questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

booking trains for new year days

Booking trains for New Year days

Hi,

My boyfriend and I are planning to travel to Japan from the 27th od December to the 3rd of January. We'll buy the Japan Rail pass because it'll save money for the travelling we are planning to do. Since during New Year the trains seem to be very busy, we would like to make seat reservations for some of the trips, specially Tokyo-Kyoto. I have read that this is not possible trough the english website till you have activated your pass in Japan, but we arrive the 27th and are planning to go to Kyoto the 28th, so we can book just one day in advance and I'm afraid we won't have any seats available by then. However, I read that is possible to make reservations in advance using the Japanese website (eki-net), and then claim the money back once you activate the rail pass in Japan. Is this truth? Is it actually possible to claim the money back in Japan? If so, where should we do that? Is it in the same place where we activate the rail-pass? Can we do it at Narita Airport? We have a Japanese friend and if this was possible he could help us with the reservations in eki-net.

Thanks!

Eva

evocha
evocha

Hi Eva,

Only the days around New Year is when it gets really busy, so you'll be fine if you reserve tickets on the 27th. There are plenty of trains and most Shinkansen have over a thousand seats each.

Going trough Eki-net and then re-booking the tickets under the JR Pass is a technical possibility but one I would not recommend. One you'll need a good bit of Japanese, not just for the website but also to explain to the staff what they should do with the tickets. Secondly you'll have to pay a cancellation fee for each tickets to be re booked. This can also add up a good bit/

My advise would be to just book the tickets once you arrive at Narita Airport for your entire trip.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Thank you very much for your answer! Then, do you think that we will be able to book the 27th for the 28th for a convenient time? Just one day in advance? Since we don't have many days we would like to travel early in the morning, and we are afraid that those trains can be fully booked when we arrive and we have to change all the plans. I read so many things about how busy the trains are during those dates that I am very worried...

And just one more question... Once we arrive, can we book at the airport seats for all the trains? For example, to go to Nikko, Hakone, Nara... or can we just book the Shinkansen?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Best wishes,

Eva

evocha
evocha

Hi Eva,

Yes I think that you'll be fine if you make the reservations on the 27th and even if they are sold out you can come to the station in advance and line up for a non reserved ticket.

All trains that have seat reservations can be booked once you arrive, some train like local trains don't have seat reservations.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Yes, that helps. Thanks a lot!

Eva

evocha
evocha

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