JR (Japan Rail) Pass
WARNING: NOT TO BE USED BY RESIDENTS OF JAPAN
If you have family or friends interested in visiting you, there are various discount tickets available for the Shinkansen and other trains ,such as the Japan Rail Pass. This pass entitles the holder to one, two, or three weeks’ unlimited travel on any JR service and even includes the JR ferry to Miyajima Island! Unfortunately this pass can only be bought outside Japan as its use is limited to foreign tourists coming to Japan. Numerous JETs have abused this for years by getting a visiting friend to validate their pass for them and trusting that the guards on the platform counters are only interested in the date on the pass and not the name. Using the pass is the best way to travel round Japan if you are covering large distances but there are penalties to pay if you get caught, so be warned.
Matsue-Osaka Discount Ticket
For those people wanting to go from Matsue to Osaka, there is a waribiki (discount ticket) for the Yakumo train and Shinkansen. It costs ¥ 13,000 for a return ticket. (A one-way option is available but has no discount.) Take the Yakumo train to Okayama and then change to the Shinkansen for a convenient route to Osaka for a few days’ holiday. The only limitation is you must complete the return leg of your journey within six days.