questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

navigating golden week

Navigating Golden Week

Will land at Kansai, Osaka and travel from April 30 to May 10, 2015. Will spend two days Osaka, 1 day Kiyoto, 2 days Okayama, 1 day Nagoya, and 4 days Tokyo, arriving May 6. I purchased three first class JR rail passes due to Golden Week. Plan to activate on May 1. My questions are as follows:

  1. How do I go about reserving a seat in first class? I assume I must do that after activation in Japan.

  2. How do we deal with luggage? If we have rollers on suit case (1 each) is there an area we can store it in luggage area in the first class cabins?

  3. Should I wait to activate later than May 1, which will cause pass to expire May 7, when we are in tokyo. Do I need the rail pass while in Tokyo, or will individual tickets per travel suffice? I do need to get to Haneda on May 10, but I am assuming this is a regular route, and the need for a rail pass will not be needed as we are traveling distances in Japan earlier in the trip.

  4. we are traveling from Okayama toward tokyo on May 5, presumably to Nagoya, (not booked hotel yet), should we anticipate even greater crowds due to end of Golden Week. Should we go to a smaller city to spend the night?
    thank you.

kasha1
kasha1

Hi there,

Golden week is a very busy period, so it's smart to make seat reservations in advance. To do so activate your JR Pass, after this you can make seat reservations at any JR station by just showing the JR Pass.

There is a decent amount of luggage space in the overhead compartments.Most train cars also have space near the front or end of the train car for a couple of suitcases. Note that the Shinkansen and other trains ore not made for super large luggage, so try to limited the size.

Since you have the JR Pass already, I would recommend using it from day 1-7, this way you can cover the most with it. Within Tokyo normal tickets work best, as local travel is relatively low priced.

As for your travel to Nagoya, see what is available in terms of hotels at booking websites, you may always look for smaller places if Nagoya seems to be sold out.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

thank you Daniel-san. I will activate on May 1, and work with agent to set the reservations for the trip. I appreciate you direction and instruction and look forward to enjoying the beauty and culture of Japan. Aloha from Hawaii.

kasha1
kasha1

Thank you for your previous responses. I spoke to my brother-in-law who travels to Japan alot. He told me I should reserve my seats for my travel while in Japan prior to leaving, as we will be there during the Golden Week travel period. My questions are:

  1. Can this be done from outside of Japan prior to activating the JR Pass (1st class tickets)

  2. How is this done? What is the process.

Thank you.

kasha1
kasha1

Hello again :)

Asking about seat reservations is one the question we get most.

It's unfortunately not possible to reserve seats when outside of Japan. The best thing is to do so the moment that you arrive at Kansai airport or Osaka.

To do so, see our reservations guide.

Don't worry too much about reservations though. Trains depart every 10min or so and can carry over 900 seats each. There are plenty to around and I don't foresee any problems reserving tickets if you do so 2-3 days in advance.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

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