questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

fully booked train

Fully booked train

We have just arrived in Tokyo with our JR Pass and had some problems in booking the seats on the chosen trains for our itinerary.

In particular, the Shinkansens from Hakodate to Tokyo on the 15th seem fully booked on all times. Since this is the last day of our 7 days pass, we need to travel on that day and won't mind to stand if necessary.

Our question is therefore the following: do you think we could plan to take the planned Shinkansen anyway, expecting to stand, or is there a risk that we could not get on the train at all?

Thank you


Hi Luisa,

I checked the availability on the 15th and nearly all the trains are booked. This is really rare and the reason is because its the first day of the Obon celebration.

I did find a couple of available seats on the early trains. See here. It may not be ideal but I suggest getting those reserved ASAP.

The Hayabusa Train is by reservation only! You would have to use other trains to travel down to Tokyo, which takes a lot longer.

Generally seats do come available throughout with people cancelling but I would not risk it.

Hope this helps,

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