questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

reserving from narita to osaka during obon

Reserving from Narita to Osaka during Obon

Hello...

We will be travelling from the US to Japan, arriving on 10 August 2013 at 14:30. There will be four (4) people...two adults and two children. We will buy JR passes before we leave the US, but we cannot reserve train seats until we arrive in Japan. We know we want to go to Osaka right away, but this will be Saturday 10 August, the beginning of Obon.

My questions:

1) Will it be possible to get any reservations for travel on the 10th of August from NRT to Osaka?
2) Would it be easier to get a seat if we buy "Green Seat" JR Passes?
3) Should we reserve a hotel at NRT just in case we can't get out until the next day?

Thank you so much for any assistance.

Best,

John D

JohnD
JohnD

Hi John,

Traveling with Obon is always very crowded but I have never experienced that seats are completely sold out. It could however be hard to get 4 seats together. As to your question.

1.) Yes it will be possible to take the train but you may have to wait for a train or two to get the reservations. Alternatively you can always take a non-reserved seat. This means lining up on the platform before the train arrives, this way the first to arrive will be the first to seat.
2.) Trains between Narita (via Tokyo) and Osaka have a good amount of Green seats, I do think it will be easier to find seats this way. Especially if you want to sit together, it is also a great way to avoid some of the crowds.
3.) I think reserving a Hotel at Narita would be going too far. You can always take the train but in the most extreme case you may have to stand (but this is very very very unlikely). You could reserve a hotel in Tokyo and reserve the tickets to Osaka the same day as you arrive, this could give you some extra peace of mind. The train ride between Tokyo - Osaka is around 160 minutes, so you have most of the day left if you take an early train.

I hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Daniel,

Thank you so much for your quick reply. Your answers are very helpful. As it turns out, we are now likely to meet up with a friend in Roppongi on 10 August, so we'll stay in Tokyo that night. This way, we can reserve the green seats for Osaka on Sunday 11 August and we should have more options.

Thank you again!

Best,

John

JohnD
JohnD

Hi John,

Glad to hear it! I don't think you will absolutely need a green pass if you reserve a day in advance but it will make the journey a lot more pleasant.

Best Regards,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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