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Travelling for 17 days

smaximo
smaximo
almost 2 years ago
6 responses

Hi there,
I would like some help regarding itinerary checkup and also to ask a couple of smaller things.
Me and my wife will travel to Narita and then stay 5 nights in Tokyo. From Tokyo we will travel to Nikko and stay one night. The following day we will take the train to Toyama and stay for a couple of nights in Shirakawa/ Kamikochi/ Takayama area. We will be travelling to Kyoto and stay for 4 nights and return to Tokyo/ Narita at the end of our trip.

I've already check the prices in Hyperdia and it seems it will cost the same as a 14 days pass just for the planned itinerary. We will eventually make some side trips when in Tokyo and Kyoto, so I am thinking on buying the two 14 days pass. I am thinking that having the pass might be advisable, even if it costs about the same as regular tickets, because it might be easy to handle and use. We plan to activate the passes right before we leave Tokyo, so the 14 days end on our last day in Japan.
What do you think about it?

My other questions are related with the "reserved seats" issue. Is it advisable to book your seats in advance, or can you do it immediately when you reach the train station, and even, do you really need to book your seats? Are there any other options to book your seats, like online or so?

Thanks for all.

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Daniel-san
12187 posts
almost 2 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

Having used the JR Pass many times myself, I have to agree. Even if you break-even in ticket cost, the JR Pass is super convenient, because it one ticket that covers all your travel. Also the freedom to get on any train you like, without having to think about it, is really nice.

For reserving seats, during normal times it is fine to get your tickets 15min or so before departure. I do it like this most of the time, however for busy periods of travel (think of national holidays, golden week, new year, etc) it is recommend to reserve tickets 2-4 days in advance, in order to secure seating.

The JR Pass also allows you to take a non-reserved seat by just getting on the train and showing the JR Pass, however this does mean queueing up before the train arrives and do a Battle Royale with other passengers. Having an assigned seat before boarding the train is much more relaxed but getting a non-reserved seat is still an option when in a hurry. Seat reservations can be made in person at any JR station, it is not possible to do so online.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

smaximo
smaximo
6 posts
almost 2 years ago

Hi and thanks for your reply,
We've just booked our 14 days pass. Like I've mentioned on the first post, we will stay in Japan for 17 days, from 4th-20th. We plan to stay the first days in Tokyo before moving with our itinerary, so if we activate the passes on the 7th it will make the 14 days right on our last day in Japan and we will be able to use the pass on the 20th when we will travell to Narita airport. This sounds correct right?
Also can your reserve seats a few days before your first trip using the card, I mean before you activate the card for the first time?

Thanks again,

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
12187 posts
almost 2 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi again!

That sounds correct to me. You can start making seat reservations once you have exchanged the JR Pass, which you can do the moment that you are in Japan.

When exchanging the JR Pass, you can also select a first day of use, so you do not need to start using it right away. You can however make seat reservations at this time.

Hope this helps,
Daniel


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