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Err, your ticket was valid, even if the conductor didn't know it. See  and the original Japanese here: 『津軽海峡線の「蟹田～木古内間」相互発着及び石勝線の「新得～新夕張間」相互発着に限り、特例として「青春１８きっぷ」のみで特急・急行列車の普通車自由席がご利用になれます。』 Jpatokal 07:32, 9 December 2008 (EST)
- You said "despite having bought an extra tokkyuu surcharge ticket", so did you by any chance try to ride beyond the Kanita-Kikonai stretch? Because that probably would be against the rules, even with the tokkyuu surcharge, as the Seishun 18 may not count even as the base fare. Jpatokal 03:42, 10 December 2008 (EST)