questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

buying jr tickets during winter holiday

Buying JR tickets during winter holiday

May I buy single JR tickets from the USA? I will travel from Hiroshima to Osaka on December 29 and to Kyoto on December 30, and then on the 31st to Biwako . It is a very busy time. Should I buy JR 7-day pass from USA now?

Thank you, very much, for your assistance.


Hi Elsa,

The follow up from your other question. Normal tickets can only be purchased once in Japan. New year is a busy period and booking tickets is best to be done in advance. However there are trains departing every 10min or so, so you'll always be able to find a seat. It could just take a couple trains.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,
Thank you, so much, for your answers. I have a few more:

• May I buy JR tickets at Okinawa for the train in the other cities? I’ll be in Okinawa Dec 25 & 26. Would I find JR tickets for the busy holiday days for 4 passengers?

• There is a West Sanyo Area Pass for 4 days for $189 per person ( that I can buy only from outside Japan for foreigners. Would this a good deal so I can use it from Hiroshima to Osaka (perhaps make a couple of stops such in Kobe and another town) and then to Kyoto? That way, I can use the JR system to sightseeing in Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto (from 28 to 31st). Or would it be more economical to buy train tickets at the station to travel within the city? I’m not sure if this 4-day pass includes the bullet train from Hiroshima to Kyoto.

• If I buy the Sanyo area pass, may I upgrade to first class for the trip from Hiroshima to Osaka?

• Also, I can’t find a hotel on December 31st, so we might just travel during that night from Kyoto to Tokyo in a regular train (first class –not necessarily bullet train). Will the trains operate on the night of Dec31st and early am of Jan 1st?

• I was thinking of buying the 7day JR pass to start from from Kyoto to Tokyo on Dec31st and within Tokyo and nearby towns to do sightseeing Jan 1st to 5th and going to Haneda Airport on Jan 6th (instead of buying 1day tours which are very expensive). Will it be more economical to buy the 7day JR pass or do they have a 1-day all we can use within the Tokyo and vicinity –perhaps up to Mt Fuji, Yokohama, etc? We’ll go back to the Tokyo hotel every night (Suitengumae Station).

Again, thank you. Your answers are very helpful.


Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $254.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.