questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

green pass upgrade on tokyo-kyoto?

Green pass upgrade on tokyo-kyoto?

I will be traveling from April 1 to April 9 as is:
- arriving Narita airport terminal 1 around 12:30 pm on 04/01, going straight to Kyoto - 04/01 to 04/05 Kyoto - 04/05 to 04/06 Nara - 04/06 to 04/09 Tokyo

I am considering getting a JR pass but Since we will be 4, including my mother which is much older, I am not sure if I should take the green JR pass or just ordinary passes, then upgrade to green seats on the Tokyo to Kyoto trip. My main worry is that we would be arriving after a long flight from the US, and I read it could be hard to reserve seats until we actually arrive to narita airport. Since it should be the cherry blossom season, can we still get seats together without reserving ahead of time?

Would it be worth getting a green JR pass or just an upgrade on Tokyo- Kyoto?

I also have more questions:
- how long would it take after arriving and reserving seats to get to rail station? - since the pass only lasts 7 days, can we still get the narita express back to the airport for half price? - I read something about prices could change after April 1st, then does it mean we might need to pay extra fees once there?

It would help me so much if I could me clarify all this.

Thank you!


Hi there!

Good question! Upgrading to Green Class is a nice way to travel. Generally I'd recommend traveling with a Green Pass to people who wish to travel in a more quiet and relaxed manner. However I would not do so just for getting a seat. Most Shinkansen trains are rather long and have over a 1000 seats, add in that one leaves every 10 minutes and suddenly you have a lot of seats! However I do think that traveling Green could be a nice addition, especially since you travel with an older person.

You can get right on the train once you arrive at Narita Airport, just take the escalators down. The JR Pass includes travel on the Narita Express and you won't have to buy any additional ticket. However on they way back you'll have to buy a normal ticket as there's no special ticket for going back to Narita Airport. The possible price changes won't effect the JR Pass and you will not have to pay extra during it's validity period.

Hope this helps!

Expert button 2

Thank you for your advice!
We will probably get the green pass and include one day trip to kamakura.


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