a VirtualTourist member from Zürich
I am looking for more informationn about the central japan flex rail ticket.
I found one website about it:
There is a link to http://www.japanican.com - but then I get lost.
I would like to know in which area is this ticket valid?
E.g. is it possible to travel Kyoto- Hikone - Kanazawa - Matumoto - Tokyo - Hakone - Nagoya - Kyoto
with this ticket?
Usually a Shinkansen pass is used for all lines across the country, in this case it applies only to the Tokaido line. Basically from Osaka to Tokyo.
I have never tried it, but from the looks of things, no. It appears the vouchers are for a return trip ticket only. For example, the japanican site has a Kyoto voucher. You exchange it for your tickets which will allow you to head down to Kyoto. You can then return to Tokyo within 7 days of the start of your journey. The savings are decent though.
If you are considering an in/out trip, and it is on the same line (Kyoto - Hikone - Tokyo - Nagoya - Kyoto), you can purchase a round trip ticket and go in and out at those stations. You must purchase separate tickets for the Shinkansen (reserved seat charges) but for the regular fares, you can go in and out but you cannot go backwards.
To explain in better detail, trains have 2 fares. The regular fare and the express fare. If you travel to Matsumoto, the regular fare is about 3890. If you take regular trains, that's all you pay. If you take the special express trains, you have to add 3020 as a seat/express charge. The shinkansen is the same.
So if you go from Kyoto to Hikone, then to Tokyo, you only need to pay the regular fare from Kyoto to Tokyo, but you have a set time (perhaps 2 or 3 days) to get to Tokyo. Then you can do the return. You still have to pay separate shinkansen fares for Kyoto to Hikone, then Hikone to Tokyo. As long as it is a return trip, you are safe. It can be a bit difficult to get but the train staff at the Midori no Madoguchi should know what to do.
Otherwise, search for another rail pass.