questions & answers: using the japan rail pass



Hi again,
We have purchased a 7-days JR pass (Green). I have a couple of clarifications to make please.
1. Using this can we travel by Nozomi 700 series of Shinkansen? If not can we pay extra and upgrade?
2. Do we need to book the travel in Shinkansen in advance or can we do it from the station on the day of travel directly?
3. Is there a tour guide facility available from the station (specially for Kyoto?)


Hello there,

1.) You can't use the Nozomi using the JR Pass. You can however use the Hikari Service instead. These are the same as the Nozomi but make a couple more stops on the way. The Hikari trains also run the N700 series.

2.) Both are fine, though I would recommend reserving seats in advance if you travel on a national holiday.

3.) Yes, there are different tours to me find by different companies. Every major station also has a tourist information that is a great help finding the best each city has to offer.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

With the JR Pass, you cannot ride on the Nozomi. There is no way upgrade it. But Hikari and other shinkansen are just as comfortable, and between Tokyo and Osaka there is only a 30 minute difference in the ride time at most.
You don't need to book seats in advance at all if you don't want to. Unless you are going during a peak season, it really not necessary. But if you are going from Tokyo to Oska/Kyoto and want to see Mt Fuji along the way (weather permitting), then get seats on the right hand side with a window. You can reserve seats at the JR station at any time before your travel.

There is a tourist info desk inside Kyoto Station on the second floor. You can get a lot of good info, free maps, etc. If you want a tour guide specifically, you might find a free guide through the JNTO, but you'll need to make a reservation way in advance.

Best of luck.


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