questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

2-12 december 2016

2-12 December 2016

We are a family of five from Singapore. We arrive Tokyo on 1st December 2016 and have bought JR Passes.
Our itinerary is as follows:-
02 Dec - Tokyo to Sapporo
06 Dec - Sapporo to Kutchan via Otaru. We will be picked up from Kutchan around 4.30 p.m. to transfer to Niseko, Hirafu
09 Dec - Kutchan to Hakodate
11 Dec - Hakodate to Tokyo
12 Dec - Tokyo to Nagoya then Osaka
13 Dec - Osaka to Kyoto then Tokyo
I checked your JR time tables but honestly, I am quite confused by the timing.
Our preference is to set out in the morning, between 8.30 - 9.30 a.m., subject to availability of JR/Shinkansen trains.
We will like to get to our destinations before it gets dark ie between 5.00-6.00 p.m.
Can you assist us on the best departure timings based on the above itinerary?
Also, for the JR Shinkansen tickets, how do we make reservations of seats?
Thanks in advance, regards, Kim


Hi there,

Tokyo - Sapporo is a long trip no matter how you do it. It is about 7 hours of train travel so it will be nearly dark before you get there. Same for the return to Tokyo. all other travel takes much less time and you will have plenty of day light.

For travel times, I recommend learning to plan with Hyperdia this way you can find any route/timetable and more. It's a great tool for planning with the JR Pass. We also have a useful interactive map with all JR lines included.

For seat reservations, please see: this post.

Hope this helps,

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