questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

jr pass during golden weekend, is it possible not able to get seats?

JR pass during golden weekend, is it possible not able to get seats?

Hi,

My husband and I will be in Japan during the golden weekend (unintended mistake). We will be in Tokyo on April 25 for three nights, 2 nights at Fujioshida, Shimoyoshida Apr 28-30, 3 nights in Koyoto Apr 30-May3 and 4 nights at Saki May 3-May 6., hoping we can use the JR pass to travel to Osaka and Nara from Saki. We will take train back to Tokyo on May 7. Can we use the JR pass from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji area then to Kyoto and Sakai? I heard that it is hard to get train tickets during the golden week period, can you tell me, 1st should I get JR. pass for this trip and does it help to guarantee a seat if we buy the green (1st class) JR pass? Do you recommend us to buy JR pass and can you also tell us at the JR office in Narita airport will they help us to reserve all the seats that we need for this trip when we exchange for the pass.

Thanks, you help will be much appreciated.

Stressful
Peggy

Peggy
Peggy

Hi,
You need to clarify a few things here, please.
First, the JR Pass is valid for 7 consecutive days, counting the day you first start using it. So if you travel to Kyoto on April 30 on the pass, the last day you can use the pass is on May. 6th. Also, the JR Pass will get you partway to Mt. Fuji, but do you want to see Hakone, or the Fuji 5 Lakes area? Either way, the pass won't cover it all. Going directly to Fuji and partway up is a waste since their is no real view and the weather is frequently uncooperative. These sites can give more info:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6900.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6905.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5206.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html

Secondly, where is "Saki"? Do you mean Kinosaki?

Traveling during Golden Week can he hard - but you can reserve your seats ahead of time online.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi,

Thank you for the prompt reply. Sorry I meant Sakai, Minamijima, not Saki, I believe it's a small town west of Osaka. As for the Fuji Mt. Trip we are staying at the nort side of the mountain near Fuji Q highland. I think I will get a 14 days JR pass, do you recommend to buy JR Pass? If so, should I get the green pass instead of the blue? Which web site I can book the train seat ahead, my trouble is I do not know which line to take and get on and off at which station.

Thank you for your help.

Peggy

Peggy
Peggy

From what I can see, neither a 7 nor a 14 day pass would pay off for your itinerary. You'd need to go from Tokyo to Kyoto/Nara/Osaka and back, with a side trip or 2 thrown in. Getting on the train is not a problem - the worst case is that you don't get a seat. The Pass allows free seat booking, but for regular tickets there is an extra charge. So it's up to you and how flexible you are with the schedule.
It's also unclear why you'd want to spend so much time in Sakai. There are a few old burial mounds, but you can't do anything except walk around their moats and not see anything.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi,

Thank you for the advise, in this case I have to think about whether I should buy the JR pass. To answer your question about why I stay in Sakai so long, because that is the nearest place I can come up with that is close to a train station, away from the big city yet close enough to take a train to Nara during the golden weekend., Does it make sense? Can you tell me where I can find the train schedule for the train I need to take?

Thanks, you have been most helpful, I really appreciate your help.

Peggy :)

Peggy
Peggy

Peggy,

You can check train fares and schedules on:

http://www.hyperdia.com

It seems to me that the number of places to stay are virtually unlimited - a lot depends on your budget as well, of course, but it's over an hour by train to get from Sakai to Nara. Picking something up or down the rail line like in Uji City (which has some great sightseeing itself) might make more sense...

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi Toraneko,

Thank you for the advise, I will check the Uji City out, I am still in planning process., I am so glad I talk to you, I can still make changes.

Thanks.

Peggy

Peggy
Peggy

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