questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

can i reserve trains before activating my pass?

Can I reserve trains before activating my pass?

Hi there
I was wondering if its possible to book trains ahead of time before activating a 14 day pass?

We arrive in Tokyo in March, and don't want to activate it until a few days in, before we leave to go to Kanazawa. As this branch has just opened and may be busy, we were advised to try and reserve a seat as soon as we touch down in Tokyo. We have our JR pass confirmation we can show, but wondered if you need to have transferred it into a full on JR Pass before you are allowed to make seat reservations?

I hope not!

Thanks

cwest
cwest

Hello there,

Yes you can! There are two ways how you can go about this.

1.) Is to activate the JR Pass upon arrival and select a "1st day of use" at the later point in time. This can be up to 30 days in the future at the point of exchange. Once you have exchanged the JR Pass, you may already start to making seat reservations at any JR Station.

2.) The 2nd option is Eki Net from JR East, you can use it to reserve train run by JR East. This includes the new Hokuriku Shinkansen. There are some rules and regulations related to this service, please read them carefully.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel
On that eki website it doesnt seem to give Kanazawa as an option for Arrival station? I checked a few weeks ago and thought maybe because the Shinkansen didn't start until 14 March, but its still not showing today. Do i need to search for a different arrival city?

Thanks!

cwest
cwest

Hi there,

I contacted JR East a couple of days ago about that, as it turns out, they are only able to reserve the train within their own service area.

My advise would be to reserve a ticket from the JR East part from Tokyo to one or tow stations after Nagano. Than when you collect the tickets, ask the staff to re-book them all the way to Kanazawa. It's very unlikely that the seat will be taken after Nagano and re-booking the ticket is free of charge.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks! Do you think better to wait until we arrive in Tokyo on 20 March to book the whole ride on 24thMarch, or book half way as you suggest in your last post now and the second half on 24th? Or could we 're book' on the 20th to be extra safe, or does it have to be day of travel?

Charlotte

cwest
cwest

Hi Charlotte,

You could re-book it on the 20th, I would suggest reserving online now as the train is very popular (since it's brand new). This way is safest and you can always cancel the tickets free of charge beforehand.

Hope this helps too :)
-Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hmm its only giving me the option of slow trains and First Class. Could the fastest class train be sold out? Surely not. Will just have to reserve as soon as we arrive on 20th. Surely not ALL trains on 24th to Kanazawa will be booked out!!

cwest
cwest

It might be so, the trains have only started service yesterday and it's a very popular item in Japan right now.

The alternative is to take the traditional route from Tokyo to Nagoya and then a limited express train. This is also a beautiful route to travel but takes slightly longer.

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

Just to report it was no prob booking our Kanazawa train a couple of days before travelling to Kanazawa!

cwest
cwest

Glad to hear it!

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

Hi we are doing the same journey but on the 26th of Dec do you think it is advisable to book seats on the train as it is holiday season We arrive in Tokyo on the 19th until the 26th
Thanks

Tugboatkev
Tugboatkev

Hello there follow traveler,

Yes I do think it would be wise to reserve tickets for the last couple of days. This is when people will start traveling for the Holiday period.

Christmas is not celebrated in Japan as it is elsewhere in the world but New Year tends to be rather busy.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks Daniel for your reply it is very helpful
Kevin

Tugboatkev
Tugboatkev

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