questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

reserving seats for new years eve

Reserving seats for new years eve

Hi there,

Here is my Itinerary using a 7-day JR pass:

Dec 31st Mon - (Start JR Pass) 7am Tokyo - Kyoto (Stay in Kyoto)
Jan 1st Tues - Side trip to Nara, returning to Kyoto (Stay in Kyoto)
Jan 2nd Wed - 8am Kyoto - Osaka (Stay in Osaka)
Jan 3rd Thurs - 10am Osaka - Hiroshima (Perhaps visit Miyajima 3pm) > 6pm Hiroshima - Fukuoka (Stay in Fukuoka)
Jan 4th Fri - Noon Fukuoka - Kanazawa (Stay in Kanazawa)
Jan 5th Sat - 11am Kanazawa - Nagano (Spend 1 hour in Nagano)> 5pm Nagano - Yudanaka (Stay in Yudanaka)
Jan 6th Sun - 1:30pm Yudanaka - Nagoya (Spend 1 hour in Nagoya) > Nagoya 7pm - Tokyo

Is it possible for me to reserve seats for 2 people when purchasing the JR pass from the UK? We don't arrive to Tokyo until the 25th December just a few days before we start traveling.

Thanks
David

dawgtanian
dawgtanian

Hi David,

I'm afraid there is no way to reserve your tickets in person or online before you go in English. If you do speak Japanese, or know someone who does, you can place reservations for your tickets online at eki-net, however you may need a credit card to place these.

For your travel, the area of slight uncertainty is the 31st-2nd:

  1. 31st: Tokyo > Kyoto (Bullet, long distance)
  2. 1st: Kyoto > Nara > Kyoto (local train, short range)
  3. 2nd Kyoto > Osaka (local train, short range)

Over this period, I don't think you'll have any problems with the Kyoto>Nara and Kyoto>Osaka legs as they are very close to each other (though it may be busy!). Your travel on the 31st may well be busy although there will be non-reserved seating available that you can queue for. I recommend that you try to place reservations as soon as you can on arrival in Japan for this leg - as long as you are flexible on seating and travel time then I think you'll be fine though I do appreciate this may be a bit of a worry.

Hope this helps, and I'm so sorry there aren't more options to reserve seats available currently.

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thank you for your fast reply, I will ask someone who speaks Japanese to help reserve our tickets via eki-net. That would solve all problems for us.

Thanks
David

dawgtanian
dawgtanian

HI David,

I think that's the best plan if you can do it.

Hope you have a great trip!

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mari
Expert_button_2

I rang the shop who supply JR Pass in the UK, and they said using Eki-net is only possible once JR Pass has been picked up/activated in Japan.

Is this true?

dawgtanian
dawgtanian

Hi there,

I think perhaps they were mistaken with the english version of the site (which allows JR-East reservations but before you arrive in Japan)?

You can certainly use eki-net to reserve seats in Japanese at any time regardless of your rail pass status. As I mentioned however, you will need a credit card to place these, and may need to request a refund once you are in Japan if you want to take these reservations for free via your rail pass once you arrive.

Perhaps you could forward this link to the agent and they may be able to help you further? https://www.yoyaku.eki-net.com/PC/Personal/Common/ReserveTop/ReserveTop.aspx?src=ekinettop_j

Hope this helps!

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mari
Expert_button_2

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