not return it again. 


Toyama’s CENTRAM

When you arrive in Toyama and leave the shinkansen station by the central exit, you will see the tram station right in front of you.


Most locations in Toyama’s inner city can conveniently be reached by the CENTRAM loop line that starts and ends at Toyama station. Its modern, low-entry trains depart towards “Grand Plaza-mae” from platform 3.

Riding the CENTRAM costs a flat fee of 210 yen that is charged when leaving the train. You don’t need to buy a ticket or scan your IC card when boarding the train, just enter through the rear door and ride to your destination. When you get there, exit by the driver. Here you can conveniently pay using your IC card by touching it to the reader installed next to the door. If you pay in cash with the driver, you will need matching coins!