questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

travelling over new years

Travelling over new years

I have just bought a JR pass and will be visitng Japan from the 26/12/12 - 11/01/13

I will being going -

Osaka - Tokyo on the 28/12/12
Tokyo - Yudanaka on the 01/01/13
Yudanaka - Nozawa onsen on the 04/01/13
Nozawa onsen - Kyoto on the 05/01/13
Kyoto - Osaka on the 06/01/13
Osaka - Kansai Airport on the 11/01/13

Will all of these routes be available on these days?

How early/late to trains go?



Hi Kelsey!

During the New Year period trains in Japan will operate normally, however a lot of people will be travelling during this time so make sure to reserve your seats on time! You can do this the moment that you exchange your pass.

As a general rule trains stop between midnight and 6 a.m. For instance the last train you can take with the JR Pass from Osaka to Tokyo leaves at 20.54 and arrives at 23.45. You can use to check the time tables.

Let me know if there is any particular part of your trip that you are worried about and I can look it up for you!

Hope it helps,


Thanks that helps a lot!

Can i use my JR pass to go to these smaller villages or will i have to use a different type of transport?



Also, I arrive into Osaka Itami Airport, Can i validate my ticket here? If not, where would be the closest place?


By smaller villages I take it that you mean, Yudanaka and Nozawa onsen?

You can use your Rail pass to travel to Nagano and from there take a Private Railway (Nagano Electric Railway) to Yudanaka this last part costs (¥1,130 Yen). Here is an example of the journey.

As for Nozawa, take the private rail back to Nagano and from there the JR Pass will cover the rest.
For example see

If you plan your trip to Nozawa using Hyperdia make sure to use the station name TOGARINOZAWA-ONSEN (and not Nozawa) or else you might end up somewhere completely different!

There is no exchange office at Itami (are you sure you are flying to Itami? Most international flights land at Kansai International Airport). The closest ticket exchange office would be Osaka station or Shin-Osaka. Here is a list with exchange points.

Let me know if you have more questions!


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