questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

seat reservations in golden week

Seat reservations in Golden Week


We are planning our trip to Japan (for a wedding and holiday) and will be travelling during Golden Week. I have heard that it can be difficult to get seat reservations during this time, and so I wanted to ask if this would indeed be difficult for our itinerary? I did plan on buying a standard class pass, but again given the dates would it be advisable to buy a green pass?

Our itinerary is as follows:

  • 26th April arrive in Japan although we won't be travelling by train until the 2nd May.
  • 5th May OSAKA - KYOTO
  • 8th May KYOTO - TOKYO

Many thanks in advance


Hi Amy,

Golden week in Japan falls between Apr 29th and May 5th. Also, either side of these dates can be a little busy.

I think a normal pass will be fine for you trip provided you activate your rail pass as soon as you arrive in Japan and place advance bookings on all of your legs at the same time.

As you'll be arriving on the 26th, you should have ample time to reserve seats for all of your legs going up to Tokyo. You may have to be a little flexible with the exact time of departure, but I'm sure you'll be able to find seats.

If you want to be really sure, the green car pass will be less crowded, however as you have a good lead time before you start travelling (and assuming you'll reserve all your seats on the 26/27th), I think you'll be ok.

Kumamoto is a beautiful part of the country to start your travels - hope you enjoy it!


Thankyou so much for your help!


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