questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

using the pass for trains to kyoto

Using the pass for trains to Kyoto

I wanted to ask.

I will be going from Tokyo to Kyoto and i am planning on purchasing a 7day JR PASS.
Will i be able to us my JR pass on the Nozomi Shinkansen or not?
I see it will take about 2hrs and 10min if i were to use it and i'd rather

If not i will have to use the Hikari Shinkansen
which will take 2hrs and 50min

Are seats for either Shinkansen, purchased/reserved in advanced?

Thank you


Hi there,

The Japan Rail Pass is valid for all shinkansen except the Nozomi and Mizuho service. This means that for the journey to Kyoto from Tokyo you'll need to use the Hikari service. According to Hyperdia the difference in time between Nozomi and Hikari bullet services is 22mins (160mins on Hikari vs 138mins on Nozomi), so unless you are very time sensitive the journeys should not be too different (Hikari uses the same rolling stock as Nozomi, and reaches the same top speeds but stops at slightly more stations en route).

The Hikari has non-reserved and reserved seating, and Japan Rail Pass holders can make seat reservations for free. To make a reservation simply present your rail pass at the ticket office and specify the train you would like to board. In general I have found you can easily make reservations on the next available Hikari train and do not have to reserve far in advance unless you wish to travel during rush hour periods.

Hope this helps!


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