questions & answers: general japan travel

reservation via eki-net

Reservation via eki-net

Hi

I will be travelling to Japan with my family over the Christmas and New Year period this year. 23 Dec to 5 Jan. We would be there for 14 days and I plan to get a JR Pass for everyone. We would be staying in Tokyo area for the first 3 days and travelling up to Hokkaido via Shinkansen for about 8 days then returning to Tokyo for 3 more days before our departure. In Hokkaido, I will be visiting Hakodate, Otaru, Sapporo and Tomamu. As it will be a peak season for travelling I thought it might be better if I reserve my tickets from Tokyo to Shin Aomori and back via Eki-net. How far in advance can I make my booking thru the website? I believe the English eki-net site allows reservations up to 1 month before travel date. Does the Japanese website allow reservations even earlier than 1 month? I can only understand simple Japanese so I couldn't figure out how early one can book in advance.

Would it be cheaper to get 14 days JR Pass? Or buy individual tickets Tokyo-Sapporo-Tokyo plus a Hokkaido pass?

Also does JR Hokkaido allow for Internet reservations? Or do I have to make reservations when I arrive in Tokyo?

Thanks!

Tokyolava
Tokyolava

Hi there,

The Japanese Eki-net is also 1 month in advance. The main advantage of the Japanese eki-net is that you can reserve seats on any train in Japan, not just JR-East as per the English language eki-net. JR-Hokkaido doesn't have an internet reservation system, so you can either make your reservation via the Japanese Eki-net for JR-Hokkaido, or place your reservations on arrival in Japan ( easiest :) )

Regarding your costs, here is the approximate cost breakdown:

  1. Narita airport terminal 1 > Tokyo: ¥3,140 (62mins, 79km)
  2. Tokyo > Hakodate: ¥19,140 (365mins, 878km)
  3. Hakodate > Otaru: ¥9,420 (256mins, 352km)
  4. Otaru > Sapporo(jr): ¥620 (46mins, 33km)
  5. Sapporo(jr) > Tomamu: ¥4,990 (94mins, 142km)
  6. Tomamu > Tokyo: ¥24,990 (588mins, 1251km)
  7. Tokyo > Narita airport terminal 1: ¥3,140 (58mins, 79km)

JR ticket cost: ¥65,440 for 7 legs

A 7 day Hokkaido Pass (¥22,000) + return trip via the bullet train from Tokyo-Shin-Aomori (¥32,740) will come to ¥54,740. As this is more than the cost of the 14 day nationwide JR pass (¥45,100), and will not include your transfers to Shin-Aomori from Hokkaido or travel to/from the airport and around Tokyo I recommend you purchase the 14 day JR Pass for your trip.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks Mari!

Tokyolava
Tokyolava

Hi Mari,

Now it's time to book my tickets on eki-net. I found that some trains has 'seat maps' for you to choose a seat and some of them don't. Is that normal or am I missing something?

Your advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Tokyolava
Tokyolava

I think that's normal - certain trains do not offer reservations (in general shinkansen and certain limited express will offer reserved seating, but normal trains will not.

Are you trying to reserve a particular train?

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mari
Expert_button_2

Hi Mari

I managed to pick seats for Hayabusa and Ltd Exp Super Hakucho. However I wasn't able to on Ltd Exp Super Hokuto and Airport. All of them offers to reserve seats but the first two trains actually allowed me to pick a particular seat on a seating plan.

Tokyolava
Tokyolava

Hi there,

I'm not 100% sure about the reasoning for this, but it could be due to the different JR zones or that not all trains are part of the system. As long as you reserve your seats online then I recommend you visit the JR ticket counter as soon as you are in Japan to confirm your actual seating arrangements. Alternatively, you could contact JR-East infoline(english) or JR-Hokkaido reservations line (number at top of page) (Japanese only) to see if they can help further.

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks Mari! I'll give them a call to find out. I didn't know they had an English infoline. :)

Tokyolava
Tokyolava

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