Japan’s 'Random Trips' offer a cheaper way to go on holiday

Virgin Radio

1 Sep 2022, 07:22

The Japanese flag (L), and a plane taking off (R)

Credit: Getty

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being on holiday, is there? But sometimes planning a trip can be a real pain, as can finding the money to pay for it in these difficult times. So, the Japanese tourist industry has come up with an idea to take the hassle - and some of the cost - out of going away.  

The travel industry across the world was hit hard by the pandemic, and is still trying to recover, so in Japan, some railway and airline companies are trying to give things a boost by selling massively discounted tickets. And there’s an interesting twist. 

As highlighted on the TikTok account for the @worldeconomicforum, the idea of the "Random Trip" is gaining popularity. But what is a Random Trip? Well, as its name suggests, it means that a customer will be sent to a randomly selected destination, chosen by lottery, and they will pay a reduced price. 

Screenshots from a TikTok video about Random trips, including a ticket office, a busy city and a female passenger looking out of a plane window.

Credit: TikTok @worldeconomicforum

For instance, West Japan Railway’s random ticket will send you to one of seven mystery locations, and a return ticket will be 83 percent cheaper than the normal price. In July, the company released an app-based train ticket called "Saikoro Kippu," in which destinations are decided by a roll of virtual dice (saikoro is the Japanese word for dice).

All possible Random Trip destinations are domestic. Two of the seven possible railway destinations from West Japan Railway include Shirahama Station in Wakayama Prefecture, and Kurashiki Station in Okayama Prefecture, both in Western Japan.

The Saikoro Ticket allows people to buy for up to six people at a time. And, although the idea of being sent to a completely different destination to the rest of your family probably does seem appealing sometimes, everyone in the group booking is guaranteed to get the same destination!

People were loving the Random Trip idea on TikTok. One person wrote: “Cool! There is something interesting everywhere. Especially with overcrowded tourist sites.”

Another commenter added: “I'd do it in the USA.”

What do you think of this idea? Would you take on a trip like this if it was offered in the UK?