questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

totally disappointed

Totally disappointed

I'm using 14-day JR Pass in Japan now. This morning (Aug 9th) I wanted to go Sapporo from Hakodate. However, the train service was suspended due to damaged train track. Later I was told by JR officer that train service between Hakodate and Sapporo would be suspended until further notice. Few things that really disappoint me:

  1. No contingency action was taken by JR to carry all passengers who were stranded at Hakodate Station, to their destination. Then I was told that buses were fully booked for the day. It means I'm totally stuck in Hakodate.
  2. Since I wouldn't be able to get out of Hakodate today, I asked JR officer if I could get one night accommodation with the expenses fully covered by JR, and the answer is, I still need to pay for the hotel charge, 4700 yen.

I paid 45100 yen for 14-day Pass, now i get stuck in Hakodate and nothing else i can do, and I couldn't get refund for the hotel room i already booked in Sapporo. And now i need to pay additional 4700 yen because JR doesn't provide alternative for me to travel to Sapporo. No compensation from JR at all. What is this?!?!?!

leosmlee
leosmlee

Hi there,

I am very sorry to hear about your bad experience and completely understand your complain. I had a similar experience last March when service between Sapporo - Hakodate was suspended due to bad weather conditions and could not reach my planned destination. I don't know the details of your situation but know that usually non-reserved buses are provided when service is suspended for longer periods of time.

There's little I can do about refunds but what advise I can give you is to explain to your booked hotel why you could not stay with them. When I contacted my booked hotel and explained why I could not reach them, they were so kindto cancel the booking without a fee.

I looked up the current status services and see that train service has been resumed, so I hope that you were able to reach your planned destination after all.
-Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi there,

Just to follow up on this, we're really sorry that JR wasn't able to provide alternative transport - were you able to cancel your Sapporo room?

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mari
Expert_button_2

Thanks for the response. Sorry i wasn't able to reply to your comments until now. I was told that the train service was resumed at night, thus allowing the night train Hamanasu to run all the way from Aomori to Sapporo. But i took 7am train instead. Thanks to the workers who worked hard to repair the railway track.

I should have contacted the hotel in Sapporo to cancel my booking on that day, but I missed the opportunity. I don't think I can ask for refund now.

Anyway, it's a great experience riding JR trains in overall. JR Pass is indeed very convenient way to ride trains in Japan. I would recommend it to all potential tourists from overseas, but please be prepared for sudden disruption of train service due to unforeseen situations, e.g. heavy rain, earthquake, etc.

leosmlee
leosmlee

Thanks for the feedback leosmlee. Once again I'm really sorry that you had cancelled trains during your trip - I hope that you enjoyed the rest of your trip (it sounds like you did!)

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mari
Expert_button_2

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