questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

green car - do i have to reserve seat

Green Car - do I have to reserve seat

Dear all,

probably an easy question for experts... :.-)
I will be using a Japan Rail Pass, Green version, i.e. I will be able to use Green Cars where available.

Do I have to reserve seats there? Or can I board a Green Car without reservation as well? I'm particularly asking for the Shinkansen services, but also for Limited Express trains.

Many thanks in advance.


Hi there,

Yes, for green car you will always need to make a reservation, on the Shinkansen or on normal trains.

This is primarily because there is no non-reserved seating in the green cars, so another passenger may reserve the seat you are occupying.

Don't worry about the reservation process however, it's extremely quick, and most JR staff will be able to understand english if you force them ;).

I have heard reports of Green Car JR Pass holders jumping on the Green Car without a reservation with success, but I wouldn't recommend it - half of the joy of the Green Car is the relaxing luxury and it's hard to snooze when you're looking over your shoulder at each station!

Hope this helps,



thanks a lot - that is very helpful indeed.
So I can try, theoretically, but take a risk... Still, the conductor wouldn't mind as long as nobody else shows up with a reservation for that seat.


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