Types of Trains

One-person (one-man) Operated Passenger Trains

One-person (driver alone) operated passenger trains on the JR lines and third-sector railways are called the one-man trains (wan-man ressha : ワンマン列車). The one-man trains are mainly operated in the rural areas. This article is about how to use a one-man train that allows you to pay the fare on the train.

Sign of the One-man Train

Basically indicated by a green wan-man (one-man) sign.


How to Ride the One-man Train

How to get on and off the one-man train at an unstaffed station or when there is no station staff.

How to get on the train

1️⃣ If you are boarding from a station with an automatic ticket vending machine, purchase a ticket in advance. Prepare 1000 yen bills or coins. In area where transportation IC cards can be used, touch your IC card to the automatic ticket gate when entering the station.

2️⃣ Wait for the train at the one-man car boarding sign (ワンマンカー乗車口) on the station platform.

3️⃣ Board from the rear door (*JR Hokkaido and some third-sector railways: front door) of the leading car. The doors of the second and subsequent cars will not open. There are two types of train doors: some open automatically and some open with the push of a button.

4️⃣ Take a boarding ticket (seiri-ken / 整理券, or josha-eki shomeisho / 乗車駅証明書) from the numbered ticket machine. Please be careful not to forget to take a numbered ticket.

How to get off the train

1️⃣ Before getting off the train, check your boarding ticket number and fare at the front of the first car. Boarding ticket numbers and fares are shown on the display. If you need to change money, the fare box has a money changer (ryogae-ki / 両替機). It accepts ¥1000 bills and ¥50 / ¥100 / ¥500 coins.

2️⃣ Put your numbered ticket and fare (or your ticket) in the fare box (unchin-bako / 運賃箱). Otherwise, show your commuter pass, JR rail pass (e.g. Japan Rail Pass and Seishun 18 Kippu), or transportation IC card (or IC card screen for mobile devices) to the driver.

3️⃣ Get off the train from the front door of the first car. There are two types of train doors: some open automatically and some open with the push of a button.

4️⃣ If you use a transportation IC card, touch the IC card to the automatic ticket gate when exiting the station.

Additional Matters for Fare Settlement

If you do not have a ticket and transfer at an unmanned station, pay the fare in cash when you get off.

If you get off at a staffed station, you can pay the fare with your numbered ticket at the station ticket gate. If you have a ticket, use the automatic ticket gate or give a ticket to the station staff.


As a general rule, all doors open at staffed stations.

Many of the one-man trains have toilets onboard. If you board a one-man train without toilets (especially on the JR Shikoku), you may be able to use the restrooms inside the station when you are waiting for your train. Best to ask the driver.