questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

permitted to change trains/reserved seats more than once?

Permitted to change trains/reserved seats more than once?

How many times am I allowed to change seats/train before the train's departure time? Can I do it more than one time or as many times as I want (though I will not change my mind many times, perhaps just once if I ever did). Is it totally free regardless of how many times you change?
I will reserve seats at the airport I land on especially because I go to Japan during the busy season, but might change my mind for the seats of the train I will take at a later stage of the tour. Advice from experts is highly appreciated. Please help. Thanks!

fiona
fiona

Hi Fiona,

With a Japan Rail Pass you can make reservations as many times as you want before you get on the train. You can also change your reservation once before you board. It's good to let the JR staff know you have a previous reservation so that they can free your original seat back up for sale. Finally, if you want to change your seat once you are on the train JR Pass holders can talk with the conductor and choose to move to a free seat.

I hope this helps!

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mari
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Hi Mar,

Thank you for your prompt reply. Let me check if my understanding is right. I lived in Japan and I know I can change reserved seats of the train I booked one time without being extra charge, but the second time I am to be charged.

In case of JR Pass, you can reserve seats as many times as you would like. Does this mean you can change reserved seats of the train to those of the other trains as many times as you like before you finally board a train or am I allowed to do this just once and if I still need to change seats the third time, do I have to go to the car of the non reserved seats? In your answer, I understood I could change just once. It this right?

And of course, I am sensible enough to do the right procedures for the changes at the window before I hop on the train.

This could be just too insignificant a question but please let me know. I appreciate your help. Thanks!

fiona
fiona

mari, sorry! Typo mistake. I didn't mean to write Mar. Apologies!!

fiona
fiona

Hi Fiona,

Although it is not explicit on the JR website, from experience the rules that apply for paid reserved seats also apply to the free reserved seats obtained through the JR Pass. Eg, you can only make 1 change to a given reservation as marked on the reservation ticket. If you do not get this second reservation, then you will need to use non-reserved seating. Reservations are counted via stamps on the back of your JR Pass so it is clear to the JR staff how many times a reservation has been made.

I hope this does not cause you too much of a problem!

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mari
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Mari,

You are so fast. Thanks a lot. I tend to want to know precise details and you provided me with that. Thanks again. I'm really looking forward to coming back to Japan again!

fiona
fiona

Hi Fiona,

After your message I wrote to JR to check on the exact rules. Although I've been denied changing my reservation more than once in the past when I was using the JR Pass, the official JR line is actually that "JR pass holders can change reservation as many as they want.". So this means that you should be really flexible when you go.

Perhaps the staff I spoke to were unaware of this rule...

Hope this helps!

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mari
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