questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

sunrise seto refund with jr pass

Sunrise Seto refund with JR Pass

Hi,
I heard it might be possible to reserve a Sunrise Seto ticket with berth outside from Japan through a friend or something, and then with the ticket in hand in Japan and presenting a JR Pass, getting a refund of the fare portion except a small service fee (500 yen or so).

I wish to confirm the truth about this? Is there any contact mail to JR West or Central to confirm it?

nejmeg
nejmeg

Hi there,

Yes it is technically possible to purchase tickets in Japan and later have them re-booked under the JR Pass. Here you pay a cancellation fee for the ticket.

One of the practical problems is that you need someone in Japan to purchase the tickets in advance for you. The 2nd is that you have to explain to cancel and rebook under the JR Pass. Although most JR Staff has a basic understanding of English, this may be hard to explain too.

I don't think JR West/Central have an English hotline. JR East does: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/customer_support/. I guess you could give them a call as ticket regulations are the same all over Japan.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you for your answer,

Have you heard of anyone done so with success?

I know at least some conversional Japanese, but wouldn't it just be to say exchange the ticket or cancel and rebook or something? Showing the JR Pass and the ticket itself?

Are there any page I can find some basic sentences to use perhaps?

There is no e-mail address to JR or something? I tried the JR West Japanese mail but I could not explain it fully and the answer was not easy to understand either.

nejmeg
nejmeg

Hi again,

They don't have an English e-mail address or contact form for tickets.

As for the whole procedure, for me it is all theoretical but we've had people on the forum that reported success in the past.

Generally the best way to go about it is to ask a friend to purchase a " limited express reserved ticket" only. This is basically the proof of a seat reservation. You could then use the JR Pass to cover the rest of the ticket. This is the cheapest option if you can't rebook the seat fully under the JR Pass.

As for the re-booking, without a good grasp of Japanese - I think your best bet is to rebook the ticket at one of the tourist information stations or Foreigner ticket desks found at Major stations (Such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakata).

It is unfortunately not easy to near impossible for people not living in Japan to secure tickets outside of Japan.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi yet again,

If I just make a ltd exp reserved ticket then I suppose the regular berths might be full when I reach Japan, right?

I will try throgh JTB to reserve a ticket with berth as they had some kind of agent in Japan. Would it still be impossible though?

Are there any Foreigner ticket desk in Osaka?

nejmeg
nejmeg

Hello once more!

The ltd exp reserved ticket is basically a seat reservation charge, once you have that the seat is yours. Be it a normal seat or accommodation one.

I am not saying it is completely impossible..just hard and you need the right connections.

Osaka and Shin-Osaka also have an English speaking desk.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

I do hope JTB and its agent is the right connection. If I cannot get a seat (are there regular sit seats by the way?) I might as well fly up to Matsue, as traveling by train will take a lot of time in daytime anyway. By night train I had hoped for an experience and at least saving some time.

Nightbus maybe?

So, well, again, ltd exp reserved ticket would be fare + exp charge + seat, right?

nejmeg
nejmeg

For me a nightbus is a no go, simply because I can't sleep on the night bus and am too tired to do anything the ext day.

The Sunrise express is a great experience, I've the pleasure of riding it myself a couple of times. On what day do you want to ride it?

Usually week days during off season still have the most free seats.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

I thought so too. The pictures I have seen of the nightbus seats, compared to the price, looks like a no go really....

I am trying to time the visit to visit Tateyama alps during a weekday, coming to Tokyo thereafter, stay a few days and then the Sunrise Express, hopefully during a weekday. Afterward I need to track myself back to Osaka.

Do you know anything about lugguage space in the berth by the way? Since I will travel around a lot I might as well bring a bigger backpack rucksack instead of a regular suitcase, or Ta-q-bin if needed.

nejmeg
nejmeg

I am not sure about the season you will travel in but there's a decent change that seats are available during week days. When I traveled not every seat was taken. Even so, if I would recommend trying to get the seat the day that you arrive in Japan (given that you won't secure one before hand). You should have enough time then to make adjustments.

There's not a lot of luggage space on the train on the normal carpet seats. You basically have to lay on them and put your luggage there as well. This should be okay for a backpack but a really big suitcase might be troublesome.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

I tried to find out though pictures of the Solo and Single berth about size but I dont think my reglar suitcase would fit. A A Single would be too expensive.

I looked on my planning and monday would be the most possible day as far as I can see. Would it be a good choice?

nejmeg
nejmeg

I've seen people keep their luggage in the train hallway. While possible, it is not very considerate to other passengers.

I do think going for a weekday would give you the best possible chance for reserving a seat.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Seems like a bit of a danger act to put it like that. Isn't it like... forbidden?
I could not see from the pictures but are there any room beneath the bed in the B Single berth? I think I will use Ta-q-bin for the suitcase. I did once in my life travel with this in a local train and it was a nightmare... I dont want to imagine it on a night train.... It is not big but quite big in Japanese standards.

By the way. Is it exaclty one month ahead of the trip the ticket reservation is released?

If leaving on 15th December for instance, the ticket can be reserved from 1th November?

Just want to make sure as when to prompt the travel agency to do this booking for me, or try at least.

Is it more pressure from Tokyo - Matsue to get a reservation or would it be equal?

It's a bit of a long shot, but thought if doing the other way as a back up....

Thank you so much for your replies all this way.

nejmeg
nejmeg

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