questions & answers: using the japan rail pass



After I purchase my Japan rail pass should I reserve each and every train and seats we will use on our 2 week vacation? I am concerned that we will buy the pass then not be able to get a seat because the train is full and be stuck and perhaps miss some tours.


Hi there,

Usually Shinkansen don't get fully booked and getting a seat 5 minutes before departure is not very hard.
The only times that you really should make seat reservations is when you travel on Japanese public holidays.

Still, if you wish you can make all the reservations for your journey once you activate your JR-Pass. I would suggest taking a printed itinerary with times and dates you wish to travel to speed up the progress.

Hope this helps,


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